SEO is a complicated discipline, combining a large number of tools, best practices that evolve occasionally, and constantly adjusting to Google updates. Google’s search algorithms consist of complex formulas involving hundreds of variables which are constantly being revised to serve the most relevant content from the most trustworthy sources to its users. As well as the daily updates to the system, Google will also sporadically announce targeted and broad core updates that can significantly impact a website’s organic ranking.
Rarely does a month go by without at least one major update from Google, but, by all accounts, September has been one of the most dynamic months for SEO in quite some time. Weeks after announcing the Helpful Content Update (HCU) in late August, Google announced its second core algorithm update of the year, followed just a few weeks later by announcing the latest Product Review Update. With the algorithm constantly in flux, it can be difficult to know where to spend your precious SEO time and money to try and ensure your site is well-positioned to stay stable during these updates. Here’s an overview of the September 2022 Core Update and what your business can do to best prepare for future changes to the Google algorithm.
The challenges posed by Google’s Core Update
Google’s core updates can significantly impact SEO by changing the ranking algorithm, which affects the position of web pages in the search engine results pages (SERPs). All the time and energy you have invested into optimising your website could be rendered meaningless if the core update eliminates ranking factors you’ve previously prioritised, as occurred during the May core update, which saw many websites experience significant drops in traffic. If your rankings drop and don’t rebound quickly, you could witness a decline in traffic to your website and, in turn, see a reduction in revenue.
When Google first announced their September core update, digital marketers and SEO specialists waited with bated breath, fingers crossed that it would be an improvement on the last core update. A cursory review of released data shows that the update hit fast but was far less volatile than previous updates. While the overall impact of the September Google core update may not have been as widespread as the May one, many websites have been impacted nonetheless, with digital marketers left scratching their heads at what exactly they have done wrong. If you haven’t already, you should start digging into your analytics data to see if any pages have lost visibility or rankings. Once you’ve identified which pages have been affected, you can develop a plan of action to improve those pages and regain any lost rankings over time.
While each of the recent Google updates is significant in its own right, together, they paint a picture of where Google is heading in terms of its search algorithm: an increased focus on delivering high-quality content that brings value to its users. Digital markets can use this information to stay ahead of the Google algorithm.
While it may initially be disappointing to see your page or site drop in the ranking after a core update, it may not necessarily mean something is wrong with your content. It may simply be a case of another website doing a slightly better job addressing users’ needs. This should reassure you that, by producing quality content, you can climb up the search engine pecking order. So, what qualifies quality content? Google has some sensible suggestions:
“Expertise, authoritativeness, trustworthiness” is a concept created by Google to determine which sites are reliable and are likely to provide trustworthy and helpful content to readers. For instance, an article about artificial intelligence written by an esteemed professor in machine learning at a highly regarded university is likely to be trusted more than an article written by someone on Reddit. Other factors that impact E-A-T include inaccurate or misleading content, content length, and the overall domain reputation.
Search quality raters are teams of people employed by Google to assess search results to determine whether they have actually addressed users’ problems or questions. While search rankers have no direct control over search results, Google uses insights from these teams to better understand if their algorithm is working as intended. Here are a few guidelines raters are instructed to follow:
Following search ranking guidelines, you can stay on Google’s good side and ahead of any core updates.
Stay on the pulse of Google’s core algorithm update
Core updates occur regularly and can have far-reaching impacts on your website and business. More and more consumers are using the internet to research potential purchases, and if your business doesn’t appear in their search results, you’re missing out on valuable leads. Here at eBusinessUK, we specialise in helping businesses like yours succeed online. We can help you create robust SEO campaigns to drive your website traffic and generate leads. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you take advantage and excel in the digital era!
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