What you need to know about Google’s September 2019 Update

Earlier this week, Google announced the impending release of their core algorithm update. This is the third update of the year and has been aptly named the September 2019 Core Update.

As a core update, this means that it will have a significant effect on the way the Google algorithm ranks websites. It was rolled out on September 24th and will take a few days to complete.

What is it?

The fundamental aim of the update is to improve how systems assess content and to keep rewarding websites which produce consistent, quality content.

Some pages will drop in rankings after a core update, but this isn’t to say they need to be changed or improved. The update simply reassesses pages in comparison to others. There is constantly new content published, updated or removed entirely. All these factors can contribute to a sudden drop (or boost) in the rankings.

While the rank changes are difficult to avoid, Google recommends “focusing on ensuring you’re offering the best content you can”, by placing emphasis on these four things:

  • Content & Quality: Essentially looks at the originality and quality of the content. Do the title and descriptions properly represent the content?
  • Expertise: Would you trust the website and content? Are there any factual errors than could have been avoided?
  • Presentation & Production: How does the page look on different devices? Are there ads that distract from the content?
  • Competitive Comparison: How does the content of this website measure up against competitors?

How do I know if I’ve been affected?

The most obvious way to know how your website has been affected by the update is the organic Google rankings. It is likely that your website may experience a sudden drop or gain in the rankings, based on your keywords. 

Around the time of an update, it is wise to keep an eye on your important keywords. If you aren’t currently using a paid SEO service, programmes like Google Search Console makes it easier to monitor rankings.

What can I do?

While a drop in rankings doesn’t necessarily mean there’s anything wrong with your website, we recommend making regular improvements to your content. At its core, the Google updates aim to reward high-quality websites, so it doesn’t hurt to refresh your content every now and then.

Another way to self-assess your content is to use E.A.T, commonly used by Google quality raters. If you’ve not heard of these people, they provide insights on the results of the current algorithms and if the updates are working well.

Understanding how raters assess content with E.A.T will help you to self-assess your own website and make changes as necessary. 

Here is a simple breakdown of E.A.T and some questions to ask yourself in relation to your website and content:

  • Expertise: Is your information correct, up-to-date and original?
  • Authoritativeness: Is your website, brand and content a good source of information?
  • Trustworthiness: Would you trust your website as a webmaster? Is your content reliable? Does the page contain any errors?

As Google implement core updates every few months, it is not uncommon for search rankings to stay the same, even after changes have been made to content. These changes will be registered in the next update. If you need advice or guidance about your rankings or how the update could affect you, contact the Colewood team.

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