There’s a lot of speculation on Google’s decision to announce the latest broad core algorithm update publicly. I have to admit, it’s somewhat peculiar since Google doesn’t typically announce algorithm updates because they usually occur on a daily basis.
As you’ll see from the official tweet below, Google wasn’t specific on what changes where implemented – but there’s a lot of speculation on this too.
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….
— Google SearchLiaison (@searchliaison) March 12, 2018
After a few tech blogs started speculating that the update was aimed at low-quality websites, a few Google representatives have denied this rumor.
Broad Core Algorithm?
Google core algorithm updates are released routinely almost every day (sometimes twice a day). However, this update is obviously different since Google felt the need to announce it publicly.
A larger Algorithm update that addresses a large number of aspects is defined by Google as a Broad Core Algorithm Update. An update of this kind is only shipped several times per year.
Some are happy, some are sad
Since the broad core algorithm dropped on March 9, some webmasters claim they have lost a lot of traffic (some by a staggering 50%). Others are reporting that a lot of keywords that were keeping the first positions dropped drastically once the broad core algorithm update took effect.
On the other hand, some webmasters that where severy affected by the December 12th update have seen their traffic levels go back to around the level prior to the update. As it turns out, the changes are most noticeable on mobile positions than on desktop.
Google dropped some other clues
Aside from confirming the broad core algorithm update, the Google SearchLiaison‘s tweets provided a few other clues on what is going on. For one, the update’s entire focus is on improving the search results. Also, there’s nothing wrong with the sites that lost traffic and no way to restore the previous ranking (other than “focusing on the content“).
Google is a little sneaky
If you spend some time on the most popular SEO forums, you’ll be amazed on the level of speculation that goes around in there. But this game is being played for years now, and most speculations launched by respected SEO guys turned out to be true.
Google’s representative fiercely denied that the latest updates are targeting low-quality web pages. But this kind of goes against the advice offered to those webmasters who have lost an important share of the traffic. If those affected should “focus on content”, doesn’t it mean that they lost their ranking because they had low-quality pages? I know, I’m confused too.
It’s been several years now since Google is consistently declining the rumors that most algorithm updates are aimed at “dealing” with low-quality web pages. Even though we’ve seen consistent evidence that would lead us to believe that it’s true, nobody at Google wants to admit it.
End-users should rejoice
I know there are some website owners seriously affected by this broad core algorithm update, but this could be good for web surfers. Even if those updates are not targeting low-quality pages directly, Google is getting better at identifying the best answer for each search query. This is good for all of us.
Google’s search engine team is focused a lot on understanding user intent and ranking the content accordingly. From what we’re seeing, keywords no longer matter if the content is focused on solving a particular problem (or more). Google is smart enough to distinguish fillers from content that is actually helping users. Because of this, every SEO strategy needs to be backed up by solid content.
Where you affected by the broad core algorithm update? Did your ranking go up or down? Tell us all about it in the comment section below.