Google September 2019 Core Update Rolls Out

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Google officially began rolling out a new core update on the 24th of September 2019.

What is a core update?

A core update from Google impacts how Google itself ranks sites, and how it determines which pages or sites are the most relevant for specific search terms.

In relatively new fashion, Google announced that this update was coming. Google never traditionally did this, however they did pre-announce the June 2019 core update.

As Google itself is getting involved in the announcement of updates, it has begun naming them quite conventionally – i.e. after the month it rolls out. This contrasts with the past names of algorithm updates, such as Panda, which were more fun. But essentially were created by the SEo community rather than Google itself.

Google only announces large updates, so it’s expected this update will be large. But it is said to be on a slow roll out, which could take a matter of days rather than hours or otherwise.

Or, as Google explains:

Several times a year, we make significant, broad changes to our search algorithms and systems. We refer to these as “core updates.” They’re designed to ensure that overall, we’re delivering on our mission to present relevant and authoritative content to searchers. These core updates may also affect Google Discover. We confirm broad core updates because they typically produce some widely notable effects. Some sites may note drops or gains during them. We know those with sites that experience drops will be looking for a fix, and we want to ensure they don’t try to fix the wrong things. Moreover, there might not be anything to fix at all.

What does the core update mean for SEO?

As Google it updating the search ranking algorithms, it means your site can move up or down the search results.

The fact we know Google is updating the algorithms means we can compare rankings and see whether algorithm updates have impacted how well a site ranks, or whether optimisations can be made.

So what happens if your rankings drop due to the core update?

Google puts it this way:

There’s nothing wrong with pages that may perform less well in a core update. They haven’t violated our webmaster guidelines nor been subjected to a manual or algorithmic action, as can happen to pages that do violate those guidelines. In fact, there’s nothing in a core update that targets specific pages or sites. Instead, the changes are about improving how our systems assess content overall. These changes may cause some pages that were previously under-rewarded to do better. One way to think of how a core update operates is to imagine you made a list of the top 100 movies in 2015. A few years later in 2019, 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. The list will change, and films previously higher on the list that move down aren’t bad. There are simply more deserving films that are coming before them.

If you have any questions regarding Google’s updates or your own SEO, get in touch with the team here at Xanthos.