Nothing shakes up the digital world like the latest Google algorithm update which has made the website rankings take a tumble. The day of March 13th 2019 witnessed the SEO community going into a frenzy when David Sullivan of Google confirmed the broad core algorithm update on Twitter, which was initially branded ‘Florida 2.0’.
The days preceding this big announcement witnessed the build up for this transformation as Brett Tabke from Pubcon was informed about the arrival of a significant update by Google when he enquired about the same. There were a few small updates at the beginning of the year which made way for this noteworthy change which is now dubbed as ‘March 2019 Core Update’ by Google.
In the past when the broad core update was released, it turned out to be a huge jolt for the health and wellness sector with a plethora of websites getting affected. However, our experts at Netvision were in control of the situation and analysed the rankings of the client websites which were not affected much thanks to our effective organic SEO services. Meanwhile, a variety of businesses have been at the receiving end of an extreme downfall in rankings on commercial keywords which had a significant search volume.
The global analysis made it clear that the update is universally applicable to all the countries and foreign language websites are also affected. It is too soon to predict the implications of this update, and we need more time to assimilate its impact on the industry. However, we have compiled the data recovered from all the sources so far to give you an insight into the matter.
A broad core update aims at enhancing Google’s algorithm so that it can competently assess the search queries and web pages. Thus the search engine giant can more effectively match the query to relevant web pages and amplify the user satisfaction. One thing that is pretty apparent is that this update is not about any specific industry or niche business because broad core does not cover niches.
Various tools are being utilised by our professionals to understand the dynamics of this update. All the SERP trackers are pointing towards considerable volatility peaking on March 12th and continuing till March 14th. This volatility is much higher than what we witness during the minor tweaks which Google makes almost every day.
The broad core update which took place in March 2018 created similar results, and the focus was on improving the quality of the content. This time around as ‘March 2019 Core Update’ is rolling out, it appears the emphasis may not be on content. An overview highlights that Google is concerned about the relevance of the content, backlinks and user intent. However, one thing remains certain that there is nothing to fix and the focus should be on creating more relevant websites.
Another aspect that has a major chunk of the SEO community on the same page is that this broad core update has hit the sectors which need to follow the E-A-T search quality guidelines. The update may be related to the quality of backlinks. For example, whether the domain from where these links are coming fall into the criteria of E-A-T (expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness) or not.
Additionally, many reports suggest that the volatility is way higher in mobile searches as compared to the desktop search market. This may not be surprising as most of the search queries are being generated from mobile phones these days.
Some of the reports that were coming from other sources suggested that websites with higher anchor text optimisation were trending downwards as Google devaluated these links because of their low quality. However, these are merely conjectures at this point. As the update roll out gets completed, we will have more information, and eventually, the reports will start pouring in and give us a clearer perspective.
The immediate action taken by SEO executives should be determining the content that has been affected by the new update and rewriting it to meet the relevance standards so that it becomes valuable to the users. There are a few other steps that you can undertake to come out of the shackles of dropping ranks.
Evaluate the level of optimisation and relevancy of your website content, assess the backlinks, keep reviewing the SERP rankings, and check what is going up and what is coming down to make appropriate amends. However, a word of caution here is not to jump to assumptions. Research thoroughly and wait for more insightful reports before making substantial changes to your website.
Some of the experts concluded from their initial assessment that some sites have bounced back from earlier algorithm updates. Calling it a rollback of sorts, the experts shared that some websites which had been badly affected by the Penguin update were now showing signs of improvement. Traffic on these sites was reported to have rebounded, and some of the penalised sites were showing in the SERPs.
The Florida update was the first crucial transformation which was rolled out in 2003 and was given the name as it coincided with the Pubcon Florida SEO conference. It was a huge turning point in the history of SEO as it was released during the holiday shopping month and was aimed at the commercial terms.
It affected the rankings immensely. The latest update too has coincided with the conference and thus was named Florida 2.0 by Tabke, the founder of Pubcon and WebmasterWorld, which has been involved in naming the Google updates in the past. However, Google tweeted on March 15th that the name of the update is ‘March 2019 Core Update’ because it helps to determine the type of update and when it took place.
Every year hundreds of algorithm updates are initiated by Google which do not cause a lot of ranking fluctuations. However, every once in a while there is a big update like ‘March 2019 Core Update’ which causes a huge furore due to its impact on the rankings. We are tracking the changes and will keep you posted about the details of the update and how to deal with it if your website’s rankings have been hit badly.