While Google releases a core update several times a year, this is the first one of 2020. As a core update, this will likely have a notable effect on search engine listings across the web. 

It is expected that, during the rollout, most sites will experience a high degree of volatility in terms of rankings and organic traffic over the next few weeks. Indeed, our monitoring tools are showing a high amount of fluctuation in rankings across most industry verticals. 

Core updates are designed to ensure that Google search continues to deliver relevant, engaging content to end-users and this update is no different; it's likely that Google will be seeking to improve how the algorithm evaluates a site as a whole. Therefore, a negative impact from this update may not necessarily mean that there's anything wrong with your site, just that some competitors have been given more credit where they may have previously been overlooked. 

Nonetheless, we have a few thoughts and recommendations for next steps if you have noted an adverse impact from this latest update. 

Don’t panic!

Monitor your sites organic traffic over the coming weeks and evaluate the potential impact of the update. Typically, core updates are rolled out in a staged approach, thus fluctuation for rankings and traffic is naturally to be expected. 

Remember EAT

E.A.T stands for “Expertise, Authority & Trustworthiness”, which are the key guidelines that Google’s quality raters use to assign a quality score to results for certain searches. Whilst quality rater scores do not directly impact search rankings they do feed into refining the algorithm further. 

Site content

Evaluate your site's content. Google guidelines suggest that low-quality content on some parts of a site can impact rankings as a whole. Removing, redirecting or improving pages with a high bounce rate and low traffic, may help to improve search footprint for the site as a whole.

Technical SEO

Ensure your site is as technically well-optimised as possible. Strong technical SEO is the foundation of ensuring your site has the best chance of being ranked in search engines. 

User Experience

Providing a site that helps to satisfy a user's intent behind a search will assist in organic search. It may be worth considering some user testing to analyse any potential issues on your site and make appropriate fixes to provide a best-in-class experience for your audience.

If you’d like some advice on how to optimise your site for search then get in touch with one of our experts, or why not come along to our next masterclass?