The Latest Google Algorithm Updates You Need to Know (March 2019)
Picture this: your website has been on page 1 for months. But one day, you find yourself on page 47! What happened? Put simply, you were probably affected by one of the latest Google Algorithm Updates.
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Google is Ever-Changing
Before you start putting your web developers and content creators on blast for the drop in your rankings. You might want to hear us out first.
While it might only be March 2019, the latest Google Algorithm updates have already been rolling since the start of the year. These updates have caused numerous fluctuations in rankings over the past couple of months.
But… what is a “Google Algorithm”?
“Google Algorithm” in a Nutshell
Imagine you are running on a track. Suddenly, you trip on something and fall to your knees. You turn. You see a bump in the middle of the course. No matter, it is just a tiny bump, you can still continue your run. However, you start feeling more tiny bumps as you continue running. Finally, you end up tripping on a huge bump in the middle of the track and you discover an open wound on your knee.
Sorry (not sorry) for that morbid picture but that’s basically what digital marketing is. You might have heard about how Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is like a long-distance race. But the bumps on the track are Google Algorithm updates that might cause you to trip.
To avoid the bumps, you probably have to alter your route instead of continuing to follow the path on the track. This where foresight matters. When you know where the bumps are, you will be able to avoid accidents.
This is where our list of the latest Google algorithm updates comes in.
Latest Google Algorithm Updates: What You Need to Know
Fret not about accidentally getting penalized by Google because we have done the research for you. And don’t worry, there are only 3 that have been detected thus far. So you probably won’t have to make too many changes to your SEO strategy. Read on to learn about the latest Google Algorithm updates might affect you.
March 2019 Core Update
If you noticed a dip or two in your rankings in the middle of March, you were probably affected by the March 2019 core update.
Google actually confirmed this update on their twitter on March 13, 2019. View the tweet below:
We understand it can be useful to some for updates to have names. Our name for this update is “March 2019 Core Update.” We think this helps avoid confusion; it tells you the type of update it was and when it happened.
— Google SearchLiaison (@searchliaison) March 15, 2019
Also known as the Florida 2 update, the March 2019 Core Update was reportedly noted by Search Engine Land’s Roger Montti to be one of the biggest updates in years. However, unlike other updates, Google isn’t exactly targetting any signals or industries. On the other hand, Google is focusing on relevancy.
In other words, your website ranking is, most likely, being influenced by how well it matches search queries. This is where content matters, your website has to provide relevant and useful information based on search queries. Web pages that are aged or contain miscellaneous content that does not provide valuable information to a search query experience a dip in their ranking.
According to Montti, the good news is that there is nothing to fix aside from building great content since all changes are on Google’s end. Just keep analyzing search queries that are coming in and continue to craft valuable and useful content which would provide key information a user would need to drive conversions.
On the other hand, if you have been wussing out on your content strategy, now might be a good time to start incorporating a robust content strategy.
Valentine’s Day 2019 Update
If you noticed that the modifications you made to a certain webpage were reverted, here is the explanation you have been waiting for: Google was probably in the midst of rolling out it’s Valentine’s Day update.
Every digital marketer received a Valentine’s Day gift in the form of a Google Update on February 14, 2019. Like the March 2019 core update, the Valentine’s Day 2019 update focused on relevance over quality. According to Monti of Search Engine Journal, Google has been targetting low-quality websites.
This means that if you have not been putting in ample effort in ensuring that your website loads quickly, contains absolutely no broken links, incorporates valuable content, and has a reliable and working server, you might have experienced a dip in your rankings.
To avoid being penalised by Google, make sure that your websites are in tip-top condition. No broken links, no server crash, and no spam!
January 20 Update
The earliest and final update on our list of the latest Google algorithm updates took place at the beginning of the year.
According to reports by Sam Astill of USdigital, users uncover major fluctuations in their rankings as well as better results for their search queries from January 9, 2019. Further probing by Jonathan Griffin of The Web Master also highlighted that this update penalised low-quality pages.
Web pages with an exceedingly satisfying amount of high-quality content, excellent website reputation as well as trustworthiness, authoritativeness and expertise seemed to be unaffected or only subtly affected by the update.
User Experience is Everything
If you have been reading our commentary close enough, you would have realised that all the aforementioned updates targetted one aspect of websites: user experience. These days where customer engagement, customer satisfaction and web experience is everything, it seems as if Google has shifted its focus to providing results that answer to users’ search queries.
While link-building and keywords retain their significance, it is obvious that quality matters more than quantity on Google now. As Google continues rolling out algorithmic updates, it is highly key to preserve the quality of your website, content and web development to stay in the game. While the future may be uncertain, prioritising user experience as the core of your SEO strategy should be sufficient.
Find out how you can optimise your SEO with the help of a few quick content fixes. Don’t worry, these fixes won’t take you more than 5 minutes. Click here to learn more.
Did you know that some social networks have actually died because of poor user experience? Click here for a blast from the past.