On August 1st, Google started the rollout of their August core update, they give no prior warning that this was coming and have said very little about it. Since then, there has been some discussion within the SEO community about what actually happened and some have reached out to Google for their official word on the update.
Google tweeted confirming the update, but not giving away any specifics, referring to it only as a ‘routine broad core’ update.
This week we released a broad core algorithm update, as we do several times per year. Our guidance about such updates remains the same as in March, as we covered here: https://t.co/uPlEdSLHoX
— Google SearchLiaison (@searchliaison) 1 August 2018
Although Google makes several large updates a year and smaller tweaks daily, this update has the markings of a significant change to the algorithm. Almost all of our accounts have seen a significant change either positively or negatively (thankfully, mostly the former).
By digging through the accounts and reading discussions online we’ve highlighted a number of areas which have been the main cause of this.
Content seems to be one of the main drivers of this update. There’s a correlation between pages with very little or poorly written content moving down the rankings and pages with good quality content moving up.
Information Driven Pages
There’s long been an idea within the SEO community that sites should act as a content resource for the industry they’re in. It seems from this update that Google has taken further steps towards getting this right. From what others have said and our own research, we’ve seen a drop in pages which are either not providing adequate information or using information-driven content to aggressively push their own products.
There has definitely been a shake-up with the local results which seems to be an area which needs to be reviewed. Many sites have reported seeing drops in their localised pages, especially those with separate pages for store locations.
Although we’ve seen changes across the board we’ve seen larger changes in this industry specifically. Marie Haynes created a great write up of this with her findings in this area: httpss://www.mariehaynes.com/the-august-1-2018-google-update-strongly-affected-ymyl-sites/
What can you do?
Primarily we’d recommend highlighting the pages which have seen a drop and refreshing the content on these pages to ensure that it’s fresh, unique and of good quality. We’ve already seen some improvements by updating pages that had experienced drops so this is a great first step.
Check Location Pages
We’d recommend that Google places profiles are set up correctly and have as much information as possible. If you have location pages on your website these should, again, have as much information as possible. Try to avoid reusing descriptions and ensure all location page are correctly marked up with local business schema.
Be a Resource
This isn’t a new recommendation by any means but it seems like it’s just become a lot more important. There should be an emphasis on your website to provide good quality, informative content resources for your users. Within this, we’d recommend linking out to well-known sources to give your resource more credibility.
As there has been an issue with upselling too much we’d recommend ensuring resources aren’t focused too much at pushing product and services. Instead, these can be linked to naturally throughout the piece with a single call to action at the end.
Want to know more about this Google update or fancy a chat about your SEO? Give us a call on 01642 130 340 to chat to one of the team.