Yesterday, Google announced that they have released a broad core algorithm update.
The January 2020 Core Update is now live and will be rolling out to our various data centers over the coming days.
— Google SearchLiaison (@searchliaison) January 13, 2020
Unlike the small changes Google make to their algorithm on a daily basis, designed to incrementally improve how the Google algorithm interprets and ranks pages (e.g. Page speed, EAT and meta data) and are usually barely noticeable. Broad core algorithm updates, as the name suggests, are much more significant and look at providing an overall improvement to the algorithm.
Although Google does not provide any specific information on what to look out for if a site is affected by the update, they do recommend that any sites or pages that are hit by this should be assessed against the following criteria where relevant:
Content and quality questions
- Does the content provide original information, reporting, research or analysis?
- Does the content provide a substantial, complete or comprehensive description of the topic?
- Does the content provide insightful analysis or interesting information that is beyond obvious?
- If the content draws on other sources, does it avoid simply copying or rewriting those sources and instead provide substantial additional value and originality?
- Does the headline and/or page title provide a descriptive, helpful summary of the content?
- Does the headline and/or page title avoid being exaggerating or shocking in nature?
- Is this the sort of page you’d want to bookmark, share with a friend, or recommend?
- Would you expect to see this content in or referenced by a printed magazine, encyclopedia or book?
- Does the content present information in a way that makes you want to trust it, such as clear sourcing, evidence of the expertise involved, background about the author or the site that publishes it, such as through links to an author page or a site’s About page?
- If you researched the site producing the content, would you come away with an impression that it is well-trusted or widely-recognized as an authority on its topic?
- Is this content written by an expert or enthusiast who demonstrably knows the topic well?
- Is the content free from easily-verified factual errors?
- Would you feel comfortable trusting this content for issues relating to your money or your life?
Presentation and production questions
- Is the content free from spelling or stylistic issues?
- Was the content produced well, or does it appear sloppy or hastily produced?
- Is the content mass-produced by or outsourced to a large number of creators, or spread across a large network of sites, so that individual pages or sites don’t get as much attention or care?
- Does the content have an excessive amount of ads that distract from or interfere with the main content?
- Does content display well for mobile devices when viewed on them?
- Does the content provide substantial value when compared to other pages in search results?
- Does the content seem to be serving the genuine interests of visitors to the site or does it seem to exist solely by someone attempting to guess what might rank well in search engines?
We would also recommend ensuring that page speed is also factored into these checks, as this remains an important rankings factor for Google and all other search engines.
If you’re interested in finding out more about what we can do for your brand, get in touch with us today.
by Zack Cornick