What's in this update?
Last month, Google’s Search team tweeted:
Today we released the August 2023 core update. We'll update our ranking release history page when the rollout is complete: https://t.co/sQ5COfdNcb— Google Search Central (@googlesearchc) August 22, 2023
While the exact changes are, as always, a closely guarded secret, it’s clear that Google is still prioritising good content. This core update’s changes revolve around providing truly useful, reliable, accurate content for visitors. Read Google’s announcement here.
Whenever Google releases these core updates, just keep an eye on your website analytics so you know where you stand.
What is a core update?
About 2-3 times a year, Google makes a major update to the algorithm which determines which websites rank higher/lower in their search engine. These are called core updates.
How does it affect my website?
Your website could be listed higher in search results (maybe even the first page!) and you’d enjoy an increase in visitor traffic.
On the other hand, your website could lose rankings in search result positioning, and you’ll notice a drop in visitors to your website which can be devastating.
What can I do about it?
The number one thing you can do is improve the contents of your website, by checking:
Spelling & grammar
Simply proofread everything and run a spellcheck.
The way it’s written
Ensure your content is easy to read. Not everyone is a professional writer, so try using AI writing tools to assist. Or contact MyWork for content lovingly written by our resident copywriter!
What is written
The core message itself should be invaluable to your readers. It should be useful, accurate and succinct. Avoid using confusing terminology or providing vague explanations.
How does Google know about the quality of content on my website?
Google has intensive computing resources that visits every website on the internet on a regular basis. Every page is visited, every word is read.
From the layout of your website, to the images, to the social media links, Google soaks it all in. Then its algorithm determines where it’ll place you in its search results.
What is Google's algorithm looking for?
At the heart of it, this is Google’s current focus. Read more on Google’s Search documentation here.
In any industry, where there are hundreds/thousands of websites talking about the same thing, Google will prefer the website that explains the topic most succinctly and elegantly, provided the most examples or references, and best answers all the questions of its visitor.
So, we encourage our clients to dedicate time and care into their website content. Pretend your website is your most talented, senior salesperson. That’s how it should be looking after your web visitors.
Is that all I need to do?
Yep. This is our top recommendation.
To optimise your website more for Google’s search engine is a process called “Search Engine Optimisation” or “SEO” for short.
There’s a long history to SEO and it’s always evolving. Of course, there are other SEO activities you can execute, but currently, better content should be your priority.
Other factors Google’s algorithm seems to favour/favoured in the past are: Keyword saturation, locality information, social media presence, website speed, website popularity (backlinks) and the list goes on.
Don't panic, it's not permanent
The core update started rolling out last month and is expected to take a few more weeks to settle, possibly late October 2023.
If your website has already been affected, either positively or negatively, positions may still fluctuate until Oct/Nov so don’t stress just yet if you’ve lost crucial positioning.
Even if you’re reading this blog long after these dates, good content should always be one of your top priorities.
Google wants to remain the top choice for anyone searching for information on the Internet. If Google starts serving useless search results, people wouldn’t use their search engine anymore, right?
So make your website more useful than your competitors’ websites and Google will rank you accordingly.