This core algorithm update was big!
While Google search algorithm updates are common, big core algorithm updates like the one that was rolled out in May first are not. The last core update occurred in January 2020. This one appears to be bigger in scope and more impactful.
What types of businesses were affected the most?
According to Path Interactive, the most affected niches were nutrition and recipes, fitness, news, drugs, alcohol and rehab. These categories making the list is not surprising, given the current condition of things. The websites in those niches that had worthwhile content saw huge improvement in their position on the SERPS. Websites with thin content or content aggregated from other sites appear to be big losers.
If your website was hit and has suffered a drop in rankings, what do you have to fix to climb back up in the SERPS (search ranking pages)? We have good news for you. You don’t have to fix anything. That doesn’t mean you don’t have to do anything. Core updates generally help Google understand content better. Most movement either up or down after a core update is content driven. If your website took a hit, what are some possible reasons?
Reasons why content affected your rankings after the May algorithm update
The content is no longer relevant.
The best way to illustrate timeliness is with an example. Suppose you have a page on your website listing the 10 best active baseball players. Imagine that page was published in 2016 and has not been updated since. It doesn’t take a baseball fan to know that information relevant in 2016 isn’t as relevant in 2020. That is the type of information that Google would degrade so if that paged ranked for you at one time, it probably won’t now. The fix is to make changes to the page that reflects the current best 10 players or that the page is referring to players in 2016. After making the changes, resubmit the page through Search Console.
Content is thin.
Back to our baseball example, maybe the offending page only listed the ten best players without any other details. A simple list isn’t likely to rank in any case but in our example adding player profiles and statistics is the kind of content that will land you back on page one.
Is the content original?
By this we don’t mean plagiarized. Your content should be true, well researched and providing a unique perspective on the subject. The information should inform and engage. Bounce rate is a ranking SEO factor and non-engaging pages seldom encourage visitors to check out other parts of a website.
Does the content relate to the title?
Your English teacher isn’t the only one who likes well organized copy. Your page should have the main title state what the page is about. Sub-headings should correlate to the content beneath them. The best pages have headings that provide a nice summary of the content.
Don’t mirror your sources
Rewriting information and analysis another writer published isn’t going to go far getting your website back on top. It is better to take ideas from several writers on the topic and then merge them into an article highlighted by your own analysis of the subject.
The core algorithm may change but Google’s core mission does not.
Google’s mission is to make money by selling ads. They do that by being the number one source for information in the world. They are laser focused on providing the best results for a given query. If you want your website to be first in answering a question, without paying for an ad, do the following.
Provide information that is trustworthy
You should provide content that is well sourced and demonstrates expertise. Linking back to the source article will accomplish that.
Check your facts
Facts that are easily checkable should be accurate. Don’t fudge just to make a factoid fit into your theme.
Your money or your life
The degree of trust Google considers high answers the question, can you trust the information with your money or your life. The core algorithm that set that standard was called E.A.T., expertise, authority,trust.
The bottom line is, if you take the time so show your company as honest, knowledgeable and an authority In your field, Google will reward you. You will never have to worry about algorithm updates. If your website is built with those qualities in mind, you will never be penalized.