A Google Core Update plays an influential part in how your website performs in search rankings. Google’s algorithm becomes more sophisticated with each update, changing the rules of the game. If your website’s content and SEO strategies do not align with these changes, you may see a dip in your search engine rankings.
In this article, we will define Google Core Updates, discuss some specific effects caused by these changes, and how you can best prepare your website for future Google algorithm modifications.
What is a Google Core Update?
A Google Core Update is a major modification to Google’s main search algorithm. These changes are aimed at making search results more relevant and accurate every time you key in your query. Core upgrades are different from regular small ones as they affect overall website ranking in most categories.
A Google Core Update is more than a little adjustment, it is a makeover that can turn tables about a company’s online presence in one fell swoop, altering a website’s ranking on the SERPs.
Optimizing the website following the established Google quality guidelines can dramatically increase the rankings which in turn may translate into more leads and greater sales. If a site does not comply with these standards, it might be ranked lower, resulting in reduced organic traffic, which affects adversely the profit-making of the firm.
How Do Google Core Updates Work?
On a class of its own, Google’s Core Update is part of Google’s continuous effort to improve the relevance and quality of search results. Its main function is to establish a leveled playing field, ensuring that all websites rank based on their merit and relevance to searcher’s queries.
Google’s Core Update falls under the category of Google’s consistent attempt at making search results more relevant and superior. The primary aim is to provide a level playing ground for all sites, enabling the ranking of the pages in tune with searchers’ queries and their respective quality and significance.
This is a vast algorithm update that involves numerous factors and considerations and does not focus on particular industries or websites. Instead, it reassesses websites against Google’s updated ranking criteria.
Although the intricate workings behind Google’s Core Updates are unknown, there is certainly no secret about the fact that they happen multiple times a year. During this deployment, the algorithms will move across websites and based on the types of content the update values, shifts in websites’ search rankings are to be expected.
These updates are not penalties.
If your site experiences a drop in rankings following a Core Update, it doesn’t necessarily mean there’s anything ‘wrong’ with your website. Instead, it could suggest that an aspect of your site or content may not align as closely with Google’s latest interpretation of quality or relevance.
How Can a Google Core Update Affect Your Website for the Worse?
A Google Core Update can shake up rankings and visibility on the SERPs in multiple ways.
For example, your website may experience a drop in rankings if its content or user experience doesn’t align closely with Google’s updated interpretation of user intent and quality. Sites that fail to meet Google Search Essentials (formerly Webmaster Quality Guidelines) or E-E-A-T (formerly E-A-T) are very likely to see their visibility deteriorate.
A Google Core Update can also affect your website for the worse in several other aspects:
- Changes in Search Snippets: Google may modify how your website’s snippets appear in search results, impacting your click-through rate.
- Relevance and Quality Assessment: The update assesses the relevance and quality of your content, which could lead to decreased visibility if your content is deemed less valuable or outdated.
- Competitor Gains: While some websites may experience a decline, others might see improvements in rankings and traffic. Competitors with more relevant, authoritative, and high-quality content could gain an advantage, leading to a shift in the competitive landscape.
- Technical Issues: Google’s algorithms may also consider technical aspects of a website, such as page speed, mobile-friendliness, and security. If your site is lacking in these areas, it could be negatively affected by a Core Update.
It’s worth noting that fluctuations can also be positive. Following an update, some sites may see improved rankings if their content and user experience align more closely with Google’s updated criteria. That’s why keeping an eye on the Google Search Central blog is an essential practice for website administrators and digital marketers.
How to Prepare Your Website for Future Core Updates
To ensure your website is well-equipped to handle future Google Core Updates and keep your site in optimum shape, consider implementing the following best practices:
- Create high-quality content. Focus on producing valuable content that serves the needs of your target audience and will encourage them to take the desired action on your website.
- Optimize user experience. Improve website loading speed, mobile responsiveness, and overall UX to enhance engagement and satisfaction. A good UX can help businesses achieve a 400% conversion rate.
- Build authoritative backlinks. Seek opportunities to acquire high-quality backlinks from reputable and relevant sources to establish authority in your niche. The number of backlinks your website needs largely differs from one industry to the other, as explained in our case study.
- Optimize for Core Web Vitals. Core Web Vitals are a set of user-focused metrics related to page loading, interactivity, and visual stability. Google uses these metrics as ranking factors.
- Monitor analytics. Regularly track and analyze your website’s performance to identify areas for improvement and address any negative impacts from updates.
- Stay in alignment with Google’s E-E-A-T guidelines. These principles (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness) play a significant role in how Google rates websites. Understand them and ensure your site displays these qualities.
For a deeper understanding, check our articles on:
Google Core Update: Key Takeaways
Adapting to Google’s algorithm updates, including the Core Updates, is crucial for maintaining and improving your website’s visibility in search results. By understanding how these updates work and taking proactive steps to optimize your website and content, you can ensure that your online presence remains strong and resilient.