Google is making changes every single day. Most pretty minor… (and Google keeps those changes under wraps). But every now and again we see some major algorithm updates which can rock worlds and have a massive impact on search results.
In June 2019, Google released a Core Update and a Site Diversity Change. And in a rare move, they announced it in advance.
“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.”
So, what has changed? Generally speaking, core algorithm updates don’t target specific kinds of poor quality content (the minor tweaks take care of this). It’s more about improving search relevance. So, improving how Google sees search queries, how it understands web pages and connecting the two to allow for more relevant results.
As far as the site diversity change goes, Google told us it would improve situations where sites had more than two organic listings. That’s when you perform a search and there are lots of listings from the same site in the top results.
It’s been a month since the rollout. Now that the dust has settled, how has the Core Update and a Site Diversity Change affected your business? And what should we do about it?
Well, Google would say …nothing. But there has been a noticeable drop in rankings for many. So, as the updates seem to be related to relevance rather than quality, focus on what might not be relevant anymore – give your website an audit.
The most notable changes we’re seeing across the board are related to domain authority. This could be your website’s age and URL, backlinks, social media score, the authority of a certain page …the list goes on. If your site has experienced a drop in rankings, focus on your inbound link profile and connecting with other relevant websites in your industry.
Google tell us that the Core Update and the Site Diversity Change are unrelated. But it could potentially be a double whammy for your business. In the month since the update – when results can be measured, we’re still seeing lots of results where one site dominates. This may well be because Google see them as most relevant. Even so, there looks to be a lot more work left for Google to do in order to get site diversity working right, so expect another shake up to the rankings very soon. With that in mind, if you have a site with pages that rank for the same query in Google, keep a close eye on them to see how Google updates impact your site in future.
If you were hit by the update, or if you’d like to get some sound advice about best practice for the content and structure of your site, head over here for ways to get in touch.