The Advantages and Disadvantages of the New Core Google Update
Earlier in the year, specifically in January, Google announced that it will introduce its new core updates. If you’re not familiar with what core updates are, these are updates that the search engine company introduces in order to improve the search engine experiences for users. Core updates largely change the algorithms of the search function, and the SERP, or Search Engine Results Pages.
What this means is that users would have a higher chance of getting more updated and relevant content when they begin to look up a particular topic on the search bar.
With the announcement of the core updates, SEO companies have been left impacted by the changes with regard to how specific website pages and content rank on the search results. Every country experiences the changes in largely different ways, which is why the core update experience has been fluctuating for some, but not for others.
While there is no specific list of changes released with the announcement of the core updates, it cannot be denied that SEO companies and page owners have been experiencing some drastic changes in terms of their page and content traffic data and analytics.
As mentioned before, the recent announcement was made by Google itself in January, but there have actually been reports of websites experiencing fluctuations in traffic around the first week of February 2020.
Continue reading to learn more about how the algorithm changes can prove to be either an advantage or a disadvantage for websites and SEO organizations.
One of the most visible and most palpable changes in the aftermath of the core update announcements from Google, was the deduplication in the SERP. Simply put, deduplication refers to the method of removing duplicate results so that a URL won’t appear both in the featured snippets and the SERP.
If you’re not familiar with what a featured snippet is, it simply refers to snippets that serve as an answer to any question which you have input on the search engine. For example, if you want to learn how to ride a bike, you would input the question “how to ride a bike” on the search bar. The featured snippet would then refer to the first box with the list of visible steps on achieving the goal of learning how to ride a bike.
With deduplication, the URL of the featured snippet would no longer be made visible in the organic search results, or simply, the search results which fall below the featured snippet.
Deduplication is particularly advantageous for those sites whose content does not appear on the featured snippet, but rather on the organic search results. This is because people tend to no longer visit the URL of featured snippet pages, because they can already get the information they need, thereby reducing the traffic on the website itself
Core updates don’t affect everyone
Aside from deduplication, another advantage presented by the core updates, is that they don’t seem to affect everyone. What this means, is that some sites will experience a particular boost in page views, or page traffic, while some sites will experience a decline in this measure.
For example, if you own an SEO company and your client is in the niche market, that particular client may experience a great boost in traffic for some period. This is particularly advantageous for both the company and the client because they’re not necessarily what people might look into on a daily basis, compared to, for example, a client that largely deals with the manufacture of automotive parts.
There have been varying reports on how the updates affect different industries, but some have reported a large increase or decrease in page visits.
One reason why the core updates might not be affecting everyone is that there is some speculation that Google is still on the process of testing the core updates and testing how their algorithms affect the user experience.
SERP Layout Changes
Another major change resulting from the core updates has to do with the breadcrumbs, ads, and the favicons of webpages. With the new changes in January 2020, Google has said that it would now include the websites favicons and place the breadcrumbs above the page’s meta description, instead of the URL.
Typically, the changes have proved to become disadvantageous for SEO companies. They have voiced out concern that users won’t be able to distinguish the difference between the ad pages, and the ones coming from the organic search results.
Instead of the traditional design of the ad, this particular update had sought to replace it, by boldening the “ad” text itself. This is particularly disadvantageous for sites who wish to gain traffic and page views, as they would have to compete with the ad pages.
While there have been no uniform and consistent impacts with Google’s announcement of the core updates, SEO companies are still largely affected by it. Aside from the changes regarding the featured snippets, they would also have to understand how changes in the SERP affect the way the likelihood of the user clicking on an ad URL, or a URL from the pool of organic search results.
Aside from this, different industries belonging from different niches have reported vastly different experiences with regard to the core updates, meaning there is a possibility that Google is still experimenting with their algorithms.
Nevertheless, the most important thing to consider is that one should always keep abreast of the different announcements by Google, as well as, the different SEO tactics and strategies.