The widely-speculated Google core search ranking algorithm update has finally been confirmed, bringing many websites to their knees as the Internet giant continues its quest to improve the search engine results page (SERP).
Early this year, SEO experts and webmasters have been wondering about two Google algorithm updates, which supposedly took effect on February 20 and March 1. At the time, these updates that significantly changed some of the websites, the SERP ranking haven’t been confirmed nor denied yet.
Now, Google officially admitted that they released a “broad core algorithm update” that may have caused the ranking some changes.
Taking it to Twitter to confirm the news, Google said that they run at least one change in the SERPs every day. However, the tech giant explained that the March update was a “broad algorithm update” that only occur several times a year.
After this came to light and with some websites’ recent ranking drop from SERPs, several webmasters and SEO experts took initiative to ask Google what they need to do to “fix” their site to suit the March update and received a response that appeared to be unsatisfying for some.
As it turns out, there is no exact “fix” for the issue as there is “nothing wrong” with websites that saw lower SERP performance. Instead, Google explained that the update was aimed at giving previously under-rewarded pages a better chance at getting found in the search engine results.
Back in January, SEO experts revealed their thoughts about Google’s aim with the recent algorithm changes. Apparently, the company is now looking at weeding out outlets and pages that promote fake news after it was hit hard by controversy.
Like what they did with content farms in 2010, the billion-dollar company is now trying to rid its SERP of websites that thrive in causing a stir online with shocking reports that turn out to be false. SEO experts and webmasters believe that this is far from being an easy task.
However, Google has so far made adjustments that addressed the issue, such as barring publishers with fake news ads and trying out new ways that would allow users to report distasteful autocomplete suggestions. It also rolled out an algorithm change that devalues “non-authoritative information” as well as the new “fact check” tags in the search engine results.
Google SERP ranking is one of the major factors that affect a website’s revenue simply because it significantly impacts the traffic driven to the pages from the search engine results. Because of this, publishers and webmasters made it a point to master SEO techniques that would put their sites on the Google’s page one. But with the recent algorithm changes, ranking on Google appears to become more and more difficult as months go by.
SEO experts highly recommend a more thorough study of the major updates since 2011 (Penguin, Panda, Hummingbird, etc.) so that companies relying on website traffic for revenue would remain afloat. 2011’s Panda update was made to sort through the websites based on their quality, rooting out pages with duplicate content as well as those that are lacking the information needed by the users. Penguin, on the other hand, was released in 2012 to scrutinize links by and to a website to determine its credibility and reliability as a news source. Lastly, Hummingbird, which was released in 2013, is a complete rework of Google’s algorithm that focuses on a better understanding of user’s searches by determining the relevance of a page based on keywords.
After this, five other algorithm updates were released, including Pigeon (2014, focuses on- and off-page SEO); Mobile (April 2015, pushed for mobile-friendly websites); RankBrain (October 2015, improved relevance to queries and quality of content); Possum (2016, enhanced location-specific searches); and Fred (2017, roots out thin content and too much ads).