It took a while, but Google has finally made the official announcement about the changes to its algorithm: the Core Update. Google’s aim with this major update is to further optimize search results for its users.
We’ve been talking about this for some time now, anticipating the official confirmation of another update. Over the past few months, SEO professionals have shared concerns about drops in positions on the SERP, which directly affected website traffic around the world.
The August 2023 update is still rolling out and is expected to take around 2 weeks in total to be completed.
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How did the new Core Update affect Rock Content?
Since April, we’ve been observing high volatility in Google’s SERP. The company has made several minor updates amidst the main algorithm update, such as disabling the sitemap ping endpoint, changes to titles and site names, and modifications to frequently asked questions that we were used to seeing during searches.
Here at Rock, the situation was no different. In both of our blogs, for example, we could see high levels of this volatility that were affecting our traffic. Here’s what happened to us compared to other sites in the same category in July:
However, if it weren’t for our contingency plan, the results would certainly have been worse. How did we do it? By listening to Google itself!
Since the first update of this year, from mid to late March, there has been a noticeable significant shift in the SERPs. This movement started to impact sites even more intensely from April 2023, along with the review update also in April.
With this, we faced the challenge of checking some important points: assessing the quality of information in our articles and gauging how helpful the information was.
From there, we initiated a task force to update old content with outdated information, which could have been delivering a negative user experience.
Interpreting Drops and Improvements after a Core Update
It’s important to emphasize for SEO and content professionals, mainly: Google clarifies that if you observe a drop in your site’s performance after a major update, it doesn’t necessarily indicate a problem with your site’s content or structure.
The drops we observed could actually be related to adjustments made by the main algorithm update. However, remember that it’s necessary to prioritize the quality of your site above everything else, focusing first and foremost on the user experience. After all, that’s exactly what the Core Update is about!
We knew it would be a challenge and that the results wouldn’t come quickly. We can’t seek instant or desperate solutions in these moments. These are changes where we don’t exactly know which pages will be affected!
It’s essential to keep updating yourself and striving for continuous improvements in your content and site pages.
How to Recover from the Update?
As we mentioned, besides updating older content, it’s important to consider other points that Google itself guides us on:
- Identify pages with poor performance;
- Analyze which keywords led people to these pages;
- Plan to optimize these pages with better content.
Another tip is to compare your content with the questions that Google provides on its page about Core Update updates.
You can analyze where your content might be lacking in delivering valuable content and good experiences to your users. This way, it becomes easier to prioritize the continuous improvement of your content while meeting the requirements of relevant content deserving of the first page on search engines.
Is it guaranteed that these actions will always get you to the top positions? No.
It’s never guaranteed that these improvements will aid in the recovery of SERP positions or that your pages will never change position. However, following Google’s guidelines is certainly a more informed approach than trying to fix your content blindly.
How to Prepare for Google’s Algorithm Updates?
Consulting Google itself about SEO updates is the most important point. Unfortunately, there’s a culture in the SEO field where most professionals don’t consult the primary source about these changes!
Preparing for these updates should happen both before and after they become official! Waiting for Google to officially launch an algorithm before understanding what you should do is a waste of time and can certainly harm your site.
Pay attention to all updates, even the smaller ones; monitor SERP volatility and follow Google’s official profiles that discuss these matters, such as Google Search Central, for example. Also, whenever you have doubts, check how to create content that truly benefits your audience.
Bookmark these links, save them in a visible location, and remember to check them whenever you need.
If your business is small or you have an agency that can’t handle, say, a larger content production, remember that you can try WriterAccess for free for 14 days, gaining access to top content freelancers from various parts of the world.