Marching Forward – Google’s latest Confirmed Update

Published on March 21, 2018 by Alex Eade

Google’s latest algorithm update began rolling out several weeks ago, on the 7th March, with many sites seeing the impact just before, and after, this date.

Google confirmed the changes on March 12th.

Rather than an update concerning a specific thing, such as HTTPs, Mobile, Panda, or Penguin updates, this one was much broader, looking at the core algorithm.

Because it’s broad, there’s no actual name for this update.

This is what Google had to say:

‘Each day, Google usually releases one or more changes designed to improve our results. Some are focused around specific improvements. Some are broad changes. Last week, we released a broad core algorithm update. We do these routinely several times per year. As with any update, some sites may note drops or gains. There’s nothing wrong with pages that may now perform less well. Instead, it’s that changes to our systems are benefiting pages that were previously under-rewarded. There’s no “fix” for pages that may perform less well other than to remain focused on building great content. Over time, it may be that your content may rise relative to other pages’.

What does this mean?

Daily Updates

Danny Sullivan, at Google, confirmed that they do ‘some type of focused update nearly daily’ which can be broad or specific. This is something we already knew, as Google are notorious for constantly making tweaks to their algorithms – which is why SEO needs to be dynamic.

Rewarding Quality

Perhaps the most interesting thing about this announcement is that Google are suggesting they’ve found new ways to recognise high quality with their algorithms.

The changes that they’ve made are meant to benefit ‘previously under-rewarded’ pages, indicating that the search engine is getting even cleverer at recognising what its users want to see in SERPs.

This is great news for those websites that have fantastic content but have formerly struggled in rankings and also suggests that this is not an algorithm designed to punish bad sites, but rather to reward good ones.

There’s No Fix

As with most updates, they’re remaining tight lipped about beating the algorithm with any quick fixes. This is because they want to ensure that websites are built for users, not for algorithms; however, it’s also because as there really is no quick way to get around the rules of increasingly intelligent search engines.

Focus on Content

Once again, Google are illustrating that content is king. They suggest that websites need to be focused on ‘building great content’ to ensure that they are looked upon favourably by algorithms. This is further evidence to support the idea that quality content = quality website.

The update means that some websites have seen pronounced rankings and traffic changes.

These could be positive or negative, so it’s important to check your website to see what may have changed.