Google Confirms “Broad Core Algorithm Update”

by | Aug 2, 2018 | Digital Marketing, Insights, Search Engine Optimization | 0 comments

Google’s Danny Sullivan confirmed today by means of a tweet a new Google broad core algorithm upgrade has rolled out and the internet is buzzing trying to understand what happened.

Let us explore what Google changed, will it survive and what you need to you do.

The purpose of Google’s official announcement was to convey four insights:

  1. Let the industry know Google has made an algorithm update.
  2. Also, let the industry know it was a major update.
  3. Communicate the change was to enhance how Google matches relevant results to search queries.
  4. Inform users that the websites that lost positions did not lose positions due to poor quality.

 

Google’s Official Statement from August 1st:

“This week we released a broad core algorithm update, as we do several times per year. Our guidance about such updates remains the same as in March, as we covered here: ‘Each day, Google usually releases one or more changes designed to improve our results. Some are focused around specific improvements. Some are broad changes. Last week, we released a broad core algorithm update. We do these routinely several times per year. As with any update, some sites may note drops or gains. There’s nothing wrong with pages that may now perform less well. Instead, it’s that changes to our systems are benefiting pages that were previously under-rewarded. There’s no “fix” for pages that may perform less well other than to remain focused on building great content. Over time, it may be that your content may rise relative to other pages.'”

Google’s Danny Sullivan followed with another statement to answer a query asking for more details. Danny Sullivan declined to issue specific advice about what to fix. And really, how can he when Google insists there’s nothing to repair?

The objective of the March tweet statement (much like the tweet from August 1st, 2018) was to draw a distinction between a daily improvement which targets a particular region and the more significant broad algorithm upgrades that impact the whole algorithm.

“Each day, Google usually releases one or more changes designed to improve our results. Some are focused around specific improvements. Some are broad changes. Last week, we released a broad core algorithm update. We do these routinely several times per year”

And what’s more, the advice issued was in regards to the way to respond to these upgrades.

Here’s the text of this follow-up tweet from March describing a drop in positions does not mean there’s something to correct in the website that lost rankings.

“There’s nothing wrong with pages that may now perform less well. Instead, it’s that changes to our systems are benefiting pages that were previously under-rewarded….”

Presumably, that announcement was to head off opportunists from the search engine optimization community that might use the upgrade as a means to advance the idea that there are certain quality problems that describe the ranking drops.

Nothing Wrong with Websites That Lost Rankings?

According to Google, if your website dropped ranking, it isn’t because your website has a quality issue.

“There is nothing wrong with pages which may now perform less well.”

“There is no “fix” for pages which may perform less well other than to stay focused on building great content.

“…there is nothing wrong with pages…there is also nothing specific that you be improving for that.”

Over the course of nearly 20 years experience of upgrades from a number of search engines, including Google, the best response has stayed consistent: Wait.

The reason why I say to wait is that virtually every important update was followed with a correction, what Google calls for a refresh.

As far back as I recall, nearly every major update had false positives or was too broad. Google then boosts the algorithm in order to decrease the number of false positives.

Here is what Google tweeted in March concerning the refresh:

“We will refresh our systems, but there’s also nothing specific for you to be improving for that.”

However, there are almost always false positives and unintentional search results.

This is what you should do:

  • If you find a bad search result, study it. Try to comprehend why an immaterial web page is at the very top.
  • If your website dropped in rankings, wait. The search results may vary. Sometimes the biggest changes occur in ten to fourteen days.
  • If your website dropped positions, study the top actors. Try to comprehend why users may think the website is more relevant. This gives you insight into how the algorithm could have changed.

Bear in mind, it is not your website that has done something wrong. Study the SERPs and attempt to identify why Google thinks that a user may prefer a top rated website.

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Brandon

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