Google Advice: Improving Your Site's Ranking for Future Core Ranking Update
Google's core search ranking algorithmic updates are important for websites, as they can significantly impact their ranking in Google search. Google's previous advice was that there is often nothing you can do to fix your site if you see a decline in search rankings after a core update. However, Google has recently posted advice on core updates that offers some overall advice on how to improve your site's ranking after a core update.
So, what has changed? Google has said that what has changed is how its systems assess content overall. Google offered an analogy to explain how a core update operates: "One way to think of how a core update operates is to imagine you made a list of the top 100 movies in 2015. A few years later in 2019, you refresh the list. It’s going to naturally change. The list will change, and films previously higher on the list that move down aren’t bad. There are simply more deserving films that are coming before them."
Google's latest advice is similar to the advice it gave in 2011 around its Panda algorithm: "We suggest focusing on ensuring you’re offering the best content you can. That’s what our algorithms seek to reward." Google has also offered a list of questions to consider when evaluating your content. These questions include:
Does the content provide original information, reporting, research, or analysis?
Does the content provide a substantial, complete, or comprehensive description of the topic?
Does the content provide insightful analysis or interesting information that is beyond obvious?
If the content draws on other sources, does it avoid simply copying or rewriting those sources and instead provide substantial additional value and originality?
Does the headline and/or page title provide a descriptive, helpful summary of the content?
Does the headline and/or page title avoid being exaggerating or shocking in nature?
Is this the sort of page you’d want to bookmark, share with a friend, or recommend?
Would you expect to see this content in or referenced by a printed magazine, encyclopedia or book?
Moreover, Google advises website owners to consider the following questions when evaluating their content:
Does the content present information in a way that makes you want to trust it, such as clear sourcing, evidence of the expertise involved, background about the author, or the site that publishes it, such as through links to an author page or a site’s About page?
If you researched the site producing the content, would you come away with an impression that it is well-trusted or widely-recognized as an authority on its topic?
Is this content written by an expert or enthusiast who demonstrably knows the topic well?
Is the content free from easily-verified factual errors?
Would you feel comfortable trusting this content for issues relating to your money or your life?
Google suggests considering the following questions when evaluating the presentation and production of your content:
Is the content free from spelling or stylistic issues?
Was the content produced well, or does it appear sloppy or hastily produced?
Is the content mass-produced by or outsourced to a large number of creators, or spread across a large network of sites, so that individual pages or sites don’t get as much attention or care?
Does the content have an excessive amount of ads that distract from or interfere with the main content?
Does content display well for mobile devices when viewed on them?
Additionally, website owners should read Google's search quality raters guidelines, which has moved locations and focus on the E-A-T sections. E-A-T stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness.