Google regularly updates its search algorithms to provide better search results for users. A “core update” refers to significant, broad changes to Google’s main (core) search algorithm. Unlike daily or minor updates that Google may implement, core updates can have more noticeable effects on search rankings and can significantly impact the visibility of websites in Google’s search results.
Here are some key points to understand about Google’s core updates:
- Purpose: The main objective of these updates is to improve the relevancy and quality of search results. Google always aims to provide the best answers to users’ queries, and these updates help refine the results to achieve that goal.
- Frequency: Google’s core updates don’t have a fixed schedule but they typically happen several times a year.
- Impact: After a core update, some websites might notice drops or gains in their search rankings. It’s important that changes don’t necessarily mean there’s something wrong with a dropped website. Instead, it might be that the update is rewarding other sites that were previously under-rewarded.
- Recovery: If a website is negatively impacted by a core update, Google’s advice is typically to focus on offering the best possible content. There’s no specific set of “fixes” for a site affected by a core update. Site owners should think broadly about improving the overall quality and relevance of their content.
- Communication: Google usually announces core updates in advance through their official communication channels, like the Google SearchLiaison Twitter account. This helps webmasters and SEO professionals prepare for potential changes in search rankings and traffic.
- Evaluation: To assess content quality, Google often refers website owners to their Search Quality Rater Guidelines, which provide insights into what they consider high-quality content.
If you have a website it’s a good practice to stay informed about these updates and continually focus on improving your website’s user and experience. That’s the best long-term strategy to maintain or improve search visibility.
When core update start
Google’s core updates have been a regular part of their algorithm refinement process for many years. However, they didn’t always announce or name them explicitly. It was only in recent years, particularly from around 2018 onwards, that Google started to be more consistent in announcing and sometimes naming these core updates.
Before this period, there were significant algorithm changes (like Panda, Penguin, and Hummingbird) that were named, but they were distinct in nature from what are now termed “core” updates.
Starting from 2018, Google began to regularly announce when a “broad core algorithm update” was being rolled out, giving SEOs and webmasters a clearer indication of when major ranking fluctuations might occur.
To get specifics on when a particular core update started, you would need to reference the announcement date provided by Google for that particular update. Google usually announces these updates via their official channels, such as the Google Search-liaison Twitter account.
Why Core Update
Google’s core updates are initiated for several reasons, all centered around the company’s primary objective: to continually improve the relevance, accuracy, and usefulness of search results for users. Here’s why Google rolls out core updates:
- Evolving Search Queries: Over time, new search queries emerge, and the context or intent behind certain queries can evolve. Core updates ensure that the algorithm remains aligned with the current state of user queries and intents.
- Better Understanding of Content: Google’s understanding of web pages is constantly improving. Advancements in natural language processing and machine learning enable the search engine to better understand the context and quality of content on the web. Core updates may incorporate these advancements.
- Combating Spam and Low-Quality Content: While Google has separate spam-fighting updates, core updates can also help demote low-quality content and ensure that high-quality, relevant content rises to the top of search results.
- Feedback and Learning: Google collects vast amounts of data and feedback on search results. Core updates can address any observed shortcomings or anomalies in the results.
- Technological Advancements: As technology progresses, newer methods and techniques arise that allow for better search result evaluation and ranking. Implementing these advancements might require changes to the core algorithm.
- User Behavior and Expectations: As users become more sophisticated in their online behavior and expectations change, Google must adjust its algorithms to meet these evolving needs.
- Holistic Improvements: While Google often makes minor tweaks and adjustments daily, a core update is a more holistic refinement of the algorithm, addressing multiple facets at once rather than focusing on a single specific issue or factor.
Google’s core updates are part of a continuous effort to fulfil the company’s mission of organising the world’s information and making it universally accessible and useful. By regularly refining their core search algorithm, Google aims to keep its search results relevant and beneficial for users in a constantly changing digital landscape.