After the roll out of the latest Google Search Algorithm broad core update on August 1st, there has been a lot of buzz about how this might affect the search results. Which category of websites are affected by this and what is the impact. Everyone in the industry is wondering how to understand this update and analyze the next steps.
Every time Google makes an update to its search algorithm, it advises the expected change or fix intended to bring about with the update. Those updates are named and generally made to fix some issues. But with core updates, this information is evaded under “routine update changes made” tag. Since the entire fix in the update cannot be explained (which is well understood), Google refrains from any explanation.
That said, the SEO specialists have to try and analyze the updates made and what were the aftereffects!
Like the rest, let’s begin our search on this…
What could a Core update mean…?
In previous algorithm update situations, a webmaster could change certain things to keep his website performance intact. But in a core update, it’s a mystery about the particular changes made. So, one can only speculate what could be the changes. It could mean that there were some changes made to the search quality factors and signals. There might be changes made to the importance given to some factors over the others. The weighting of certain signals could be changed. All these can affect the page-ranking and site-ranking of a website. Remember these changes can make both positive and negative impact on the website rankings.
Who could be affected?
Any Google search algorithm update has an impact on every website, and since that this is a global update no doubt that there will be effects everywhere. There is a general feeling that this update could have impacted the wealth, health and lifestyle categories websites more than the others. Many specialists have run tests to list out the affected category of websites. Many point out that the health advise and wealth advise websites have been affected. These are nicknamed “Your Money or Your Life” websites, those that can basically affect the happiness, health and wealth of the reader.
Let us see what the money and life category websites are all about? According to Google rater they are:
- Pages that obtain personal information like, identification numbers, license numbers and so on. Such sensitive data is crucial and can be used for identity theft.
- Pages that offer medical advice/benefits or health insurance for customer’s well-being.
- Pages that provide legal advice and matters similar.
- Pages that provide financial advice and collect financial transactions information, like credit card or bank account numbers.
- Pages that provide suggestions on parenting, home and vehicles purchase and similar lifestyle choices.
In this SEO battle, many previously top-ranking websites lost raking and visibility, giving in to the ranking game.
What could be the reason for this major update?
Google maintains that this is one of the regular core updates and there is no particular advice to webmasters in the core updates. Since this is one of the many core updates, one can only conclude that as is the usual, this update is also made to enhance the Google search user experience. They are assessing the quality, user experience, aggressiveness of sites, the speed disruptions, marketing and advertising, and other SEO factors. Hence, it is critical to entirely understand what changes were made before getting on with the fixes plan.
Some websites might not be doing very well like before after a core update. For them Google has no specific advice except to concentrate more on creating rich content and maintaining it. Also, according to Google doing not so well might just mean that your competitors are doing better than before the core update. After all your rankings, in the page rank game is relative to other competitor pages’ performances. This is in a way a good venture by Google to improve the quality of the content posted and also maintain it over a long period.
What could be done more to overcome this impact?
Enhancing your pages here and there might not be of much help this time. In a core update, there could be a tweak in the values of everything. Since websites are compared to other websites which cater to the same set of keywords, the reason a particular website ranks high or low will be different from other sites. And finally, whatever changes are made, they will take a few weeks or months to show any impact on your page rankings. So, there might be no specific fix that will apply to all.
In the past, there could be one or two factors that fetched you top ranks as compared to your competitor. Now suddenly those factors might not be as important as it was before. But then it is difficult to figure out which was that factor that worked for you.
Having said all that, there are a few things that you can keep checking to improve your rankings.
- Pay definite attention to content. Enhance the quality of your content according what the search raters guidelines have to say.
- Study the user search intent. Compare with your competitors keywords and learn.
- Enhance your overall website user experience. Continuous enhancements are essential to stay on the top.
Follow these and gradually step up your links, sharing, and visibility. Along with all these, ensure that your business profile is appropriately exposed, and your skills and expertise is showcased in the right way. Continuously evolve your pages content and stay in this competitive race of visibility.