A new Broad Core Algorithm update is on the way from Google. This update comes off the back of previous mobile speed and mobile first updates that were officially rolled out during the first half of the year.

So, what does this mean for your website?

While this update may result in a period of unstable and inconsistent ranking performance for some websites, rest assured that there is nothing to worry about here. Our SEO team at KDM are across the situation and took the time to sit down and work out some of the key factors that might impact on you so that you can read it all here.

What is a broad core algorithm update?

This isn’t the first update from Google – with named updates like Penguin, Panda, Pigeon, being released in the past to target specific issues within Google’s algorithm. For example, Penguin targeted low-quality backlinks and black hat link building techniques while the Panda update targeted sites that had low quality and thin content.

While these named updates garner a lot of press, Google also releases a few algorithm updates per year that focus more on general sweeping changes.

These are called Broad Core Algorithm updates, and these updates are focused less on specific elements (backlinks, content, etc.), and more on how Google prioritises and assigns weight to different ranking factors in its algorithm.

The best way to describe how this algorithm works is that Google looks at their top 50 or so ranking factors and reshuffles their order of importance based on emerging information and trends. That means multiple ranking factors are impacted here – not just one.

When did this update occur?

This update began on August 1st and is believed to be in the process of rolling out over the next couple of days (mid this week was the estimate). Even then, it will still be weeks (potentially even up to a month) before search results really begin to stabilise.

How will this update affect your search results?

You might see some uncertainty with your rankings, but this will stabilise over time. Here is a good visualisation on the impact past updates have had on rankings for some websites.

What is this update going to target?

While we’d love to give you a solid answer, the fact is that nobody in the industry has had a chance to look at this properly yet and to understand what this update is going to affect due to how recent it is. With this in mind, as this rollout occurs, we will be undertaking an analysis ourselves. We’ll keep you updated with blogs and updates about this and will let you know as and when we find out more.

What can be done to mitigate the effects?

According to Google, there’s “nothing wrong with pages that may now perform less well”, and there’s no one specific “fix” for sites who are seeing decreased rankings, just to “remain focused on building great content”.

To that end, it’s safe to say that the reason Google says there’s ‘no “one” fix’ is because it’s such a broad, sweeping update to their algorithm and how it indexes sites.

This means that we’re not looking at one single element to improve (e.g. “if we change this Title we’ll jump back up” or “if we build 5 more backlinks we’ll hit position 1”), but instead we’re focusing on a wide variety of onsite and offsite elements.

What you can expect from KDM during this time

At KDM, we have a process in place for handling this update for our clients. This includes –

  • Waiting until search results stabilise before actioning/implementing any major If we action something now, and it turns out results would have stabilised and put our rankings back at the top of the page, then those changes could turn out to be detrimental.
  • As the fluctuation begins to calm down, and SEOs have more time to analyse their own clients’ results and compare data, we’ll have more information on what kind of sites seem to be performing better – this ties into the above.
  • Completing a full onsite/offsite audit of our SEO clients, focusing in particular on –
    • Competitors who have moved up search results, and how their onsite/offsite differs.
    • Competitors who have moved down search results (identify elements that they’re employing that we should stay away from)
  • Combing through our own client list and separating out whose rankings have moved up and whose have moved down during this update – from there, any information we glean from that analysis will be incorporated across the board.

KDM is across it – That’s what we’re here for!

We just want to stress again that there is no need to worry if you see rankings fluctuate momentarily for your website. It’s very likely that this sudden change is due to this recent google update rolling out.

You can have peace of mind knowing our SEO team is across the situation, and we have a plan in place to further stabilise and improve your search rankings following the rollout of this Broad Core Algorithm update.

If you have any questions, please call KDM on 1300 596 636 to speak with your SEO account manager.