With Google’s search engine market share pegged at 84% as of last month, it is wise to pay close attention to any and all news surrounding changes to their algorithm. This week, Google officially announced the rollout of its newest August 2023 core update of its algorithm. With rumors and speculation swirling, this follows their previous update back in March. It promises to refine search results in a variety of ways. Key focus areas will undoubtedly touch upon factors such as user experience, content quality, and the credibility of sources.
Core updates are major adjustments to Google’s search algorithm, designed to enhance the quality of search results. They have a notable impact on the visibility and ranking of websites. Staying informed about these updates is pivotal for anyone who wants their website to thrive in search results. From website owners to the experts running Authority Pilot’s SEO Management service keep a watchful eye on these updates due to their potential to shake up the ranking hierarchy.
A brief history of Google Updates
Before moving forward, let’s consider the recent history of Google’s algorithm updates. This should help to follow the cadence of critical updates that impact SEO strategy.
|April 2023 Reviews Update
|12 April 2023
|25 April 2023
|March 2023 Core Update
|15 March 2023
|28 March 2023
|February 2023 Product Reviews Update
|21 February 2023
|7 March 2023
|December 2022 Link Spam Update
|14 December 2022
|12 January 2023
|December 2022 Helpful Content Update
|5 December 2022
|12 January 2023
|October 2022 Spam Update
|19 October 2022
|21 October 2022
|September 2022 Product Reviews Update
|20 September 2022
|26 September 2022
|September 2022 Core Update
|12 September 2022
|26 September 2022
|August 2022 Helpful Content Update
|25 August 2022
|9 September 2022
|July 2022 Product Reviews Update
|27 July 2022
|2 August 2022
|May 2022 Core Update
|24 May 2022
|9 June 2022
|March 2022 Product Reviews Update
|23 March 2022
|6 April 2022
|Page Experience Update for Desktop
|22 February 2022
|3 March 2022
Core updates typically take a couple of weeks for the rollout to complete. It’s important to note that Google’s algorithm does not target specific websites or pages. However, that’s not to say that websites won’t experience changes to their Search Engine Results Pages (SERP).
Impact on Search Rankings
The goal of these updates is to improve the quality of Google’s algorithm in order to ensure users receive the most relevant, accurate, and up-to-date search results. When Google tweaks its algorithm, websites can experience notable shifts in their search rankings. The August 2023 core update is expected to zero in on factors such as relevance, quality, and user engagement. Navigating these changes requires adaptability and a deep understanding of your audience.
Google’s affection for user-centricity continues with this update. Crafting valuable, engaging content remains paramount. Additionally, ensuring your website is mobile-responsive and lightning-fast can give you an edge in the search results race.
Pages experiencing sustained declines in performance may not necessarily have any specific “issues” that require immediate correction. In lieu of taking corrective actions, Google recommends underperforming websites focus on consistently generating high-quality content.
Barry Schwartz reported on the tracking volatility in SEO before the update, which he speculates might have been part of an initial testing. Nevertheless, he currently asserts that he hasn’t observed substantial shifts in rankings since the official release. Schwartz went on to share some of what is known at this time.
- Target. Looks at all content types.
- Penalty. It is not a penalty, but rather rewards great web pages and content.
- Global Impact. All regions and all languages are impacted.
- Recovery. If you are negatively impacted, review your content and see if you can do better by following Google’s core update advice.
Content Assessment Questions
- Uniqueness and Value. Does the content offer original insights, research, reporting, or analysis? High-quality content goes beyond the surface, providing valuable information that can’t be easily found elsewhere.
- Clarity in Title. Does the page title succinctly summarize the content’s essence? A clear and descriptive title helps users understand what to expect before diving in.
- Grammar and Style. Is the content free from spelling errors and stylistic inconsistencies? Content that is meticulously proofread and well-written demonstrates a commitment to quality.
- Avoiding Mass Production. Is the content a result of mass production or outsourced to a multitude of creators? Quality content thrives on authenticity and expertise, rather than being churned out in bulk.
- Expertise and Authority. Is the content authored by a recognized expert or a passionate enthusiast who possesses in-depth knowledge of the subject? Trustworthy content stems from individuals who truly understand the topic.
- Building Trust. Does the content present information in a manner that encourages trust? Clear and transparent sourcing, alongside a credible presentation, instills confidence in the content’s accuracy and reliability.
What is Google E-E-A-T?
Google’s previous core update addressed what collectively became known as E-E-A-T — Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. Google isn’t particularly forthcoming about the specifics of what drives their algorithm, but they were quite clear on the importance of these factors and content quality as current and future cornerstones. The August 2023 update is expected to effectively tighten the reins on these aspects, re-emphasizing the need for well-researched and authoritative content.
The initial E-A-T update was followed by Google adding another E and clarifying they will recognize firsthand or life experience on the topic as being a benefit in the evaluation of your content. Searchers often want to know hands-on information before they decide to purchase something or use a certain service. The implication is that Google will reward pages where the author has actually experienced the topic they are writing about.
Imagine you’re looking for medical advice online. Whose opinion would you trust more—a certified medical professional or a random internet user? Google thinks the same way. Expertise signifies that content is authored by individuals or sources with proven knowledge and credentials in the subject matter. Whether it’s medical guidance, legal information, or insights into complex industries, content created by experts tends to carry more weight in Google’s assessment.
Authority is the gold star of the online world. Google values content from reputable and recognized sources. If a content creator or website has earned a solid reputation over time, their content is more likely to be considered authoritative. Think of it as the digital equivalent of a well-respected expert’s endorsement—when authoritative figures vouch for something, Google listens.
Just as you wouldn’t take advice from a shady character on the street, Google doesn’t want to promote content that raises red flags. Trustworthiness is about maintaining a consistent record of providing accurate, reliable information. Websites that prioritize transparency, cite credible sources, and have a history of producing content that stands up to scrutiny are viewed as more trustworthy by Google’s algorithms.
Other Important Ranking Considerations
Enter core web vitals: a set of metrics that measure user experience. Google’s update could shine a spotlight on your website’s loading speed, interactivity, and visual stability. A technically robust website could become your secret weapon.
Backlinks remain a potent ranking factor, but quality trumps quantity. The update might scrutinize the relevance and authority of your backlink profile. Performing regular link audits and disavowing toxic links can protect your website’s standing.
Case Studies and Success Stories
History showcases websites that triumphed after algorithm changes. These success stories reveal the strategies that helped them weather the storm. Learning from their experiences can equip you to navigate the update’s aftermath.
Expert Insights and Recommendations
Seasoned SEO practitioners offer pearls of wisdom for this update. Their advice spans from maintaining a well-structured site to weaving user experience into every optimization effort. Striking this balance is the crux of future-proofing your website.
Wrapping Up the August 2023 Core Update
Embrace the challenges presented by Google’s August 2023 core update. Keep your finger on the pulse of these changes to ensure your website’s continued success. Remember, it’s not just about conquering algorithms; it’s about enhancing user experience, creating content that resonates, and staying attuned to the digital pulse. As Google refines its criteria, you have the power to refine your strategies. To your success!