Last Wednesday Google announced a massive “broad core algorithm update” had begun to be rolled out. The announcement was shared by Google on their Search Liaison Twitter account on Wednesday morning and was followed up by Danny Sullivan shortly after.
As with all of Google’s major updates, it has been scrutinised for widespread ranking fluctuations and you may have seen this happen across your own websites. Many thought that it may help their rankings increase but a lot of websites have seen a fallout in their rankings.
What Do We Know About the Update?
- The August update is a major one, as opposed to the minor ones that happen daily.
- Many key ranking changes have been detected for users search queries.
- The update is aimed at improving user experience and so far is providing highly contextual results.
- Unfortunately, there is no quick fix for affected websites. Unlike previous Google updates.
What Exactly is a Broad Core Algorithm Update?
As you probably know, Google makes changes to their search algorithm several times a day, but they are minor changes that don’t get reported and Google doesn’t reveal much about them. These minor updates come under the “core algorithm” title and Google implemented over 630 of them last year alone. Usually, you won’t even notice these updates have occurred and your rankings will fix themselves within a couple of days.
However, Broad Core Algorithm Updates happen only a few times a year and usually come with changes that significantly change search results for users. They are focused on improving the quality of search results, giving users better and more relevant websites for their queries.
This became common knowledge in March when Google announced,“Each day, Google usually releases one or more changes designed to improve our results; some are focused around specific improvements and some are broad changes. Last week, we released a broad core algorithm update. We do these routinely several times per year….”
What’s the Difference Between a Core and Broad Core Algorithm Update?
Google will never give a full overview of what is included in its algorithm updates so it can be hard to decipher what exactly has been changed. However, we do know that broad core updates are rolled out to make search results better and more relevant for Google’s users. This means that the focus leans more towards the quality of the content and not the quality of the websites themselves.
It’s possible that you will have seen your rankings drop on a few pages over the last week but may not be because of your own website’s quality. In fact, Google says that fluctuations in rankings occur when pages that were “under-rewarded” previously begin to rank higher.
This is the statement Google released in regard to this following the update: “As with any update, some sites may note drops or gains. There’s nothing wrong with pages that may perform less than well, now. Instead, it’s the changes to our systems that are benefiting pages that were previously under-rewarded.”
How Can You Recover from Broad Algorithm Changes from Google?
If your website has been affected by the update, the only fix is to revamp your content strategy and focus on creating more relevant content for your target query/audience.
Shortly after the update, Google tweeted, “There’s no “fix” for pages that may perform less, other than to remain focused on building great content. Over time, it may be that your content may rise relatively to other pages.”
This, again, appears to be Google reiterating that the algorithm has shifted focus from keyword centric results to topic-based results. Google can then provide users with more insightful content that better fulfils their search intent.
If the broad core update has had a significant effect your rankings, then we recommend that you completely rethink your content strategy. A good idea is to have a cluster topic approach where you cater to user intent more and can rank better on Google.
Tips to Help Your Website Recover from Any Losses
- If some of your high-ranking pages have lost their position, look at the website that has replaced it and compare your content to them and work out how to make your content more relevant.
- Before you decide to make any significant changes, monitor your rankings closely. Google has been known to roll back changes before so you may get lucky.
- Write your content with extensive research to back it up. Danny Sullivan has continued to stress that high-quality content is becoming more and more important. On Twitter, he wrote, “Want to do better with a broad change? Have great content. Yeah, the same boring answer. But if you want a better idea of what we consider great content, read our raters guidelines.”
Need Help Strategising Your Content?
Digital Jumpsuit can help you work out the best strategy for your content marketing following the broad core algorithm update. Feel free to contact us on the form below for a free consultation or call 01422 646868