Unriddling the Mystery Behind the March 2019 Core Update
Trying to keep up with SEO trends sometimes seems harder than bailing out the ocean with a bucket.
Every year, Google launches small changes to search engine optimisation and, occasionally, a few larger updates. One such update is the March 2019 Core Update, and speculation regarding its implications have been widespread.
If you have been searching for definitive answers concerning the latest update, then you might be disappointed to find that Google rarely, if ever, provides any concrete specifics when it comes to what these changes entail. The main reason for this is likely so that webmasters cannot take advantage of the guidelines they are given. Google consistently keeps the world on its toes, but SEO masterminds are usually quick to catch on to the nature of these updates.
What We Know
Google often makes adjustments in the way that it retrieves data to rank websites appropriately – these “adjustments” are known as algorithms. On the 12th of March 2019, Google rolled out a core algorithm. Experts in the digital marketing community dubbed the update “Florida 2” in reference to the Pubcon Florida conference, but Google opted to name it the “March 2019 Core Update” in order to provide clarity and avoid confusion. After the update, some websites experienced an increase in search engine traffic, while others faced a negative impact.
Theories Began to Emerge
Many digital marketers started to theorise that the new update was a reversal of the Medic Update in August 2018, because some websites that were negatively affected in the August update experienced some recovery. While it was not initially clear which websites rose victorious, it was clear that the new update seemed to give special attention to search engine aspects such as:
- E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness) off websites with a strong brand profile.
- YMYL (Your Money or Your Life) sites that focused on topics relating to health, safety, happiness, and finances.
- User reviews and ratings on various platforms.
- Content quality and expertise.
- Regular website maintenance.
- Session duration and user bounce rate.
What the Findings Suggested
In his article near the end of March, Eric Lancheres provided information on a full analysis of over 1 700 000 web pages. His findings suggested that:
- The update’s effects were site-wide and not specific to individual pages.
- Google did not seem to make any noticeable change to its neuro-linguistic algorithm because some sites still ranked higher without an increase in their organic keywords.
- While many websites from August’s Medic Update were indeed affected, the new update was not a full reversal of the effects (even though there were websites that made full recoveries with the new update).
Sites that were negatively affected with the Medic Update for over-optimisation recovered slightly if Google found the site to offer a positive user experience
What’s the Takeaway?
Even if Google Analytics tools indicate that a website is doing everything correctly, its rankings and traffic will still decrease if Google suspects that the site is not conducive to a positive user experience. Google ultimately shows preference for websites that are well-rounded and focus on a range of topics presented with reliably consistent, high-quality content.
Recovering from the Update
If the March 2019 Core Update negatively affected your website, there is no need to fear – bouncing back is possible. Fortunately, it seems that most of the changes were specific to website content, and not technicalities, which means that making the necessary changes to your site can once again put you back on track.
While SEO might seem un-figure-out-able, our online marketing experts have the best resources and tools on hand to ensure that your business grows the way it should. As a Google Premier Partner, we stay on the ball with the latest digital marketing strategies to bring you some of the most advanced services in the industry. For more information on how we can help your business, get in touch with our team today.
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