Google frequently releases several updates within a year, including the most recent Product Reviews Update in February 2023 and the Helpful Content Update in December 2022. All these updates typically affect rankings and presence in the SERPs, but when they make a Core Algorithm Update, it is time to pay attention and stay informed. Read on to learn more about the most recent March 2023 Core Algorithm Update.
Core Algorithm Update
The official start date for the new core algorithm update was March 15, 2023. We are currently in the prime date range for potential effects to impact your website, with a typical 2-week rollout period. Like most core updates, there is little information regarding the details surrounding this update.
What Should You Do?
Despite the relatively little information SEOs have regarding the update, there are a list of things you can do that are evergreen best practices, as well as things learned from past and similar Google Updates.
Even before the launch of the Helpful Content Update in August 2022, Google had been emphasizing the importance of relevant, useful content in their algorithm updates and announcements for years.
If you're considering content efforts as part of your plans for 2023, it's a smart move to focus on creating highly useful and relevant content. Google states that producing content should prioritize providing information that benefits users rather than solely aiming to boost rankings.
If you're still not convinced about the value of incorporating content into your strategy, take a moment to explore our article on how a well-executed content strategy can have a positive impact on your business.
Focus on technical SEO enhancements is a smart strategy to handling the uncertainty that often accompanies Google's core updates. Core updates typically lack detailed information upon launch, and this can pose a risk to your keyword rankings and organic impressions. To mitigate these risks, consider prioritizing technical improvements.
Ensure that your website is easily crawlable to promote complete indexation. Optimize all Title Tags and other metadata, and prioritize fast loading times. These fundamental technical aspects, along with more nuanced considerations, can help you better withstand the impact of an algorithm update.
If you have a brand new site or have never delved into technical SEO before, it's a good idea to begin with this foundational step before diving into advanced strategies like keyword ranking and content optimization. Here's the reason beginning with technical SEO is sensible.
Monitor Statistics Frequently:
At BFO, we rely on data to uncover the implications of core updates. During any Google Update, we keep a close eye on keyword ranking data and general analytics statistics. Here's what we recommend you watch for in the period immediately following an update:
Check for widespread keyword drops and monitor keyword visibility percentages.
Monitor impressions and clicks in Google Search Console closely. Sometimes, these statistics may initially drop, only to recover as the update fully rolls out.
Additionally, specific keyword drops can provide valuable insights. They might signal the need for changes on your website, such as addressing duplicate content or non-relevant content. In any case, it's crucial to monitor data in the weeks following a Google update to adapt effectively.
When Should You Be Worried?
Imagine you've been experiencing drops in your rankings, and your organic impressions have significantly decreased just a week into the update. Google has acknowledged that such fluctuations can occur during updates, and they often fully recover as the update progresses.
The uncertainty surrounding these changes can understandably keep SEO and marketing departments up at night. However, at BFO, we've witnessed this exact scenario play out numerous times.
Focus on the recommendations listed above to weather the update storm effectively. More importantly, you should start raising concerns if your rankings and impressions continue to stay down for weeks after the update has concluded.
For ongoing updates and their timelines, you track Google's announcements here.
Remember that Google designs its changes to highlight good work and the content your team worked hard to develop. Many of the actions companies take to “combat” core updates are things they should be doing on a consistent basis in their content and SEO strategies. So, as a company, you can look at these updates as an opportunity to focus on fine tuning your site so you are better prepared for the future.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding the potential impact of the March 2023 Core Algorithm Update, feel free to reach out to us at Be Found Online for our SEO services! We are here to ensure that your content strategy and technical SEO aspects are well taken care of in 2023 and beyond.
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Jonathon is a Senior SEO Account Manager at BFO. He’s a reliable and consistent member of our team and is very detail-oriented and client-focused.
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