By Luc Wade, Management Consultant at Hive Business
Google releases ‘core updates’ to its algorithms about every quarter, sometimes more. It never used to tell anyone but it seems to be embarking on a new policy of openness, having announced this code drop, which began working through servers around the world on June 3. It will take some time, affecting most UK and Irish websites by the end of w/c June 10. We asked Andrew Thomas, Head of SEO at Hive Business, for more information.
“This broad core update is about Google re-evaluating how it deems whether a website is ‘relevant’. If your website isn’t responsive, has slow pages speeds or lacks relevant content, it may well be tagged as irrelevant. For example, if you run an implant practice, but your website lacks any posts about different implant treatments, your rankings may suffer.
There’s not a lot you can do at this stage, just look out for any change in your website traffic and Google ranking, and if these have been affected you can take steps to remedy them in time for the next core update. This might involve building links from relevant websites, such as targeting a health blog, writing a piece about implants, and within that embedding a link saying “do you want your teeth back?” that links back to the relevant treatment page on your website.
Some suppliers still sell directory links like Yell.com — there are thousands of these online directories — but they are low quality way of driving traffic and will become increasingly counterproductive as Google associates them with irrelevant content.
What to do now
- Google’s updates take up to 10 days to work through servers so wait until making any conclusions about whether or how your site has been affected.
- This update is general and won’t be targeting specific niches — Google’s official advice is “there is nothing to fix”.
- The essence of core updates are website relevance: site quality remains important but is not the focus. If your site is affected, ask yourself why your site might not be viewed by Google as relevant anymore.
- It might be more productive to ask yourself what’s more relevant about competitor sites that are ranking better. Generally speaking you can’t implement quick fixes to get your rankings to bounce straight back up, but you can take steps to improve your site in time for the next core update which won’t be far off, a matter of a few months.
What is relevant?
Writing blog posts based around implants (if you run an implant clinic) will increase the relevancy for implant treatments. You can build links based on this relevancy and embed them in relevant content on relevant health websites. Directories won’t work, and moreover they often use text links such as “visit website” that are meaningless as well as using irrelevant and poor quality directories.”
If you notice a drop in your Google rankings, new patient enquiries or just website traffic after this core update let us know. We will review competitor sites that rise above you and undertake an audit covering technologies, website themes and page speed. Contact us if you need some help.