| 3 minute read

Google Core Algorithm Update: March 2023

Google is known to roll out several updates within a year, such as the most recent Product Reviews Update in February 2023, and the Helpful Content Update in December 2022. All of 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. With a typical 2 week rollout period, we are currently within the prime date range for potential effects to be felt on your website. 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.

  • Quality Content: Even before the launch of the Helpful Content Update in August 2022, Google had been encouraging relevant, useful content in their algorithm updates and announcements for years. If content efforts are in your plans for 2023, it is a safe bet to double down on highly useful and relevant content. In Google’s words, this means content that is not aimed at increasing rankings, but actually provides information users can… use. Still not convinced about content in your strategy? Check out our article about how a good content strategy can positively impact your business.
  • Technical Audits: Because of the lack of information surrounding core updates upon launch, it is smart to focus on technical SEO enhancements to mitigate risk associated with keyword ranking and organic impression drops that often accompany Google’s updates. For example, you want to ensure your site is easily crawlable to promote full indexation, has all of its Title Tags and other metadata optimized, and loads fast. These things, along with other more nuanced technical aspects will help you weather the storm of an algorithm update. Have a brand new site or never taken a look at technical SEO before? Here is why you should start with technical SEO before moving on to fancy keyword ranking and content.
  • Monitor Statistics Frequently: At BFO, we often discover implications of core updates via data. Typically, we watch keyword ranking data closely during any Google Update, along with general analytics statistics. We recommend you watch for widespread keyword drops, keyword visibility percentages, and impressions/clicks in Google Search Console in the time period immediately following an update. Sometimes we see these stats drop, and then recover as the update takes time to rollout. Other times specific keyword drops can point you to changes you need to make in your site (ie duplicate content or non-relevant content). Either way, data is very important to watch in the weeks following a Google update so you can adapt.

When Should You Be Worried?

Let’s say you have been experiencing ranking drops, and organic impressions have dropped significantly a week into the update. Google has announced that sometimes during updates you may see activity like this, that will likely fully recover by the time the update is complete. The ambiguity of this is enough to make any SEO or marketing department lose sleep at night, but at BFO we have seen the exact scenario play out many times. So, focus on the things listed above and, more importantly, it is time to be concerned if your ranking and impression drops have stayed down weeks after the update is complete. You can keep tabs on all of Google’s updates and their timelines here.

Next Steps

It is important to remember that Google’s changes are designed to highlight good work, and content that 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 are worried you may have been impacted by the March 2023 Core Algorithm Update, contact us here at Be Found Online for our SEO services! We will ensure your content strategy and technical SEO aspects are buttoned up in 2023 and beyond.