Whether you own a small or large business, if you have a website, you probably understand the power of online visibility and how it can help build awareness, drive sales, and boost revenue. But once you’ve been online long enough to survive one of Google’s core algorithm updates, you will soon recognize that all it takes is a simple difference in ranking factors to bring your website from the top of search results to obscurity within the blink of an eye.
If you have been impacted by the update or left wondering why you weren’t, here’s what you should know.
About Google’s October 2023 Core Update
On October 5, 2023, Google’s October 2023 core algorithm update was initiated, and it took a total of two weeks (14 days) to complete. These updates are designed to simplify online search for users by providing more relevant search results. This update was released with the intention to:
- Reward high-quality online content
- Reduce the amount of low-quality, spammy search results
- Enhance the overall user experience
As Google’s third core algorithm update, it is safe to say that they aren’t a new concept. Once you’ve learned the history of them, you’ll be able to understand just how much these updates have evolved throughout the years.
History of Algorithm Updates
Google’s algorithm updates are designed to enhance the user experience and provide users with the most accurate results for their search queries. As of 2020, Google began to classify its algorithm updates into these six categories:
1. Core Updates
Core updates refer to all elements that result in connecting users with more relevant content during their searches. Google generally rolls out core updates several times a year.
2. Helpful Content Updates
This update is all about rewarding quality content and implementing ways to weed it out from published content that Google may not consider to be helpful.
3. Link Spam Updates
In late 2022, Google began to develop link spam updates, which focus on mitigating deceptive link-building practices that add spammy links to gain more online visibility. Updates like these were created to help reduce the likelihood of spammy links appearing in Google search results.
4. Page Experience Updates
The page experience update focuses on the page experience. It considers factors, such as a website’s security, mobile-friendliness, and other Core Web Vitals. The first page experience updates were released in June 2023 and it was exclusively for mobile devices. In February of 2022, Google also launched a page experience update for desktops.
5. Product Reviews Updates
The product reviews update impacts online reviews on products ,services, and other potential user investments. It is designed to favor insightful and informative reviews to help users make the best purchasing decisions.
6. Spam Updates
Similar to link spam updates, spam updates aim to combat deceitful spamming practices. However, this algorithm update type focuses on reducing the amount of spam sites that may appear in search results.
Exploring Google Algorithm Ranking Factors
- Query words. 8.5 billion+ Google searches are performed daily; this occurs when users input relevant words or phrases into search engines.
- Relevance. 1,000 words+ of quality content can naturally include more long-tail keywords, boosting its relevance in Google search engines.
- Usability of pages. 60% of online users say website usability matters.
- Expertise of sources. 5 to 10 quality links for every 2,000 words are recommended.
- Location. 55% of users rely on Google Maps to discover relevant businesses in their area; searches performed closest to you have a greater chance of appearing in Maps.
- Settings – Each user’s preferred settings may vary.
Note: The value of each factor will vary based on your query type.
For more information, here’s what Google has to say about its ranking factors and how they operate.
Will Core Algorithm Updates Impact My SEO?
If you’re wondering if algorithm updates can have an impact on your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts, the answer is yes. One of the reasons this may take place is because when these updates occur, it can change the value of a ranking factor, or the ranking factors that are considered, overall.
Impacted by a Core Algorithm Update? Here’s How You Can Recover
Google search engines can be cruel after an algorithm update. If you felt the wrath of Google’s latest core update and you’re unsure of how to get back in the game, here are the ABCs of finding your way back to the top of page one.
- Analyze existing content and update (with E-E-A-T in mind). In March of 2014, Google added E-A-T to its guidelines. Some of several ways this concept suggests for you to update your content is by expanding the word count, adding more internal links, including an FAQ section that answers users’ most common questions, and more.
- Boost your website’s page speed. Page speed is an integral part of the user experience. Studies show the average page loading speed for results that appear on the first page is 1.65 seconds.
- Conduct a thorough content audit. The quality of the content on your website can make or break your ability to survive a core algorithm update. By performing a content audit, you can identify poor quality content, and use it as a roadmap to develop new, quality content.
Need additional assistance? Let the SEO experts at Dagmar Marketing help. Reach out to us today and learn how we can help you bounce back from a core algorithm update now!
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