In a rare move by Google, they pre-announced a broad core algorithm update over the weekend via their Google SearchLiaison Twitter account. This is a bold improvement for SEO specialists who are usually kept in the dark about these matters, only to see the effects once it drastically affects them in a negative or positive light.
The second update of the year has baffled the industry since it was the first of many updates that have been announced in advance by the search engine. As with any update, there is bound to be winners and losers that will come out of this. Let’s take a look at the June 2019 Core Update and what it means for SEO.
June 2019 Core Update
Google announced the Core Algorithm update on June 2 EST. Google SearchLiaison paired it with a previous tweet they posted last October, 2018. The said tweet is an update about updates, leaving much to the reader to analyze what it means. At the heart of it, the search engine is basically telling us to stay calm and avoid making changes that “fix” the effects of their updates.
This was affirmed by Danny Sullivan, the face of the search liaison, when he also linked to that particular tweet. As with many situations, this is a prime example of how prevention is better than cure. In this type of instance, content can prevent you from getting hit by updates once it comes rolling out. Quality content is still your best bet to dominate SERPs, it would do you good if you never lose sight of this.
As of today, the June 2019 Core Update is showing no signs of alarm. With forecasts of the SERPs volatility remaining relatively calm.
Using Mozcast, Semrush Sensor, and Accuranker’s Grump, I saw that there were no drastic changes. However, it would be best to consistently monitor your site’s performance for the weeks to come.
Relevance and Content for SEO
Staying relevant through quality content and cutting edge site optimization will help you rise above algorithm updates. When you observe that it is no longer ranking as well as it should have, look at your site’s relevance and put yourself in the perspective of Google. View your relevant content as Google will see it and the best way to do this is to digest the Search Quality Rater Guidelines. Sometimes, it plays to go by the book so you can have more room to experiment without getting penalized.
The search algorithm is a fair-weathered friend and the best way to deal with its many moods is to peruse the Google Search Quality Rater Guidelines. This is something that SEOs neglect to read even before diving into the craft of search. Frankly, everyone should. I know I did.
Users need content, no matter what the trends are playing out on the digital field. Your SEO would flourish if you know how to serve Google’s purpose and that is to cater to user queries. Be relevant, you would not help anyone with outdated content. Possibly the best way to ride out the algorithm updates is by keeping this in mind. It may be an obvious reminder, but it is something that many webmasters often forget.
Be productive and avoid fixing things that do not need to be fixed. Keep optimizing for relevance. Compete with those who are ranking better through content and quality links.
Favicons in Search Bar
Although it is not a confirmed part of the algorithm update, you would notice that Google has taken upon itself to include favicons in the search bar, at least for famous personalities and pop culture references. This is a recent development from just having a text in the Google Chrome browser search bar which previously displayed the text of a person or entity you are searching for. Here’s a sample screenshot:
This is not reflected in any local listings, at least from our end. This could mean that Google is just overhauling its display interface. But does this signal that favicons are possibly a ranking factor in the future? Who knows, right? This may be a heads-up that Google will be more vigilant in monitoring authority in the SERPs. Which leaves us to think how could we establish authority in our particular niche.
There has been no announcement of this yet. Just know that this is merely an observation, but this leaves room for discussion. Which leaves me to ask, are you optimizing your site’s favicon recently?
What to Do Now?
According to Google, you should probably just calm down. Broad core algorithms do not generally mean that you have to fix something on your site. Webmasters should be mindful of progress reports, tracking the effects of updates along the way. These types of updates are meant to teach you that banking on content will go a long way because you can be practically invincible once Google starts sniffing for sites that do not pass a suitable quality rating.
However, it’s still too early to prop your feet up and be relieved that the update did not affect you. Google updates are known to roll around and take effect for about a week to ten days, so it is advisable that you monitor your sites accordingly. Be reminded that this is a “Broad” core algorithm so it does not specifically target a particular niche, it will cover a wide scope and not just the industry that your site is in.
It’s normal to be on top of things and find the possible solution to fix the problem as soon as you see it, but you would be surprised how you can approach the algorithm update effects as a level-headed webmaster.
The June 2019 Core Update is an early announcement by the search engine, but we should expect more from them. Now more than ever, this is a call to ramp up our SEO efforts and be hellbent on staying at the winner’s circle. Be mindful of errors and low-quality content, this will help you keep your head in the game.
Relevance through quality content and authority will be the best equipment you can have to stay winning. Keep that in mind.