Google's 2023 Core algorithm update has been the talk of the SEO community since it finished rolling out on March 28. Google has not officially confirmed the targets of the update, but online data suggest that it affects all types of content and has had a significant impact on search engine results pages (SERPs). No surprise there; core updates tend to have a significant impact on SERPs.
More Carrot, but Still Some Stick
This core update does not explicitly penalize websites or content that have lost rankings. Instead, the goal seems to be to reward high-quality content aligned with Google’s Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (E-A-T) guidelines. This approach follows Google's ongoing effort to prioritize relevant, useful, and trustworthy content for its users. Naturally, giving priority to high-quality content pushes down lesser content by default.
Wondering how your site is faring post-update? Read on for steps you can take to find out and to learn how to reverse any adverse effects.
Did Google’s March 2023 Core Update Impact Your Site?
Check your website's analytics. Use monitoring tools, such as Google Analytics, to see any drop in traffic or other key metrics, such as pageviews, bounce rates, or conversion rates.
- Use an SEO ranking tool: Several available tools can help you track your website's ranking for specific keywords. Ahrefs, SEMrush, and Moz, among others, allow you to track your website's ranking over time and monitor changes in keyword rankings.
- Check for Google Search Console notifications: Google Search Console is a free tool that allows you to monitor your website's performance in Google search results. If your website has lost rankings, Google Search Console may send you notifications about issues or penalties that might affect your website's search engine rankings.
- Manual search: Spot search a number of keywords you generally rank well for. If you notice your rankings have dropped for a number of these terms, it could mean that your rankings have taken a hit on a broader scale. It will also give you insight into the content that's now outranking your content.
How to Regain Rankings
We’ve seen rankings loss after other core updates; they’re nothing new, and neither is the necessity of countering any loss. You can respond to the 2023 update by improving your content and thus raising your chances of ranking well in the future.
- Prioritize and include keywords that naturally fit your content. Avoid keyword stuffing or over-optimization. These practices can hurt your rankings.
- Write for humans, not search engines. Create engaging, informative, and well-researched content that your audience values. This will not only help you rank better but also attract and retain site visitors.
- Refresh old content that retains some value but ranks poorly. Update information, add new insights, improve the formatting and readability of the content, and thus make your old content more appealing to both users and search engines.
- Avoid duplicate content, add fresh content regularly, and adhere to best practices for content creation and optimization. The 2023 update has made unique, up-to-date, high-quality content a necessity rather than a luxury.
These four actions will enhance your website's E-A-T signals and lift your chances of ranking well in Google's SERPs.
If you need expert SEO insights and guidance, don’t hesitate to reach out! Our team can help you develop and execute an SEO strategy that gets results.