First and foremost, why Google? As we all know, it is currently the undisputed king of search engines. Remember the last time you used Google to search for information? Chances are it was a recent event. This is why optimizing for Google is definitely the most effective search engine optimization (SEO) strategy.
Google uses a complex algorithm to crawl, index and rank websites. In simple term, it scans a website and determines its quality and relevancy. Whenever a user enters a search query, a complex system is used to retrieve the most relevant websites and display them in the search engine results page (SERP). Needless to say, websites with better quality content and relevance will be rewarded with higher rankings.
While they usually roll out minor tweaks and updates constantly, there will be occasional algorithmic updates that can actually impact SERP results. Here are some of the latest major updates from Google that you should take note of.
June 2019 Broad Core Update
3 months after the March Update, Google announced the June 2019 Broad Core Update. Being fairly new one, it is hard for experts to get an idea of what changed. Early analysis showed that some of the March updates were being reverted. Gambling sites and those in the health niche were also affected. Further analysis needs to be done as the update was rolled out only recently.
March 2019 Broad Core Update
Based on expert sources, this update is one of the biggest updates that we have seen in years! However, the folks at Google remain reclusive and it is up to us to analyse its impacts. Typically, a broad core update does not aim to target any specific industries or niche markets.
As Google did not share many details even months after the update, people are still trying to figure out what changed. Some analysis showed that the update is acting as a rollback of previous updates. In any case, it will be up to Google to reveal some details if it is indeed a major update.
August 2018 ‘Medic’ Update
As one of the biggest updates in 2018, the August 2018 Broad Core Update was also coined as the ‘Medic’ update. This is because it has significantly affected many websites related to the healthcare and wellness industry. Statistics have also shown that websites with higher domain authority are favoured in rankings.
There have also been significant ranking fluctuations for Your Money or Your Life (YMYL) pages. Google refers to YMYL websites as those that could “potentially impact the future happiness, health, financial security, or safety of users.” Being another broad core update, it means that there is very little that website owners can do if they are affected. As usual, it is always recommended for websites to improve their Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trust (E.A.T).
July 2018 ‘Speed’ Update
There are many factors that could potentially affect your SEO efforts and one of it is speed. Google updates are always aimed at improving user experience and this includes page speed as well. The ‘Speed’ update was rolled out to target websites that deliver the slowest experiences. This means that it will only affect your website if it is very, very slow. However, it does not mean that your website will not rank well. Experts interpret that even slow and clunky pages can still rank as long as there is still quality and relevant content.
What can we expect?
Google updates its search algorithm on a daily basis. With so many changes happening, it is difficult for websites to try and adapt to every single one of them. Google has been stressing that websites should not worry too much about these changes as long as they focus on building quality and relevant content. For now, there is not much that websites can do but heed Google’s advice and continue strengthening their content and improving user experience.