What You Need to Know About Google’s March 2019 Core Update:
- Google confirmed that the March 2019 Core Update is one of the most significant algorithm updates in years.
- The dust has mostly settled on keyword volatility, peaking on March 12-13.
- E-A-T-dependent sectors were affected the most, such as health, pets and animals, and food and drink.
- There is no “magic lever” or “quick fix” to get your site back to the top of the SERP, but Designzillas is here to help with strategic suggestions for improving your ranking in the long run.
Where Did My
Here’s the deal. If you’re familiar with SERP, you know there are only up to 10 spots on the first page of Google. Picture these 10 search results as houses on the best street in the best neighborhood in your city. You’re trying to move into the very best one, but so is everyone else—including your competitors. You might be willing to pay more for that spot than your competitor, but it’s possible that they’re working smarter to get that spot. Your competitor has spent the last year building up concrete reasons for the seller to pick them, and it’s working. In SERP terms, this equates to pages of high-quality, relevant content on your competitor’s website.
Bottom line: you can’t just buy the top organic spot, you have to work smart and often.
What does this mean for an algorithm update? If your position on a SERP has fallen (sad.) or risen (yay!) after an update from Google, that means your content has been determined either more or less relevant to that keyword search compared to your SERP competitors. This is not to be confused with mid-update keyword volatility. During an update, keyword fluctuations are normal and very common. That’s one sign that tells industry experts, like your friends here at DZ, that an algorithm change is happening in the first place. Google doesn’t like to tell us when it’s happening.
During the March 2019 Core Update, keyword volatility hit its peak on March 12-13.
After the dust has settled and your ranking for a target keyword has settled in a lower position than you had hoped for, the most important thing you need to do is pull the magic lever that puts you back to the top of the SERP.
Just kidding! There is no magic lever—remember?! In fact, for this algorithm update, Google has stated that there is nothing to fix to regain keyword positions and urged companies to continue focusing on generating relevant and informative content. Anyone who tells you otherwise may be a villain in disguise! Rising to the top of a SERP requires time, high-quality content and obedience to on- and off-page optimizations for SEO. We’ll give you some tips on what you can do to optimize in the long run.
How to Recover From the March 2019 Core Update
On March 13, 2019, Google confirmed that they released a “broad core algorithm update” and named it the “March 2019 Core Update”.
This week, we released a broad core algorithm update, as we do several times per year. Our guidance about such updates remains as we’ve covered before. Please see these tweets for more about that:https://t.co/uPlEdSLHoXhttps://t.co/tmfQkhdjPL
— Google SearchLiaison (@searchliaison) March 13, 2019
If you’ve been affected by this update, here’s how to improve your site to address the most recent optimizations:
- Define a purpose for each page of your website and include more “high E-A-T” content, especially on your homepage and about page.
- Boost the quality and quantity of your online reviews, especially on Google Reviews. Many efforts optimizing for local SEO also apply to universal SEO efforts.
- Improve your page speed by using smaller image sizes, minifying your CSS and HTML, and reducing redirects.
- Keep an eye on page metrics like average time on page, bounce and exit rates, as these signify to Google if a user finds your content relevant to their search.
If you’re new to SEO, here’s an on-page optimization checklist that will help you get started with the basics.
It’s also important to be aware that your position on the SERP takes time to impact and is everchanging with Google’s frequent updates to their algorithm throughout the year. Implementing the aforementioned optimizations does not guarantee that you will see improvement—and it certainly won’t happen overnight. Be patient and don’t forget the bigger picture! Monitoring your overall traffic, leads and sales can bring you peace of mind. The purpose of the algorithm update is to increase the accuracy and relevancy of search results. This means more of the right users are coming to your site, and probably converting at a higher rate. Diversifying your site’s traffic is key; organic traffic is only one piece of your overall traffic, and if you have a healthy flow of all the other types (like direct, paid, social and referral) your position on the SERP may not affect your bottom line.
Good luck, and may the Great Goog grant you mercy.