Search is constantly evolving, and Google continues to make adjustments. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the biggest algorithm shifts that occurred this year and how they may affect your SEO performance.
Core updates typically occur a few times a year and involve major adjustments to Google’s algorithms used for understanding user queries and ranking sites.
Broad Core Update
The Broad Core Update is an algorithmic change that has a substantial impact on search results. It doesn’t target any particular aspect of search, but rather assesses the overall quality and relevancy of websites.
Danny Sullivan, Google Public Liaison for Search, explained that this update is designed to recognize and reward quality web pages and content in search results.
Staying abreast of SEO updates and news is essential, as they can significantly impact your rankings and website traffic.
Recently, I conducted an audit of a large website which had undergone several core updates over the last couple of years. While some content related to informational topics suffered as a result of these upgrades, the e-commerce portion remained healthy.
Google’s August 2018 “Medic Update,” so named due to its focus on health and medical content, was a broad core algorithm update that had an immense effect on many websites, according to SEO expert Barry Schwartz.
The algorithm’s objective was to make Google’s search results more pertinent to the query and enhance their quality. This included websites offering medical information, expertise and advice.
In addition, the Medic update had an impact on technology, business, legal and education niches as well. Websites providing “Your Money or Your Life” (YMYL) information experienced major rankings losses as a result.
Featured Snippets Update
In January of 2020, Google made a change to the way Featured Snippets functioned. Before then, if your page appeared within a featured snippet, it would also show up as an organic listing on page one.
Google announced this update to declutter search results, eliminate duplicate listings, and enhance user experience.
For some queries, the Featured Snippet will include bolded text that directly answers the question. This is achieved through an AI model which cross-references top bolded text of each snippet with established high-quality search results.
This can be an effective tool to drive visitors to your site. However, measuring its impact is somewhat challenging. It might be better to focus on optimizing your website so that it ranks for relevant keywords.
Google recently implemented The BERT Update, one of a series of algorithm upgrades designed to understand one out of every ten queries as humans do – an adjustment which will significantly impact featured snippets.
The BERT update is a neural network-based technique developed by Google that helps it better comprehend users’ search intent and context. Additionally, it aids Google combat keyword stuffing – an unethical practice that violates search engine policies – by helping it recognize when users have done just that: stuff their search terms into search engine results!
The BERT update in the United States affects approximately 10% of searches. While it’s not the biggest shift in Google’s algorithm, it remains an important development nonetheless.
The Google Conference is always a major event in the SEO world. Here, Google unveils their major updates for the upcoming year.
Over the last few years, SEO has experienced a flurry of major algorithm updates that have either had positive or negative repercussions for websites.
This year, Google has made several updates that have caused confusion in the search results. One major cause is their Caffeine update which caused this havoc.
This algorithm was implemented to enhance the relevancy of search results. This marked an important milestone, as Google was using machine learning techniques for the first time to decide what content is relevant for certain queries.