Penguin. Panda. Hummingbird. Remember when Google algorithm updates occurred just once a year? With cute names and quick fixes, the old-school Google update is a thing of the past.
However, this is not necessarily a bad thing! As Google technologies become more complex, so has their methods for ranking websites. By continually improving with updated algorithms, Google can prioritise newer and higher quality websites.
Have you found an unexplained drop in your organic traffic over the last year? Your site may have been hit by one of the many Google algorithm updates; here’s a list some of the biggest in 2019, or alternatively see how our SEO company can help!
March 12, 2019 - March 2019 Core Update
This was the first confirmed broad core search algorithm update of 2019. But before you start revising header tags and meta data, Google re-iterated their previous advice on core updates: “there’s no ‘fix’ for pages that may perform less well other than to remain focused on building great content.”
The good news? If you have written good-quality, valuable content, your site should have nothing to worry about.
June 3, 2019 - June 2019 Core Update
Another ‘core’ update rolled out in June. This update was both loved and hated by SEO agencies, particularly in the UK. There were some clear ‘winners’ and ‘losers’ after the update launched:
Gain in Visibility
Gain in Visibility
But before SEO analysts could investigate further, there was more to come…
June 6, 2019 - Site Diversity Update
Just a few days later, Google announced their ‘Diversity Update’. The aim of this update was to ensure users don’t see more than two listings from the same domain in the top-ranking results. In theory, this would present searchers with a more ‘diverse’ range of results in Google’s organic rankings.
The diversity update was a little less dramatic than the core update from a few days before. Many digital marketing agencies noticed only a small effect on the sites that were hit.
The Maverick update was not officially confirmed by Google, so the digital marketing community gave it a title instead. Hence, the new update was dubbed after the new Top Gun trailer which dropped on the same day. “You can be my wingman anytime!”
After some fluctuations and debates in the SEO industry of its very existence, community chatter indicated Google implemented some minor tweaks to their previous core algorithm. Google did not release a statement to confirm or deny.
September 24, 2019 - September 2019 Core Update
Ok, this one was official! Google announced the September Core update hours before its launch. Similarly, to the previous core updates, there is not one area for digital marketers to focus on if their traffic has dropped. It is essential for marketers to revise their broader SEO process.
From now, it is best practice to visualise Google core updates as numerous ‘baby algorithms’. Google implements millions of small algorithms that can affect a site negatively or positively, without any changes being made on the site. Rather than any quick fixes, marketers must ensure their content consistently complies with Google’s own Webmaster quality guidelines.
Sesame Street was brought to you today by the letter ‘B’.
In a refreshing twist, Google provided a little more information on the October ‘Bert’ update.
This new algorithm supports their ‘natural language processing’ model. This ‘NLP’ training model is called Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers, or to use its cuter nickname, ‘Bert’.
For anyone who has used Google Translate, you may have noticed that Google isn’t always 100% at understanding how language works. Bert models analyse the content both before and after a word to improve its’s understanding of search queries. Ideally, this is to help Google decipher natural-sounding language searches and their context.
So, what does this mean for content writers? Well, definitely no more ‘keyword stuffing’ or awkwardly inserted search queries in website content! This is a focus-point for Google and more algorithm updates will ensure keyword-stuffed content will be penalised in future.
Copy can still include relevant, well-researched keywords, but allow them to appear as organically as possible within the text. Marketers would also benefit from supporting their process with more technical SEO practices, including rich-snippets and fixing any crawl errors.
If you would like help with your SEO, contact Upperdog today for a free SEO audit. Our team will analyse your site, identify any errors and give our expert recommendations on how to drive more organic traffic to your business. Call our friendly team on 01202 798 820 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org