Google’s Public Liaison of Search Danny Sullivan in a tweet confirmed that they have officially rolled out its broad core algorithm update earlier this month.
There was a buzz in the search community since people noticed large shifts in ranking and traffic. Google acknowledged the update and added that there was nothing that webmasters could do to update their websites if they were seeing a new drop in traffic. Likely, this update is not a penalization for websites, but a boost for results that successfully meet the needs of user intent.
What is a Core Algorithm Update?
A core algorithm update is a tweak in the importance, weight or values in some of the ranking factors used in Google’s main algorithm. This could include increasing the value of HTTPS, increasing the value of heading tags or more complex factors such as a TF-iDUF (Term Frequency User Focused Inverse Domain Frequency) retrieval method instead of the traditional TF-PDF method.
Previous Core Algorithm Updates
In May and April of 2018, Google released its “broad core algorithm updates.” Immediately following, Google said:
What You Should Do to Improve Rankings
Google has and continues to make updates to its core algorithm. These updates should not alarm webmasters if they are following best practices from a technical and content perspective. Core updates are designed to help the best content for a given query rise to the top. This ensures that if you’re following best practices for site speed and rendering, making sure that content is relevant and optimized to the keywords you’re targeting, and your site has a footprint in relevant web-communities, your presence in organic search shouldn’t be compromised. If your website has dropped in rankings, we advise that you observe this finding, but wait to take action.
These results may change as bigger changes take at least 10 to 15 days to fully take effect. Google has stated that there is nothing that webmasters can do to improve their ranking in SERP since the reason a site ranking has dropped is entirely subjective. However, we advise you to analyze top performing results to understand what may have changed in the algorithm and why users may feel that another site is more relevant to them. It is very likely that this algorithm has not penalized a site’s results at all — rather it most likely has rewarded another site and your site carried less weight for that corpus of results.
In order to continue a favorable ranking regardless of updates, keep focus factors alike, maintain the quality of content serving user intent, implement clean architecture on your website and follow the search quality evaluator guidelines laid out by Google.