Many companies find that their site’s search rankings are negatively affected following Google’s many algorithm updates. And, seeing how many changes are made throughout the year, it can be frustrating when you can’t see a way to regain any losses.
Fortunately, for the first time Google has released a post giving advice on how companies can take advantage of new core updates to improve their SEO rankings. Here are the key things you should be aware of following Google’s advice on core updates.
1. There is nothing to fix
Google has advised that there is nothing you can do to fix a site if you see a decline in search rankings following an update. “We know those with sites that experience drops will be looking for a fix, and we want to ensure they don’t try to fix the wrong things. Moreover, there might not be anything to fix at all.” They then added – “There’s nothing wrong with pages that may perform less well in a core update.”
Many companies are therefore questioning how they can improve their site’s search rankings and what they should do following core updates. Google said that what has changed, is simply how Google assesses the value of content. Companies should therefore focus on producing the highest quality content possible. Google advised – “We suggest focusing on ensuring you’re offering the best content you can. That’s what our algorithms seek to reward.”
2. Content should be written for the user/audience
While Google have reiterated the fact that there is no quick fix following updates, they have however given advice on how to improve the quality of your content. Google has released a list of questions with their blog that companies should ask themselves if their site has been negatively affected by the core update. This includes things such as:
- Does the content provide original information, reporting, research or analysis?
- Was the content produced well, or does it appear sloppy or hastily produced?
- Is the content free from spelling or stylistic issues?
- Does the headline and/or page title provide a descriptive, helpful summary of the content?
- Does the content provide a substantial, complete or comprehensive description of the topic?
Recent updates prove that writing for the user/audience is the most effective way to write quality content and will be favoured by the Google algorithms. Their advice on assessing content asks questions like “Is this the sort of page you’d want to bookmark, share with a friend, or recommend?” and “Does the content present information in a way that makes you want to trust it?” The emphasis is on the reader and their opinion on the quality and value of the content.
3. Content must focus on E-A-T
To improve search rankings, businesses must adapt their content to meet the new guidelines. One of the simplest ways to produce quality content is by focusing on E-A-T, which stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness. Companies can read the search quality raters guidelines to get further advice on how to improve the overall quality and effectiveness of their content. According to Google – “Reading the guidelines may help you assess how your content is doing from an E-A-T perspective and improvements to consider.” They added “If you understand how raters learn to assess good content, that might help you improve your own content. In turn, you might perhaps do better in Search.”
The list of questions that Google published in their blog include a section on E-A-T and what you should ask when writing content for your site.
4. There are no further updates confirmed
The post was not confirmation of another update. Google confirmed their June core update but since then, no other rumoured updates have been confirmed by Google. However, companies should be aware that unannounced updates occur on a regular basis. Google said – “We are constantly making updates to our search algorithms, including smaller core updates,” They added “we don’t announce all of these because they’re generally not widely noticeable.”
5. Google wants to improve the user experience
It is clear that Google’s ultimate aim in introducing the core updates is to improve the user experience as much as possible. In summary, companies should focus on building high-quality websites that offer users high-quality, trustworthy content which has been produced in line with the search quality raters guidelines and E-A-T.