Google’s September 2022 Core Algorithm Update is done and dusted
The Search Giant’s second core update of the year took a little over two weeks to roll out, but Google has confirmed it is now complete.
Rollout began back on September 12th, hot on the heels of Google’s Helpful Content Update and hand in hand with its Product Review Update which completed on the same day.
While that might be useful for those assessing the overall impact of recent updates, it makes the process of identifying the specific reason for changes in rankings and traffic patterns a little more challenging, particularly for those sites that publish product reviews.
What the Broad Core Update Included
Core updates place the relevance of an entire site under the Google microscope. Individual issues can have an impact on pages here and there, but impact across an entire site can point to more wide ranging problems such as usability, ads and value of content.
There are things that a core update seeks to find.
Google sends core updates across the full spectrum of search results but is notorious for doing so behind a curtain of carefully worded tweets, dev blogs and announcements.
Details are not always easy to come by.
What did the core update include?
It’s a difficult question to answer, but some things I am certain of based on in-depth analysis and results are:
- Diverse content that answers more queries is rewarded
- Content creation with clear intent is great, long form content is useful but consumption today is granular. Bite sized content that funnels your audience to something valuable for them is good practice when core updates land
- Well-researched content builds trust and thought leadership, your product or service might have a unique selling point, make sure your content does too!
If we know anything about what lurks under the bonnet of a Google Core Update we know one thing:
The consumer-centric approach is everything when it comes to content; forget about spam searches which often creep their way on to page one of SERPS, SEO & Content strategies focused on consumer intent is what the smart sites are doing.
What have we seen across the web?
The most noticeable impact was the speed at which changes started to show up in analytics, however early indications pointed to those changes causing less impact than many have come to expect from core updates.
Ranking volatility is par for the course post-core updates and many have seen this; however the consensus is that, as core updates go this was one of the weaker ones.
If your site has taken a hit, then improving your content is a big deal, even if recovery might not happen until the next core update.
Here is the advice from Google Search Central:
“Broad core updates tend to happen every few months. Content that was impacted by one might not recover—assuming improvements have been made—until the next broad core update is released.
However, we're constantly making updates to our search algorithms, including smaller core updates. We don't announce all of these because they're generally not widely noticeable. Still, when released, they can cause content to recover if improvements warrant.
Do keep in mind that improvements made by site owners aren't a guarantee of recovery, nor do pages have any static or guaranteed position in our search results. If there's more deserving content, that will continue to rank well with our systems.”
Recovery can of course happen between core updates but for bigger, hopefully better changes; SEO’s may well have to play the waiting game.
The impact of Google’s latest core update might not be as massive as past ones, but there plenty of sites that have slipped down the rankings.
Now is the perfect time to gain a foothold and use your analytics data to sift through pages to identify lost rankings or visibility before making a plan to improve those pages and regain those lost rankings over time.