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SEO Update: Google’s First 2023 Core Algorithm Change

SEO Strategist Gary Jones
Gary Jones

Update: The new Google Core Update 2024 has arrived

The March 2024 Google Core Update has been making big changes to SERPS, rewarding high-quality, relevant content and penalizing AI-generated or spammy content. Following 2023’s Helpful Content Update, Google continues highlighting the importance of depth, accuracy, and user engagement. Additionally, Those affected by the latest changes should focus on EEAT signals (Expertise, Experience, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness) as crucial evaluation metrics.

The update also focuses on combating low-quality, AI-generated content and maintaining the integrity of search results. We advise caution and patience and recommend adherence to high-quality, EEAT-aligned content creation as the best response. Users should note that the update’s total effect is not expected to be known until May 2024.

Read more about this year’s first major Google Core Update here.

Original: Google’s first 2023 Core algorithm change

March 2023 saw major changes to Google search results, the world’s largest search engine, which billions of casual internet users use yearly. Many won’t notice changes created by the latest core update when scouring the internet for answers to their questions and queries.

However, those directly impacted will need to inspect the search results closer. Google has stated that every algorithm change aims to promote helpful and reliable results for searchers. So, working out why your site has been impacted this month will be vital. With that knowledge, you will avoid your site becoming less relevant and moving away from the first page of search results.

Having the most up-to-date information at your fingertips will always be important, so it makes sense that experts, business owners, and writers are looking to find out as much as possible regarding the first Google Core Update of 2023, released on March 15th.

What changed with March’s Google Core Update?

Like all previous core patches, this update was designed to improve the quality of search results by rewarding websites that provide users with the most relevant and useful content. Multiple updates can be released in a year and come with the disclaimer that Google has not targeted any specific website. 

Instead, the changes made with each core update focus on improving how Google assesses content. Inevitably, these changes will promote and relegate pages based on Google’s tweaks, which warns that it will take around two weeks for the full effects to be felt.

“One way to think of how a core update operates is to imagine you made a list of the top 100 movies in 2021. A few years later, in 2024, you refresh the list. It’s going to naturally change. Some new and wonderful movies that never existed before will now be candidates for inclusion. You might also reassess some films and realize they deserved a higher place on the list than they had before.” – Google Core Guidance

Work Colleagues check latest Google core update

What to expect from the March Update

Like all core updates, winners and losers must take stock of what has happened and how best to plan for the future. Overlooked sites that have been passed by but have followed Google’s guidelines for creating helpful and informative content will have another chance of being pushed up the rankings. In contrast, those who have fallen behind or have stopped maintaining their websites will find themselves moving in the opposite direction.

Tracking tools have noted Search Engine Results volatility since the update rolled out, with the most disruption happening between March 15th and March 17th. So, there is a good chance that sites affected by this month’s Google update already know they’re facing changes.

Google hasn’t released any specific details about the update. Still, all its previous guidance on dealing with major dips in traffic and ranking drops remains the best information to pull from. Here are the main areas of web development and maintenance that Google asks everyone to focus on if they find themselves dealing with a drop in keyword ranking or traffic:

Don’t Panic: Google core updates take a while to roll out, and it can be weeks before you know exactly what has changed for you and your website.

Stay Analytical: The best way to track a core update is to monitor your website’s organic search traffic and keyword rankings to gauge its impact.

Evaluate Quality: Google remains a harbinger for quality websites and continues pushing them to create the best version of themselves. This will be a good time to evaluate what is available and how it could be improved.

Technical Tune-Up: The arrival of a new Google Core update is a good time to check under the hood, too. Work through some of those user experience tools to determine how responsive your website is. Check website speeds, mobile friendliness, and website mapping to see if there are any areas you might have fallen behind in.

How will the Google Core Update change SEO?

Long-term SEO strategies will remain the same until more about March’s core update has been revealed or uncovered. Early reports suggest there could have been a realignment in traffic from other countries, while others have shared news of extreme dips. A broader consensus is that many websites have seen shifts in data, but many have been holding steady in SERPs since the initial rollout date.

Let’s work together

Staying on top of any new update is always important, and our team does everything possible to ensure that no website falls behind. Contact us today, and let’s work together on your next big project, be it a simple spruce-up, refresh, or fundamental relaunch to ensure it stays compliant with Google’s ever-changing algorithm.

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