Core Update Recovery Times – Google Offers Details
On September 4, 2020, an interview with Google spokesman John Mueller took place. The meeting was devoted to popular questions about what actions should be taken by webmasters in connection with the latest kernel updates. The specialist gave recommendations on how to optimize the site so that it can begin to restore its position in the ranking of search results.
Do Sites Need to Wait for the Next Kernel Update or Work on Restoring Positions?
In the early 2000s, the Google search engine changed its algorithms every month. Therefore, webmasters had to wait for the next update to see the results on improving the quality of the site. Now, global changes in algorithms occur less often. SEO specialists can begin almost immediately. In connection with the new May upgrade, Core Update, it seems that attempts to restore the position are in vain. Read more about the update in the article, UPDATE: Google May 4, 2020.
Therefore, many webmasters asked a question on official Google accounts on social networks: “Is it worth working on the site, or waiting for a new kernel update to be released?” Additionally, upgrades are released every few months, and this can affect the position of the resource in the search results in the future.
John Mueller commented on the situation as follows:
“Major updates to search algorithms are aimed primarily at understanding how relevant the search results are to search queries. So you don’t have to wait to start improving your site. Keep working and the situation will improve over time. How fast it will depend on the quality of the content and other factors.”
John Mueller confirms that the search engine algorithms are aimed at constantly updating the SERP. As soon as the upgrade takes effect, publishers notice some fluctuations in the site’s SERP. This is due to a change in ranking factors. If the page does not correspond to them, then it loses its relevance for users. Its usefulness decreases for search robots.
“Decrease in rankings in search results does not mean that your site is bad or sanctions have been applied to it. The purpose of our update is not directed to specific sites or pages. We want to improve the quality of the search results for users,” J. Mueller comments.
Therefore, if a site that has lost several positions is added to the missing options or content is changed, it is likely to restore its rating until the next update.
According to Mueller, many webmasters can stay ahead of the curve and improve their site, preparing it for future updates:
“The main thing is to follow the recommendations of Google. We don’t want webmasters to work in the wrong direction and only spoil the situation.
The subsequent update of the algorithms, perhaps, will be directed just at the changes that you made to the site, so you will soon be able to see a positive result.
I wouldn’t change the whole URL structure but rather worked on improving the site navigation and of course the content. We check whether the issue is relevant, so it is in the interests of publishers to work out the most relevant queries for users.”
In fact, Mueller recommends constantly researching the needs of the target audience. Revealing the latest trends and insights will help keep content up to date to meet the core requirements of Google. In connection with Core Update, be as flexible as possible in your SEO strategy.
Many experts note that the situation has worsened for authoritative sites. Small young resources, on the contrary, have appeared in the first places in the TOP-10.
This confirms the words of Mueller. You need to constantly work on the site. Google is trying to diversify the search results as much as possible. The quality and usefulness of the content are at the forefront, and it is worth paying attention to the building of the link mass.
If your site has lost positions, this is a signal that it is time to seriously reconsider the quality and relevance of the content of the pages and, possibly, even the semantic core.
Many SEO experts noted the drop in rankings on the pages had scattered information. With this in mind, it’s worth creating one landing page that matches one topic. The same rule applies to product cards, which must provide clear answers to basic consumer questions.
How to Create Quality Content? Google Tips
The main advice from John Mueller is to work on the relevance of the content and alternate its forms. Don’t use just one type of article, even if it has yielded good results in the past. We wrote earlier that user trends are constantly changing and rigid resources will yield to young sites if their content turns out to be better.
“It’s important to remember that Google’s search engine crawlers do not perceive content the way humans do. When launching core updates, we try to find custom signals in order to understand how satisfied the audience is with the search results, how they rate the relevance. Therefore, webmasters have no choice but to meet the needs and interests of users in order to maintain or improve their positions,” – John Mueller’s comment.
The best option is to alternate lengthy expert articles with instructions, checklists, product reviews, and so on. You will attract a wider audience and will be able to increase site traffic several times, thereby improving one of the ranking factors.
Content that matches the E-A-T (Experience-Authority-Trust) site quality scores are scored higher by search engines. Google representatives officially state that this is clearly not the main ranking factor but webmasters should still focus on it.
Especially if you are creating content for YMYL sites.
In addition, content that meets the E‑A-T parameters improves behavioral signals, which in the future may lead to an increase in the site’s position. With a competent strategy, reaching the TOP-10 minimal losses during the next kernel update.
In an interview, Müller recommended reading additional trust sources, according to Google experts, for information on how E-A-T can directly affect SEO. They are listed in the May Kernel Update article. These are not direct instructions for action but they will help you look at the situation from a different angle and get more data on what changes to make to the promotion strategy.
In his interview, John Mueller gave tips on how to improve the quality of the page content, taken from an article on the official Google blog:
- Refer to primary sources in your texts, support statements with research and numbers.
- Expand the topic completely so that the user does not have any questions.
- Use linking to improve behavioral factors and website traffic.
- Create original and unique content, supplement it with your own conclusions, analyze information from other sources, instead of rewriting.
- Use meaningful headings so that the user can immediately identify what is being discussed.
Authority and expertise come to the fore in creating quality content. If the article contains facts, there are links to trusted sources. Users will trust your resource. This is especially true for topics about health and finance because it involves experts in a specific field in writing texts.
Analyze your target audience, which content resonates more with them, and what is overlooked.
Google also advises analyzing which pages have lost their positions in the SERP and for which keywords. Alternatively, the information is outdated or does not correspond to the E-A-T quality assessment, so the bots considered it irrelevant.
When Can We Expect the Site’s Position to Recover?
Unfortunately, having good content isn’t one of the main Google ranking factors. John Mueller did not reveal the secrets of how search engine algorithms work in his interview after the last update of the core. He also did not reveal why many sites, with high-quality content, have strong fluctuations in rankings.
His advice can be summed up in three basic rules:
- Build good websites for people with easy navigation.
- Improve behavioral cues by generating helpful and expert content.
- Keep compliance with QRG and EAT standards.
Even if your site meets all three factors, there is no 100% guarantee that it will start recovering in rankings.
“Our algorithms are flawed. We are constantly working to improve them, so publishers can replace the restoration of former positions only after the next update. But we recommend that you constantly work on the quality of the site. This is the main rule for progress,”– a comment from a Google analyst.
At the same time, Mueller does not deny that a positive result maybe earlier. Many sites regain their positions without making any special changes, but by continuing to work primarily on content and building a high-quality link mass, adhering to Google guidelines.
Many SEO experts and analysts agree that the position will be restored by the next core update. In the meantime, Google is at the stage of testing and gradually improving the Core Update algorithm. This is also confirmed by John Mueller, hinting to webmasters that the system is still not perfect. They are constantly looking for an optimal solution, so they do not give any predictions.
We advise you to focus on all the ranking factors at once and devote maximum time to writing good and varied content. Experiment and analyze which tactics improve website traffic. Please be patient and follow Google’s comments closely on their official sources.
For more information, check out the interview with John Mueller: