Google Algorithms updates in 2019: A closer look on What Google Wants you to focus on
Google is known for its long narration of eminent search index changes, refreshes, and algorithm updates. These changes are often momentous. So every time Google rolls out one, the internet assigns it a name.
2019 is no exception. On the second of June, Google made an unanticipated move by announcing that they were about to make an update. That came a day before the actual rollout.
That would be followed by web marketing experts dissecting the update. Ideas on how to recover from the update’s penalty would be dished out.
But as it appears, with every new update Google rolls out, they’re only trying to tighten the noose on some of the critical areas of content marketing. However, some of the sites that initially performed well end up paying heavily for their loose ends.
Much of what the world gathers about Google updates is pure speculation. But this year, Google had to go on a limb by making a prior announcement of their update. And that’s what makes it huge.
Google Broad Core Algorithm Update
Google made it clear that it does release this update multiple times in a year. Essentially, the update aims to improve Google’s search results.
The update focuses on improving the content site owners publish, often resulting in mixed results. In other words, the update works in favor of sites that focus on producing great content. So more often than not, their ranking soars after every update. But for websites on the other end of the spectrum, this updates will see to it that their search position tanks.
The underlying message of this update is that sites should go slow on over-optimizing their content for SEO and instead focus on coming up with the kind of content that enhances user experience. Otherwise speaking, this is one time that Google chooses to act blindly on crucial SEO elements, and instead ranks a site based on the experience it produces.
So, for a site to secure a prime ranking in the SERPs, its driving force should be to lavish their users with a more luxurious online experience.
The Update’s Impact
Mostly affected by this update are the sites that have been thriving on amassing search results. Websites that have been so focused on optimizing their content for SEO — instead of just writing original content that enriches user experience — ended up plummeting in the SERPs.
However, for sites such as HuffPost, Mirror, and Sun — or any content-driven site out there — this update saw an increase in their online visibility.
How to Recover from this Update
Google has made it clear that there’s no fix for sites that have been impacted by this update. The only way a site can redeem itself is by focusing on producing great content.
In this way, your content may begin to rise relative to other posts your competitors make. That’s not to say that something is wrong with your content should you find out that your search position dropped. It’s just that Google finds another article to be more efficient and deserving of a higher ranking.
The update’s background
Google releases this update multiple times in a year. They do this without focusing on one particular search term criteria or your website’s characteristics. Instead, they focus on making subtle changes that might drastically shuffle around how different sites rank.
So, while Penguin and Panda updates are specifically designed to look into the quality of content and backlinks, core update focuses on a cornucopia of all the factors that enhance user experience.
That goes to show that webmasters have no option but to focus on churning out great content. They have to steer clear of cosmetic SEO approaches. And the only way to achieve this is by writing with the end-user in mind, not search engines.
Speed is still of the Essence
It’s not a matter of producing great content and, boom! You have a prime spot in the SERPs.
User experience doesn’t divorce itself from speedy loading. And as it appears, Google isn’t interested in ranking sites that feature great content but load like molasses.
This update also challenges sites that stack large images — which slows down how their pages to load – thus resulting in a poor online experience for their users.
A bloated site will still struggle with appealing to search engines, regardless of their content efficiency. The only remedy left for such a website is to trim down its pages and work on improving its load time. Simply put, your site has to load in under five seconds.
Site speed has never been a standalone ranking element. But its impact stretches far and wide. So before you even think of improving your site’s content, you’d want to work on your site’s load time.
You can start by shrinking some of the images you have. Remove unnecessary ads. And most importantly, work on your site at code and server level by making sure everything is light and fast enough to improve its loading speed.
As it appears, this update was specifically targeting page over-optimization. Keyword usage has always been a critical element in determining how well your site ranks in the updates. But with every new update, sites that appear to overdo it are slapped with a penalty. And this update comes as the last nail to the coffin.
Keywords still play a crucial role in determining how Google ranks different webpages. But for webmasters, keywords are only good for giving you a rough idea on what to write about. As for the rest, you have to shift your attention from Google and other search engines and instead focus on user experience.
Conservatively optimized sites are the ever-smiling lot in this. It’s a zero-sum game. With every update, they’re always rewarded with a higher ranking as other sites take a nosedive.
That doesn’t entirely rule out the role of keywords in SEO. If anything, keywords are what search engines use to determine the relevance of your content or web page to a particular search query.
It’s simple logic. While keywords guide you on what to write about, users guide you on how to write and focus on.