Last month, Google released a broad core algorithm update. The ‘March 2019 Core Update’ is largely believed to be a follow up to Google’s previous update, known as ‘Medic’ (so named due to the apparent impact it had on medical websites, focusing on health and wellness).
After ‘Medic’ came out in August 2018, there have been five updates to Google’s algorithm but the most recent is the first to have been formally announced.
Prior to this, updates weren’t promoted. Instead, they were only noticed when website owners witnessed significant changes in traffic and rankings.
So what’s happening this time around? Currently, no one is too sure but after five updates with no noise, it wouldn’t be a surprise to find it’s a major change.
With Google rolling out these updates nearly every month, it can lead to websites needing an almost constant stream of attention to keep up. At Fingo, though, we firmly believe that the overall quality of your website and your online content has a far greater impact than the constant changes you may be inclined to make to keep up.
But don’t just take our word for it; Google themselves feel the same way:
‘There’s no “fix” for pages that may perform less well other than to remain focused on building great content. Over time, it may be that your content may rise relative to other pages.’
What Google’s algorithm is rewarding is well-produced, high quality content that offers legitimacy and the right answer. In terms of the ‘Medic’ update, webpages that had articles for medical journals, accurate information and provided legitimate sources all saw an increase in organic traffic.
This does not mean that no matter the focus of your content, you should include links about healthy living and wellness (Your Money or Your Life websites also saw an impact - sites that focused on financial services, insurance etc.). It, instead, means that your content should be well-researched, high quality and relevant.
Although Google say that there is no quick fix-all to improve your ranking, we have a few tips to help you along the way:
E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trust)
Going back to Your Money or Your Life websites, the E-A-T approach is crucial and all feeds back to the concept of legitimacy.
Displaying expertise and authority will help you to gain trust.
If you have a YMYL site that helps people in making important life decisions that typically involve large sums of money, working on your E-A-T rating should be your first step. Improving this can be as simple as including author names to offer accountability to articles or they can be slightly more complex such as increasing your technical security to display trust and safety.
Regularly audit your content
With every update Google rolls out, go through the content on your site and ask: is this still relevant? Will it be relevant again? If there is scope for your content being used again, you should consider creating it again. An article from a year ago will have principles that are the same but information that is out of date.
It is also the opportunity to check your content’s E-A-T score.
The rule of “quality not quantity” is important here but there are a few exceptions to consider:
Regularly analysing what your competitors are doing will give you an opportunity to revise strategies and develop approaches to increase your own ranking.
- Quantity - Is your content long enough to rank? Some topics and questions can be answered in 10 words, some need a bit more detail. There is no set word limit for each piece of content but the key is to ensure that your content is long enough to answer the user query.
- Quantity - Do you have more than one piece of content on the same topic? If you do, be sure that the pieces offer different values otherwise they will be competing with themselves.
The best approach to this is to identify your key online competitors, analyse their SEO structure, look at their online social presence and identify on how they can improve. The next step is to implement those improvements for yourself before they do.
Keyword research can help shed light on how people may be getting to your website as well as provide an insight that could be used to influence the type of content you put on your website to attract more visitors. Developing a bank of popular words and phrases that are typical for your audience to search can help you with producing meta-descriptions and title-tags which can help your site to rank higher and encourage more users to visit.
Despite certain key updates being confirmed, we know that Google’s algorithm is constantly updating, often only days after prior updates. There are hundreds of ranking factors, some of which are more automated than others.
Considering how quickly and regularly the updates are rolled out, even if there was a quick fix, it would get outdated very quickly. Having all your bases covered with a holistic and well-thought out strategy will prove to be far more valuable in the long run than making changes just to keep up.
If you’re interested in discussing your SEO strategy and learning how you can improve, please get in touch via our enquiry form or give us a call 01372 749 200.