On August 22, 2023, Google made an official announcement about its latest core algorithm update at 12:39 PM. This update follows the one from March. Based on historical data, it is anticipated that this update will take approximately two weeks to fully deploy. Hence, it is crucial for SEO practitioners to monitor their Search Engine Results Page (SERP) rankings and overall organic traffic throughout the rollout.
What is the primary objective of this core update?
Similar to past updates, Google’s core updates aim to enhance the quality of its algorithm to ensure users receive the most relevant, precise, and current search results. It’s important to emphasize that core algorithm updates do not target specific websites or pages. Therefore, there is no need to be concerned about receiving manual penalties or having your site de-indexed due to spam or guideline violations.
However, this doesn’t imply that every website will remain unaffected by this update. In reality, some high-quality, relevant websites that were previously overlooked may witness substantial improvements in their SERP rankings due to adjustments made to Google’s search algorithm. Conversely, some websites that previously ranked higher may experience a drop in rankings.
Stay tuned to receive comprehensive information about Google’s latest core update.
Google’s Updates in 2023 So Far:
In 2023, there have been only two core updates, including the recent one and the one in March. Additionally, there have been two review updates, one in April and a significant product review update in February that completed its rollout on March 7th.
Before 2023, the last major core update occurred in September 2022, although it had a lesser impact compared to previous core algorithm updates.
Upon Google’s announcement of the August 2023 core update, the SEO community was abuzz with comments and speculations from professionals worldwide. Countless website owners are eagerly anticipating the effects of this update, with some expressing confidence that it will benefit them.
While Google officially announced the update on August 22nd, some SEO experts claim to have seen evidence of the update several days before this announcement. Their users report experiencing declines in traffic 5 to 7 days before Google’s official statement, suggesting that the update may have been quietly rolling out for a week or two.
Nevertheless, the implementation process will require at least a few weeks, and Google will update its ranking release history page once the rollout is officially completed. During this period, SEO practitioners should monitor their SERP rankings and analytics.
It’s also entirely plausible that your website may remain entirely unaffected by the update, so there is no need to panic.
What Does it Mean if Your Site Loses Position Rankings?
Unlike other Google updates, such as the recent Link Spam Update, seeing negative effects from a core update does not necessarily indicate an issue or ranking problem with your website. As previously mentioned, websites that were previously ranked low but were highly relevant to user queries may witness an increase in their rankings, leading to declines in rankings for other sites.
This suggests that if a website outranks yours, it likely means its content is of superior quality and relevance. It does not imply that you have been flagged for link or keyword spam or that your site has technical issues like crawling errors, duplicate content, or noindex tags.
Instead, your focus should be on enhancing content relevance, quality, and authority. Ensure that every piece of content you create for your website embodies the acronym E-E-A-T (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness).
Google added an extra “E” to E-A-T in December 2022 during the update to Google’s Quality Rater Guidelines, which stands for Experience. Consequently, Google’s quality raters now prioritize content that demonstrates first-hand experience, such as providing evidence of product usage when reviewing it.
Google’s team of quality raters determines what constitutes a high-quality website, influencing Google’s search algorithms. Consequently, E-E-A-T is expected to play a significant role in this latest core update, so ensure it is reflected in your content.
Recommended Read: How To Fix SEO Common Issues
Google’s Recommended Questions for Recovery:
If your website experiences negative impacts from the core update, Google provides a set of suggested questions to help enhance content quality. It’s crucial to reiterate that a decline in performance after core updates does not necessarily indicate a problem with your pages.
To aid SEO practitioners in understanding the core update development process, Google provides an example using a “best-movies list” analogy:
“If you made a list of the top 100 movies in 2021 and then refreshed it in 2024, it’s only natural that it will change.”
Similarly, exceptional new content emerges on the internet each year, just as remarkable new movies are released. Google’s core updates are akin to refreshing a “best movies” list to reflect the current state of the web.
To recover any lost SERP rankings, Google offers these questions to help you enhance content quality, as search algorithms reward outstanding content that is highly relevant:
- Does your content contain original research, insights, or analysis?
- Does it provide a comprehensive overview of the topic beyond the obvious?
- If the content draws from other sources, does it go beyond rewriting them and provide originality and additional value?
- Does the header provide a reasonable and accurate overview of the information presented in the content?
- Have you avoided using exaggerated “click-bait” titles?
- Is it the type of content you’d want to share on social media?
Answering these questions can assist you in identifying quality issues with your content, potentially leading to improvements in SERP rankings.
Google’s August 2023 Core Update
In summary, Google’s new core update will continue rolling out over the next few weeks and should conclude in early September. Whether or not your site will be affected by the update is uncertain, and the impact won’t always be negative.
If your site experiences a dip in SERP rankings, it does not imply that you have done anything wrong. The recommended course of action is to enhance the quality and relevance of your content and move forward.
If you require assistance in devising a successful SEO strategy for your business that can withstand Google updates, consider exploring BostonSEOPartners, our SEO services that have consistently delivered impressive results for our clients.