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Google's Core Update: What is it? And What to Expect

We’re currently in the midst of another dreaded Google Core Update. But what  does that mean? What should you be doing to protect your Google rankings? And should you be worried?

Google's Core Update: What is it? And What to Expect

How often does Google update its algorithm?


Google updates its algorithms search algorithms all the time, obviously it needs
to do so to make sure searches are relevant to new content. A good example of
this would be keeping on top of the news cycle, when a major news story breaks
certain keywords around that story will pivot towards information about the
event. Imagine a natural disaster strikes a city. On a regular day people might
search for the city and the highest relevance search results might be for hotels,
flights, or other tourist information. However, this will change toward relevant
news articles in this specific scenario. At least until interest in the news story
dies down.


What is a Google Core Update?


It's Google’s less regular, major update of its search algorithm that occurs on
average 2-3 times a year. Although it’s becoming more frequent as time goes by.
Which is a good thing as it means each update is less likely to have a drastic
effect on your site. There’s any number of changes that can be made during an
update and if possible, we would advise you refer to Google’s information about
the reasoning for the update for an idea of just what might be the result.
On Its most basic level it can be just another algorithm update, it’s making
changes to increase the relevance of its content to the search user. The
difference here being that, while the type of scenarios discussed above are
minor and only related to a handful of specific keywords, the core update is a
major update that may affect more than 10% of the total keywords on the
platform. In a nutshell this is the same as the daily updates, just that the volume
of keywords, and therefor the number search results, that change are drastically
different.
More serious updates can fundamentally change the way Google ranks all sites.
Which in turn will change what becomes SEO best practice. This has happened
many times in the past, previous SEO casualties of Core Updates include
practices like keyword stuffing and meta data. Although other site features have
also been penalised in the past, a notable example being the Panda update
punishing sites that were light on content.


Will the Google Core update affect my site?


How long is a piece of string? Maybe it will maybe it won’t. If the keywords
related to your business that you rank for are some of those being updated, then
yes it will influence. But that doesn’t mean it will be a negative one. You might
start ranking higher than before without making any changes, Google might now
recognise your site as being more relevant to your audience. You’re more likely
to see negative results if you’ve been using negative SEO practises to boost your
ranking, buying backlinks etc.


How should I prepare for the Google Core Update?


Well there’s nothing technical you can do short term, when an update is upon us
it’s usually announced at the last minute by Google (though from experience
we’re not convinced that sometimes Google doesn’t start the update process
before even making an announcement). The best advice we can give is that
same advice we’d otherwise give, Core Update or not. That is to have a robust
and effective SEO strategy for your business. Make sure you have relevant and
engaging content on your site, use relevant keywords for your business (without
keyword stuffing), use whatever methods possible to build backlinks (again
without stuffing, quality over quantity) and make sure the site is technically up to
scratch, mobile responsive with a good page speed.
Should I be worried?

No not really, ultimately if Google is improving its service to its users that should
be a good thing for you. That is a long as you are relevant to your own user base,
are regularly updating your site with content and following SEO best practice.
Regardless of when you’re reading this, the current Core Updates isn’t the first
and it won’t be the last. As always, the only way to stay relevant on Google is to
have a solid SEO strategy.

Contact us today for more information about SEO.

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