Insights

4th June 2019

Google Announces a Broad Core Algorithm Update in June 2019 For the First Time – We Wonder Why?

For the first time in its history, Google has announced a major change to its search algorithm in advance. Usually any updates – whether they are major or minor – are only identified by the search community when major fluctuations occur to rankings across a broad range of global websites in the days and weeks after an update has occurred.

But in this case Google announced via Twitter the day before the update:

Google Search Liaison Update

And more tweets followed the next day – you can see these here.

So why has Google decided to break their code of silence? Google says it wants to limit the amount of ‘white noise’ that follows a suspected algorithm update, where ranking fluctuations are experienced and website owners make knee jerk alterations to their sites.

As Google tweeted:

“Sometimes, we make broad changes to our core algorithm. We inform about those because the actionable advice is that there is nothing in particular to “fix,” and we don’t want content owners to mistakenly try to change things that aren’t issues….”

Danny Sullivan, the official Google Search Liaison, went on to say:

Danny Sullivan June 2019

It is clear that Google don’t want you to do anything in response to updates – as they have stated in the past:

“There’s nothing wrong with pages that may now perform less well. Instead, it’s that changes to our systems are benefiting pages that were previously under-rewarded.”

Great for the websites that are being rewarded but this advice simply doesn’t make sense for the websites that are now being out ranked. This change in ranking could mean a significant loss of traffic and revenue for an individual business so of course there are now ‘issues’ that the site owner will want to ‘fix’ in order to regain the better ranking positions.

So what can you do if your rankings have been adversely affected by an algorithm update?

Unfortunately, there is no easy way to identify issues that have occurred because of an algorithm change. There are no online tools you can use – as they will not have been updated with the new data.

Our advice is to go back to basics and double check that your website pages have a decent level of SEO in the following top 10 ranking factors – and by decent we mean better than the competitor sites that are now outranking you:

NB: You are trying to figure out why your page is not being viewed by Google as relevant as another site anymore.

  1. Content aligned to search intent
  2. Content quality
  3. Content relevance/topicality
  4. Content freshness
  5. External Linking
  6. Internal Linking
  7. Page loading speed
  8. Mobile responsiveness
  9. Structured data
  10. Site coding

If there is a weakness in any of these core areas of SEO it may now be being picked up by algorithm changes – which are after all designed to improve the set of results for a searcher looking for the best match or most useful websites and information.

And don’t forget that in SEO it is the multitude of pages that make up the whole. So a page that scores weakly, even if it is further down the site architecture, can bring down the overall rankability of other higher scoring pages – IF there are competitive website pages to rank higher.

What To Do About The June 2019 Broad Core Algorithm Update

Google’s advice is to do nothing. But they are looking at the picture from the user end of search i.e. producing the best set of search results for their customers – the searcher. They are not as interested in the other end of search – the individual business being listed and what happens to them when they experience ranking fluctuations. That is the real reason they tell you to do nothing – they aren’t thinking about you in particular.

This advice is not really acceptable on an individual basis – it is your profits that are being affected.

Google updates can take a few weeks to settle so it is best to use this time to run your pages through the top 10 test above and then make any improvements identified if rankings have not recovered in the interim.

If you would like any more help or advice on algorithm updates give us a ring on 01225 439960 or get in touch via our website.

Article by: Tom, Managing Director More articles by Tom

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