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28 January 2022

The What, Why, and How of Google Core Algorithm Update

Google Core Algorithm Update

Did you know that Google changes its search algorithm around 500 to 600 times each year? It means there is a certain shift in algorithm while you are reading this blog. Although most of these changes do not largely affect the SEO ecosystem, some updates do cause the shift.

The ones that cause disruption are called broad core algorithm updates. After Google rolls out the broad core algorithm updates, many SEO professionals are perplexed about what exactly changed.

With just a few details provided about the core update, the rest is left for the SEO professional and site owners to figure out for themselves.

This article will help you better understand what a core update is meant to accomplish and how you can recover if your rankings were impacted.

So, what is the Google Core Algorithm update?

These updates signify a change Google makes to its ranking algorithm that influences a large number of indexed web pages. The core updates are conceived to improve the quality and relevance of Google's search results by scrambling the search rankings of indexed web pages.

If you have heard about Penguin, Panda, Pigeon, or Fred, you are aware that these addressed specific faults or issues in Google's algorithm. For example, the Penguin update was to fight webspam.

If you consider the impact, Google’s core update may affect 5% -10% of all searches. These are planned months in advance and take weeks to roll out. There are 200 factors based on which Google ranks the website. When you hear the news of a new core algorithm release, what Google does is, change the importance, order, weight, or values of selected factors.

How to recover your site from a Core algorithm update?

As the core algorithm updates are introduced, some websites experience huge dips in their site traffic, negatively affecting their organizations' profitability and viability.

The first thing to mark off your list is panic. Because once you observe the ranking plummeting, you will break a sweat. Don't worry; we will walk you through what to do next.

Steps & Actions you can undertake

  • Conduct a SERP test - find a positive correlation between the pages ranking higher for queries where your site is now ranking lower.
  • Reanalyze your content against the following parameters with the ranking page
    • Does the content provide a better solution to the problem compared to yours?
    • Data accuracy and the usage of current stats compared to your article
    • Usage of pictures/videos/infographics that help bring the content to life for the reader?
  • Do not try to overanalyze the technical details. For example, page loading speed, current core web vitals score, etc.?

Always remember that the prime goal of Google is to serve the public with content that is comprehensive in terms of research and has the best approach. Relevance to the search query will always be the priority and topmost ranking factor over the others.

Review your content thoroughly and gauge for yourself how suitable and admissible your content is today compared to how it was before the core algorithm update. From there, you’ll have clarity about the avenues that need improvement.

The best way to stay afloat when the core updates roll out is by

  • Focusing on the user intent.
  • Always creating quality content.
  • Clean architecture that allows you to adapt to changing technology and interfaces
  • Clear site map - directing the users to the appropriate landing page and having clear navigation sitewide.
  • Always stay in sync with Google’s guidelines.

At the end of the day,

Your content must be relevant for your website ranking to stay on the top. Even if you reach the number one spot in Google ranking, never stop improving because the website holding number two won't rest until it reaches ONE. Reaching the top is a milestone but sticking to it is a challenge.

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