Google’s Broad Core Update: What You Need to Know


Google’s Broad Core Update: What You Need to Know - Eric Sachs SEO

Google confirmed back in early August, via a tweet by Danny Sullivan, that the brand new Google broad core update had officially rolled out. While broad core updates come out several times per year, this most recent change is almost as major as Panda and Penguin were when they first rolled out.

As you might have suspected,  August’s major broad core update contains some pretty significant changes. In this post, I’ll lay out what these changes are, how you might be affected, and what steps you can take to stay on the right side of the SEO tracks.

What are Broad Core Updates?

Google makes updates to the core algorithm on a daily basis. Sometimes updates come as often as twice a day. These updates are minor tweaks that help to improve the way the crawlers respond to search engine requests so that they can provide better results. The Broad Core Algorithm updates happen a few times per year and, as usual, Google remains very vague about what the updates included.

What we do know is that Google says the update’s primary focus was to improve search results (sure, that seems kind of overly obvious, but stay with me). They claim that sites that lost ranking did not do anything wrong, but that sites that deserved better rankings are also now receiving more ranking to compensate.

The consensus is that there is nothing that can be done to fix the sites that did lose rankings, and that while the changes focused on page content, they had nothing to do with quality.

Confusing, right?

Google is not usually very transparent when it comes to core algorithm updates, and it is generally assumed that the updates target low-quality content. In this case, though, it seems as though Google announced the update so quell some of the rumors and panic, especially among site owners that did lose some ranking.

The problem is that site owners who were affected may think they did something wrong.  Some people were spending hours trying to figure out which unspoken rule they broke.

At the end of the day, that’s just not exactly the case. Google has clearly stated that this particular update addressed better query results in the search engines. It isn’t about penalizing, it’s about improving the base algorithms to better target “quality content.”

Who Did the August Update Impact?

While Google still isn’t telling us much, there is some info we know. According to Jamie Pitman of BrightLocal, it appears as though the majority of sites impacted were in the YMYL (Your Money or Your Life) niche. Most, albeit not all, focus on diet and nutrition. It also seems to have had an impact on random advice pages, especially those that have no EAT value (expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness).

The majority of SEO experts noted changes in both organic and local pack rankings. Especially affected are small local business clients and those who have had multiple locations.

Establishing Website Expertise and Authority

Despite what Google claims, sites that have lost ranking should attempt to regain it. That means that, while there may be no real “fixes” out there, the focus should remain on creating high-quality, authoritative content from trustworthy sources.

In other words, you should probably look to see if your site is affiliated with someone credible and trustworthy. But exactly what that means depends on your niche or industry. For the most part, you should be attempting to partner with at least one industry professional who can add expertise and accreditation’s to the mix.

For example, financial information pages should be somehow affiliated with content from bankers, brokers, and established industry experts. Medical websites and pages should be affiliated with credentialed healthcare professionals. Sites offering legal content should have some sort of affiliation with a licensed professional.

I’m not saying you have to depend on (or pay for) highly-trained professionals to create all of your content. I am saying you need to have them review it, fact-check it, and add their personal thoughts and opinions to it. This is an instance where knowing the right people pays off.

The real consideration, especially with YMYL sites, is that Google believes these sites have the ability to influence major consumer life decisions. The search engine is, in essence, attempting to protect the consumer by making sure the information presented within page content has been created in good faith and by people who have some expertise in the field.

Increasing Your Organic Ranking

A new broad core update is not a reason to stop striving for a better online ranking, no matter how harsh or unfair it might seem to those affected. Make sure you continue to monitor the web for mentions of your brand on other websites. When you see them pop up, send a brief thank-you message and ask the site owner if they’d be willing to add a link back to your website to the mention. This is surprisingly effective.

Review your site from time to time. Give under-performing content the boost it needs. Remember that a tiny portion of your site’s content usually drives most of your traffic, so it’s not necessarily a bad thing that some pages outperform others.

Use keyword research strategies to figure out which of your pages need a boost. Then, figure out which of your better-performing pages is the right place for internal linking. This technique is really the most beneficial if your higher-performing pages have a lot of external links pointing back to them already.

Continue to create high-quality content for your website. Remember, E-A-T. Bring in the experts, interview others who are authorities in your field, and create content that your readers (and Google) will find trustworthy, informative, and safe. Don’t forget to mix up your content formats to include text, images, infographics, and even video. It shouldn’t be all-text-all-the-time.

Have an older piece of evergreen content that doesn’t get as much traffic anymore because of its age? Give it a boost by making some timely updates, switching the references around, and then republishing it as a new article with a current date. You will improve your on-page SEO for targeted keywords and updating your website architecture at the same time.

I can’t say enough about how important I think it is to constantly improve your organic ranking, even when “times” get tough. The takeaway here is that no one will ever know exactly what Google has changed in any algorithm update, let alone a Broad Core update. The fact that they made any statement at all on this type of update speaks volumes and should give you a good reason to focus on quality content creation. With a consistent effort and dedication, you’ll continue to do well and grow over time – regardless of any shocking changes.

Have you been affected by the most recent broad core update? If you’re struggling, I’m available for consulting. Get in touch with me using this link.

SEO virtuoso, CEO @Sachs Marketing Group. Focused on being of service to business owners - helping to better position them in the eyes of their audiences.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *