Is Your Website Ready?
If you’ve been focusing on providing helpful, useful information on your website focused on the E-E-A-T principles, then the Google Core Update for August 2023 should be nothing to fear. For the second time this year, Google has launched a core search update with the goal of improving the user experience in search results.
It’s interesting to us at Dragon Horse that the timing coincides with the rollout of AI-enhanced search results. If this is part of the impact, it will make having a strong content plan and high-quality content production more important in your overall digital marketing strategy so your website is featured in that new AI-enhanced section.
How Does a Core Update Work?
The full rollout for this particular update could take up to two weeks to complete. These updates typically include important algorithm updates to improve how Google accesses data across all websites. (Hmmm, smells like deep AI learning, no?) Although Google doesn’t target any specific websites, there are likely to be winning and losing websites in the days ahead. Some sites may lose ground, and some who were negatively impacted by previous core update rollouts may be able to recover some rankings.
One way to think about how a core update works is to picture making a list of your top 50 songs six months ago. Now later in 2023, you refresh your list. Naturally, your list is going to change. Some new and great music that didn’t exist before is now on the list. And you may reassess some music previously on the list and realize those songs deserved a higher spot than before.
This is how Google adjusts its algorithm. Some factors that used to be more important, such as domain name, are less important today. Others, such as E-E-A-T-oriented content, have greater weight.
Google August 2023 Core Update Highlights:
Name: Google August 2023 Broad Core Update
Launch Date: August 22, 2023, around 1:30 pm ET
Duration: The rollout is anticipated to span one to two weeks
Scope: It encompasses all content types
Nature: This isn’t a punitive update. The essence of the new code lies in acknowledging and rewarding high-quality web pages.
Reach: A genuinely global update; its effects will be felt across all regions and languages.
Impact Level: Google hasn’t provided explicit figures regarding the percentage of affected queries or searches. Early impressions suggest it’s a standard core update with swift and broad-searching impacts.
Additional Features: The core update influences Google Discover, and featured snippets, among others.
Recovery: Websites affected by this update should scrutinize and align their content with Google’s core update guidelines.
Future Prospects: Google plans to refresh this algorithm intermittently and may or may not announce such updates moving forward.
Key Points About the Google 2023 Core Update
- Impact of Core Update: Core updates can affect a website’s search performance – positive, negative, or not at all. A drop in page performance following a core update does not necessarily mean there’s an issue with the website. It could be due to adjustments made by the update itself.
- Choose Relevance over Technical Fixes: If rankings drop, Google advises improving the overall quality of the website’s content rather than seeking technical fixes. Google suggests closely examining poorly performing pages, understanding the search terms that led users to those pages, and comparing content against Google’s provided questions to identify areas of improvement.
- Recovery and Timeframe: Recovery from a core update’s impact can take time, depending on your content strategy, often several months, even with a focused effort. Don’t wait to fix a drop in SEO rankings; Google continuously refines its algorithms and may release minor updates that positively affect pages that have made improvements.
- Content Improvement is Key: Google recommends aligning content with user search intent. Businesses and SEO professionals are encouraged to remain patient, prioritize content quality improvement, and avoid seeking quick fixes in response to the update.
Guidance from Google: Content and quality questions from their developer site
Last year’s Helpful Content Update started a renewed focus on quality over quantity. Google suggests asking yourself these questions about your website and page content.
- Would you trust the information presented in this article?
- Is this article written by an expert or enthusiast who knows the topic well, or is it more shallow?
- Does the site have duplicate, overlapping, or redundant articles on the same or similar topics with slightly different keyword variations?
- Would you be comfortable giving your credit card information to this site?
- Does this article have spelling, stylistic, or factual errors?
- Are the topics driven by the genuine interests of readers of the site, or does the site generate content by attempting to guess what might rank well in search engines?
- Does this article provide original content or information, original reporting, original research, or original analysis?
- Does the page provide substantial value when compared to other pages in search results?
- How much quality control is done on content?
- Does the article describe both sides of a story?
- Is the site a recognized authority on its topic?
- Is the content mass-produced by or outsourced to many creators or spread across an extensive network of sites so that individual pages or sites don’t get as much attention or care?
- Was the article edited well, or does it appear sloppy or hastily produced?
- For health-related queries, would you trust information from this site?
- Would you recognize this site as an authoritative source when mentioned by name?
- Does this article provide a complete or comprehensive description of the topic?
- Does this article contain insightful analysis or interesting information beyond the obvious?
- Is this the page you’d want to bookmark, share with a friend, or recommend?
- Does this article have excessive ads that distract from or interfere with the main content?
- Would you expect this article in a printed magazine, encyclopedia, or book?
- Are the articles short, unsubstantial, or otherwise lacking in helpful specifics?
- Are the pages produced with great care and attention to detail vs. less attention to detail?
- Would users complain when they see pages from this site?
For more information on creating content using Google’s guidelines, https://developers.google.com/search/docs/fundamentals/creating-helpful-content
Remember, the new core update will continue to roll out over the next few weeks and conclude sometime in September. Questions remain as to what sites will be affected by the update, and the impact won’t necessarily be bad.
Expert SEO Services, Content Planning and Website Development
It’s important to continuously work on improving your website. Like making a Top 50 Songs list, some of the information and technology you started with can grow outdated. Adding new content monthly and refreshing your website’s design on a regular basis can ensure you stay relevant in search rankings.
If your site sees a dip in SERP rankings or wants to proactively develop a website strategy that works for the long term, Dragon Horse Agency is your one-stop solution. As a full-service marketing agency, we offer award-winning website design services and a complete array of digital marketing services, including SEO, content, and paid search.
Ready to get started on a better SEO plan? Contact us today.