It’s time to get prepared for Google’s updated algorithms! With the latest broad core update from the search engine giant, we may see some major fluctuations in the next few months. For those who rely on tracking tools and SEO strategies to rank their websites or companies higher in search results, understanding this upcoming Google algorithm update is essential. In this article, we will discuss what you need to know about the Google Algorithm Update taking effect in August 2023 so that you can be best prepared for any changes.
What Is a Broad Core Update?
A Broad Core Algorithm Update is a major change to Google’s search algorithm that affects the ranking of web pages in search results. The March 2023 Broad Core Update was the first major update of the year and had a significant impact on website visibility. It focused on improving user experience by better understanding user intent, assessing page quality, and rewarding well-structured, relevant, and comprehensive content.
Understanding Core Updates and Their Impact
Google’s core updates are like the heartbeat of its search algorithm. They represent significant changes to how Google ranks websites in its search results. While minor updates are frequent and affect a specific aspect of the search, core updates are more substantial and can shake things up in the search rankings.
The Rollout Process
The rollout process for a Google Algorithm Update starts with the Broad Core Update. This step involves testing new and improved algorithms to determine which changes will provide the best user experience. After this initial testing, Google then begins rolling out the Broad Core Update across its entire network of servers.
- Core Update Rollout: During this phase, the updated ranking algorithm is rolled out across all regions and languages. This means that web pages may start showing different search results depending on where they are located.
- Changes in Rankings: Once the Core Update is fully rolled out, webmasters should expect to see changes in rankings for their websites in SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). They should also look for any potential issues or penalties that may have been caused by the update.
- Monitoring Changes: Webmasters should closely monitor their website performance during and after the rollout of an algorithm update to ensure that their ranking remains stable and that any changes are beneficial to their website’s visibility.
Google typically releases these updates in stages, which can take a couple of weeks to fully roll out. This gradual approach aims to minimize disruptions across the web and give site owners time to ada
What you need to know
The August 2023 Broad Core Update
The August 2023 Google Algorithm Core Update was a major change to the ranking algorithms that had wide-reaching impacts on websites across the web. The update focused on better understanding user intent, assessing page quality, and rewarding well-structured, relevant, and comprehensive content.
Websites that have worked to build authority through helpful content and internal links saw an increase in organic traffic and improved rankings in SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). This update also reinforced the importance of topical authority by prioritizing topics based on relevance and relevancy. With this updated algorithm, search engine users will be presented with more helpful content when they search for something online.
Case Studies and Examples
On August 24th, the Broad Core Algorithm Update hit harder for SEO Professionals as their website rankings were impacted, in this case, several websites presented an increase due to the hard work they put on over several months, and they got their reward. The key to success now is staying on top of the changes and ensuring content is up-to-date and relevant.
That same date, Google Broad Core Algorithm Update had also a major impact on websites, leading to a drop in rankings and traffic due to changes in ranking algorithms. To minimize the effects of this update, webmasters should focus on creating helpful content that is up-to-date and relevant for improved visibility. Here are a few examples of websites that have a negative impact on their organic traffic.
Impact on Search Rankings
The August 2023 Google Algorithm Core Update had a major impact on search rankings, potentially resulting in a drop in rankings or even a complete drop. This can lead to a decrease in website traffic and a massive drop in visibility.
Additionally, websites may experience changes in search queries—as the algorithm prioritizes different topics and keywords over others—leading to a further ranking drop. To minimize any negative effects of the update, webmasters should focus on improving their content quality, relevance, and structure while also monitoring their website performance closely.
Core updates are notorious for causing ranking fluctuations. Your website’s position in Google search results may experience turbulence during and after a core update. Here’s why:
- Algorithm Refinements: Google’s core updates refine the algorithm’s understanding of user intent. Your site’s relevance might change as a result.
- Competitive Shifts: Your competitors may also adjust their strategies in response to core updates, affecting your ranking relative to theirs.
- Content Quality: If your content doesn’t align with the updated algorithm’s quality guidelines, you might see fluctuations.
Tracking And Analyzing The Update
Utilizing SEMrush Sensor
Tools like SEMrush Sensor can help you track changes in search rankings and identify trends related to Google’s algorithm updates.
Google Analytics 4 For Insight
Google Analytics 4 provides valuable data on your website’s performance. Use it to gain insights into user behavior and identify areas for improvement.
Key Factors Influenced By Core Updates
- EEAT (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness): The Core Update placed a strong emphasis on the importance of authoritative content that provides a high degree of expertise. This means websites must demonstrate their credibility and trustworthiness in order to rank well.
- Helpful Content: Content creators should focus on providing helpful and relevant information that improves user experience. Articles with comprehensive coverage and detail will be rewarded with higher rankings in SERPs.
- Organic Traffic: Websites may experience a significant drop in organic traffic due to changes in search rankings after the Core Update.
- Core Web Vitals: This update introduced new metrics for assessing page speed and user experience on mobile devices, so website owners should ensure their pages are optimized for these criteria.
- High-Quality Content: The quality of content is now more important than ever before – articles must provide accurate information, be up-to-date, and have no spelling or grammar errors in order to retain good rankings on SERPs.
- User Experience: Core updates increasingly prioritize user experience, including factors like site speed, mobile-friendliness, and overall usability. Ensuring your website offers an excellent user experience is crucial.
- Backlinks and Authority: The authority of your website, as determined by the quality and quantity of backlinks, plays a significant role. Building credible, natural backlinks is essential.
- Relevance: Core updates assess how well your content matches user intent. Ensuring your content aligns with what searchers are looking for is essential.
- Technical SEO: Technical aspects like structured data, schema markup, and proper indexing can impact rankings. Ensuring your website is technically sound is crucial.
The Role Of High-Quality Reviews
One of the crucial factors that core updates often focus on is the quality of reviews. Google has become increasingly aware of the importance of online reviews in helping users make informed decisions. Therefore, it evaluates websites and businesses based on the quality and quantity of reviews they receive.
- Quality Reviews: Core updates prioritize high-quality reviews over sheer numbers. Fake or spammy reviews can have a detrimental impact on your rankings.
- Recency Matters: Google also looks at the recency of reviews. Frequent updates with fresh reviews signal an active and trustworthy business.
Core Update Recovery Process
If your site experiences a ranking drop, don’t panic. Core updates can be challenging, but with the right approach, you can recover and even improve your rankings.
1. Content Audit: Conduct an in-depth audit of your website content to ensure that all aspects are up-to-date and relevant. Focus on including helpful information about topics related to your industry as well as addressing user intent in each article.
2. EEAT Analysis: Assess the Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness of your content by analyzing how accurate and authoritative it is. This will help you gain more credibility from users and search engines alike.
3. Core Web Vitals: Optimize your web pages for the new Core Web Vitals metrics to ensure a good user experience on mobile devices. This includes ensuring page loading times are fast and visuals are properly optimized for smaller screens.
4. Topical Authority: Prioritize topics based on relevance and relevancy in order to gain authority with search engine algorithms and improve rankings in SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).
5. Authority & Trust: Establishing trust with users is essential for retaining organic traffic, so create content that is accurate and up-to-date while also addressing their needs appropriately.
6. Blog Posts: Incorporate blog posts into your website’s content strategy to further improve topical authority by providing additional information about trends, news, etc., related to your industry or topic area of expertise.
7. Ranking Release History Page: Create a page devoted solely to tracking changes in search engine rankings over time so that you can identify any problematic areas quickly and address them accordingly if needed.
8. Helpful Content: Place emphasis on creating helpful content—articles should provide accurate information while also addressing user intent—as this will be rewarded more highly by search engine algorithms now than ever before due to the Core Update’s focus on understanding user intent better than ever before.
9. Drop In Traffic: Monitor website performance closely after any algorithm update as this may result in a drop in organic traffic due to changes in ranking algorithms; if this occurs, take steps towards improving the quality of your content as well as its relevance and structure so that it is better suited for the updated algorithm criteria once again.
10. Unnatural Links: Review all links leading back to your site from other websites or platforms online as unnatural links may lead to penalization from search engines; remove any suspicious links or contact their webmaster if necessary so that these do not cause any further damage beyond the already present algorithm update effects.
Frequency Of Core Updates
Google Search is constantly evolving, and at the heart of this evolution are core updates. These updates are the lifeblood of the search algorithm, keeping it up-to-date and relevant. But just how often does Google release these critical updates?
- Regular Updates: Google Search undergoes frequent changes, with minor updates happening almost daily. These are tiny adjustments to the engine. However, core updates are more significant and tend to occur several times a year.
- No Fixed Schedule: Google doesn’t follow a strict timetable for core updates. They happen when Google deems it necessary to improve search results and user experience.
- Varied Timeframes: The time between core updates can vary. Sometimes they’re closer together, and other times, there are longer gaps. This unpredictability keeps webmasters and business owners on their toes.
- Monitoring Is Key: Given the absence of a fixed schedule, monitoring your website’s performance and rankings is crucial. Regular checks can help you identify if your site is impacted by a core update.
Google’s Approach To Announcing Core Updates
Google has a history of rolling out core updates, and there are valuable lessons to be learned from past changes. Understanding the patterns and behaviors of previous updates can help you prepare for the future.
Previous Core Updates
- June 2021 Product Review Update: This update impacted product reviews shown in Google Search, prioritizing helpful content and fresh reviews.
- January 2022 Reviews Update: This update focused on providing more helpful results for user queries related to reviews. It also introduced a new algorithm to assess the quality of product reviews in Google Search.
- May 2022 Helpful Content Update: This update aimed to reward websites with helpful content that improves user experience. The algorithm also looked at page structure, relevance, and comprehensiveness when ranking pages in SERPs.
- December 2022 Google Search Update: This update focused on improving the overall search experience by better understanding user intent and assessing page quality accordingly.
The Significance Of Product Reviews
In the digital age, product reviews have become a cornerstone of online shopping decisions. Whether you’re looking for a new gadget, booking a hotel, or choosing a restaurant, chances are you’ll check out what others have to say about it. Google understands this consumer behavior and has adapted its algorithms accordingly.
Product Reviews Pivotal Role: Product reviews act as a trusted source of information for consumers. They provide insights into the quality, performance, and overall experience of a product or service. Google recognizes their significance and has made a conscious effort to prioritize product review content.
High-Quality Product Reviews And SEO
To benefit from this update, focus on delivering high-quality product reviews that are:
- Informative: Your product review should offer valuable information about the product or service. Cover essential details like features, specifications, and user experiences comprehensively.
- Unbiased: Maintain objectivity in your reviews. Readers rely on your honesty and impartiality to make informed choices.
- Helpful to Your Audience: Put yourself in the shoes of your readers. What questions would they have about the product? Address those questions in your review.
- Engaging: Make your reviews engaging by including multimedia elements like images or videos. Visual aids can enhance the reader’s understanding and engagement.
Quality Matters More Than Ever
In the realm of SEO, quality has become a paramount factor. Google’s product review algorithm update seeks to reward websites that produce high-quality product reviews. Here’s why quality matters:
- Improved Ranking: High-quality product reviews are more likely to rank well in search results, attracting more organic traffic to your site.
- Enhanced Credibility: Quality reviews build trust and credibility with your audience. When users find your reviews helpful, they are more likely to return to your site for future purchases.
- Reduced Bounce Rate: Engaging, informative product reviews can reduce bounce rates as visitors spend more time on your site exploring your content.
- Positive User Experience: Providing quality product reviews aligns with Google’s goal of enhancing the user experience. This can indirectly boost your site’s SEO performance.
Product reviews have evolved to become a critical element in search algorithms. To leverage this shift, focus on creating high-quality product review content that informs, engages, and genuinely helps your audience. Quality matters more than ever in SEO, and by delivering valuable product reviews, you can not only improve your site’s ranking but also build trust and credibility with your audience, ultimately driving better results for your online ventures.
Google’s Link Spam Update
Link spam has been a persistent thorn in the side of SEO practitioners for years. These are manipulative tactics aimed at tricking search engines, especially Google, into thinking a website is more authoritative or relevant than it truly is. But Google isn’t one to sit idly by. It constantly evolves its algorithms to weed out these unnatural links and promote a fair and equitable SEO environment.
The Link Spam Update: In its ongoing quest to maintain the integrity of search results, Google introduced the Link Spam Update. This update targets websites that engage in link spam tactics, such as buying links from low-quality sources, using link farms, or over-optimizing anchor text to manipulate rankings.
Identifying Unnatural Links: One of the critical aspects of the Link Spam Update is Google’s ability to identify unnatural links more effectively. Here’s what you need to know:
Auditing Your Backlink Profile
- Regular Audits: To stay in Google’s good graces and ensure your website isn’t penalized, it’s crucial to regularly audit your backlink profile. Look for any signs of unnatural or low-quality links.
- Link Removal: If you spot any problematic links, take action to have them removed. Reach out to webmasters, request link removal, and disavow links that can’t be removed.
- Quality: Focus on building high-quality, relevant links that provide value to your audience. Quality links are more valuable than a plethora of low-quality ones.
- Natural Anchor Text: Avoid over-optimizing anchor text. Use a variety of natural anchor text that reflects the content and context of the linked page.
Google’s algorithms are getting smarter by the day, and they can differentiate between natural, quality links and link spam. As a website owner or SEO practitioner, it’s your responsibility to ensure your backlink profile is free from any manipulative tactics. By doing so, you not only comply with Google’s guidelines but also create a better user experience for your visitors, which, in the end, is what Google’s all about—providing valuable and relevant search results to users.
Core Web Vitals And Mobile Usability
In the ever-evolving landscape of SEO, user experience has taken the spotlight. Google’s algorithms are now laser-focused on ensuring users have a seamless and satisfying online journey. Key to this are the Core Web Vitals, which gauge critical aspects like page speed and mobile usability.
- Enhancing User Experience: Core Web Vitals are the metrics that matter. They measure how real users experience your website. A fast-loading, mobile-friendly site contributes to a positive user experience.
- Ranking Signals: Google considers Core Web Vitals as vital ranking signals. So, a website that offers a swift, mobile-responsive experience is more likely to rank higher.
- Mobile-First World: With mobile devices becoming the primary tool for accessing the internet, optimizing for mobile is no longer optional. It’s a necessity to cater to the majority of users.
Mobile-Friendly Update: Optimizing For Mobile Rankings
Google’s mobile-friendly update underscores the importance of a smooth mobile experience. As more users turn to their smartphones for searches, your website’s mobile-friendliness directly impacts your mobile rankings.
- First-Hand Experience: Take a moment to browse your website on a mobile device. Is it easy to navigate? Does it load quickly? This first-hand experience can reveal areas that need improvement.
- Mobile Optimization: Invest in mobile optimization. Ensure responsive design, minimize page load times, and prioritize mobile usability to capture and retain mobile search users.
In summary, user experience reigns supreme in the SEO realm, with Core Web Vitals and mobile usability at the forefront. Prioritizing these factors isn’t just about pleasing search engines; it’s about creating a seamless journey for your users, who are increasingly relying on mobile devices. By optimizing for mobile and addressing Core Web Vitals, you not only improve your rankings but also build a loyal user base that appreciates your commitment to a hassle-free online experience.
Authority Signals And Trust In The SEO World
In the intricate world of SEO, authority, and trust are paramount. Search engines, particularly Google, hold websites in high regard when they are perceived as authoritative and trustworthy sources of information. This authority isn’t built overnight; it’s an investment that pays off over time.
- Time-Tested Authority: Establishing authority takes time, and it’s not solely about being around for a while. It’s about consistently delivering valuable content and demonstrating expertise in your niche.
- Quality Over Quantity: The pursuit of authority isn’t a numbers game. It’s about producing high-quality content that resonates with your audience and provides solutions to their problems.
- User Experience Matters: A seamless user experience contributes to your website’s trustworthiness. Easy navigation, fast loading times, and mobile responsiveness are crucial factors.
Building High-Quality Websites
- Content Is King: High-quality content is the foundation of your website’s authority. It should be well-researched, informative, and engaging, addressing the needs and interests of your target audience.
- Topical Authority: Demonstrating topical authority by consistently producing content related to your niche or industry positions you as an expert. It also helps you rank higher in search engine results for relevant keywords.
- Long-Term SEO Success: Building authority and trust may not yield instant results, but it’s a long-term strategy that pays dividends. Websites that are recognized as authoritative are more likely to enjoy higher search engine rankings and sustained success.
Authority and trust are pivotal in the SEO landscape. Google values websites that provide value and demonstrate expertise in their respective fields. To achieve this, focus on producing high-quality content, optimizing user experience, and building authority over time. It’s an investment that not only enhances your search engine rankings but also fosters a loyal audience who trusts your expertise and relies on your website as a valuable resource.
Frequently Asked Questions
When does Google typically implement noteworthy alterations to its search algorithms?
Google typically releases several updates throughout the year, with significant core updates occurring a few times annually. However, the frequency may vary.
What are the most common signs of a ranking drop after an algorithmic update?
Common signs of a ranking drop include a significant decrease in organic traffic, lower search rankings for key keywords, and a decrease in user engagement metrics.
Can I recover my lost rankings and organic traffic after a core update?
Yes, recovery is possible. Focus on improving content quality, and user experience, and addressing technical SEO issues. It may take time, but your rankings can bounce back.
Is it true that Google prioritizes mobile usability in its updates?
Yes, Google places a significant emphasis on mobile usability. Ensuring your website is mobile-friendly and performs well on mobile devices is crucial.
How can I stay informed about future algorithm updates?
Stay informed by following official Google announcements, reputable SEO news sources, and industry experts like Glenn Gabe and Gary Illyes. Being proactive and adaptable is key in the ever-changing world of SEO.