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Last July, Google has launched the Google Speed update, which adds mobile page loading speed as a ranking factor. Along with a new ranking factor, the July update also emphasized the need to optimize websites for mobile usage, as “slower” websites can lose traffic should the performance remain below par. The new update also caused a ranking fluctuation as a result, which led to some digital marketing professionals to speculate that another update might arrive soon.
As we enter into the month of August, speculations have become fact, as Google has launched a core algorithm update. The update was rolled out during the first week of the month, and Google announced that it is one of their regular broad updates similar to an update they did last March. The update impacts all search results, but Google did not state any more specific details with regards to these results.
With the update fully rolled out, here are the important details that you need to know.
Impact on Content
One of the initial aims of the broad core update is to improve the quality of search results, which means content quality and user experience is key. Quality content means ensuring that whatever information you provide has the right amount of expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness, and is able to generate traffic to your website.
The focus on creating content has been emphasized by Google over the past few months, with the company reiterating a statement that they have made during the March algorithm update. While this piece of advice has been something that we and numerous other SEO practitioners have been preaching for a very long time, it is best to ensure that you always optimize and update your content to keep up with the latest search trends.
When it comes to content optimization, there are many different ways that you could create quality content that caters to your audience. This can be in the form of blogs, videos, and even podcasts. Searchable content comes in many forms, and with the right tags and keywords, you would be able to attain a steady stream of traffic that would benefit your website.
While Google did not give any details on which type of websites would be affected the most by the current algorithm update, search professionals have noticed significant ranking changes in YMYL and Health-related websites.
When it comes to overall ranking impact, YMYL websites have been affected the most, with a number of sites experiencing a hit in their search rankings, while some websites experienced a boost. A survey from Search Engine Roundtable gave more detail on what type of YMYL websites experienced significant changes.
In fact, websites related to health and nutrition experienced huge boosts in their rankings. This can be attributed to Google’s aim to ensure that only quality content will gain the most traffic. With health being one of the more serious topics, along with being one of the most searched regularly, it is important that users must be able to receive the best information about health, which includes medical advice, diet and exercise recommendations, and information about various ailments and conditions.
This is a very critical market, as health is not only a serious concern but is also one of the largest industries in the world. With health-related websites experiencing huge boosts in their traffic and rankings, users would be able to receive the best content and businesses that would be able to respond to their concerns.
Along with health-related websites, business and finance websites also experienced big changes in their search rankings. Sites from industries such as retail, finance, gambling, travel, and even food and drink have seen a significant ranking decline. While the reasons for the decline may not be clear, it is best to analyze these websites immediately and search for issues that are affecting their ranking.
This can be seen as Google reinforcing E-A-T and making sure that only the best content will be appearing on the top of SERPs. Having high E-A-T ensures that your website attains high search rankings and traffic, while the opposite means having lower traffic and the risk of being penalized by Google for having poor content and backlinks. We have covered content optimization a good number of times, and we’ll continue to do so in order to ensure that other users would be able to craft quality content that brings in traffic for their websites.
The latest Google algorithm update can be seen as an indicator that Google is now becoming stricter when it comes to evaluating content, as seen from the large ranking fluctuations over the past few weeks. With 2018 being a year of many big announcements and changes from the search giant, it is important to prepare for what’s in store ahead.
If you have questions about algorithm updates and SEO in general, leave a comment below and let’s talk.