March Core Update released – what’s the impact?
Officially launched on Friday 15th March 2023, Google’s latest algorithm change: the ‘Google March 2023 Broad Core Update’ isn’t the first of the year, and it certainly won’t be the last.
Yet, such events always cause a stir among the industry, causing even the most seasoned SEOs to continuously measure the impact of the change on their clients’ websites, and that of their competitors. It’s important to note that while we expect to see some shift in the search results, we don’t expect to see wholesale changes as Google releases these updates fairly regularly in its ever-increasing endeavour to reward high-quality, user-focused content.
In a nutshell:
- All sites should expect to see short-term fluctuations in keyword rankings.
- Sites designed around E-A-T principles (high quality, user-focused content) have nothing to fear.
- Allow time for updates to settle to get a true picture of performance.
- Consider revisiting keyword prominence, location and linking in-line with August 2022 Helpful Content Update.
What can we expect?
Although the update is less than a week old, the impact will be felt quite quickly. In fact, we can expect to see some fluctuation in keyword rankings over the next two weeks as Google continues to focus on improving the quality of its results. Those who have made improvements to their sites since the last update may see an initial boost if best practices have been followed.
Rewards for relevant, user-focused content
Initial signs of movement have been for the most part positive for sites that were designed to be relevant and written with users in mind (that is, follow the E-A-T principles, that reward expertise, authority and trustworthiness of the content).
According to Sistrix, ‘one sector that is seeing a general boost is UK government websites’ such as hmrc.gov.uk. In contrast, any negative implications of this update seem to be influencing web pages that are easy to identify and would be expected following this update. For example, Sistrix has outlined its top losers by domain which include wiktionary.org.
Don’t rush to make updates just yet
As with any other algorithm update, we would always advise allowing time for the update to settle, so we can provide a true picture of performance once complete. We will also be monitoring rankings closely so that we are able to adjust search strategies accordingly.
Strategies to safeguard your site
So what is the best course of action now as the core update is rolling out, and is there anything you can do? Firstly, consider the below and ensure you are adhering to Google’s guidelines, as this is likely to also influence any future algorithm updates also.
- Create helpful, relevant and high-quality content for the user first. As seen in the Google Helpful Content Update in August 2022
- Use keywords that a user would search for, and place within prominent locations of the page where appropriate.
- Ensure links are crawlable and internal linking is used for Google as well as the user to find other pages within your site.
The team at StrategiQ is monitoring the Google core update daily as it continues to roll out, so keep an eye out for any further updates. Need help, require more information, or simply want to improve overall visibility or traffic to your site? Contact us today.