Whether you’re an affiliate marketer, a local business owner, or an e-commerce brand, chances are that you’ve heard of the Google core algorithm update. After all, Google made a lot of changes in the past year, and many people who had top-ranking websites found their positions decline suddenly. Likewise, some sites perform better after the new update.
However, experts agree that the changes made in the Google core update of September 2022 had a minimal impact on most websites. At the same time, other changes to the ranking system had more of an effect on many sites.
With that said, there are some lessons that you can learn.
The Google core algorithm update amplifies the helpful content update
In other words, Google is doubling down on the idea that content should be helpful to readers. For a long time, people have struggled to find good content for certain keywords, especially if they’re shopping-related. Even within the last couple of years, searching for reviews or information on selected topics would typically give you a lot of affiliate marketers.
That’s not to say that Google has a problem with affiliate marketers. It’s just that they publish a lot of thin content with very little information besides the links. Google wants to promote better-quality content.
There was relatively little ranking volatility
The Google core update September 2022 resulted in less ranking volatility than most other algorithm updates recently. That is, there were few radical changes in page visibility. Experts agree that this signals Google was more interested in rounding up the “usual suspects” rather than making radical changes.
At the same time, Google made other algorithm changes within a relatively short period. Therefore, we have less certainty about what algorithm changes affected a page. While some examples are obvious, others are harder to understand.
On a more practical level, the relatively low volatility means that if your website ranks well already, then you don’t have to be very concerned about the changes. We also know that, once again, the quality of the content is critical to ranking positions. Therefore, you shouldn’t settle for inferior content quality. Work or pay for the best results.
Google made the most changes in certain niches
While the effect of the Google core algorithm update was mild for most topics, it was marked for others. Specifically, gaming, beauty, home and garden, pets, and hobbies saw significant changes.
What do these topics have in common? For most people, they’re areas with a lot of discretionary spending. And as a result, there’s a lot of competition for those consumer dollars. Along with this competition comes a lot of poor-quality content. Some influencers and affiliate marketers even write a few sentences and then link to products.
Google doesn’t want that level of commercialism outside of an e-commerce site.
The Google core algorithm update is mainly fine-tuning
Despite other updates happening in quick succession, it’s increasingly clear that the core algorithm update was mainly fine-tuning recent changes. For instance, Google has gotten much more sophisticated at detecting thin content. The helpful content update helped move the algorithm in the right direction, but it stopped short of eliminating all spammy content from the first page.
Another observation is that there’s more of an emphasis on the overall quality of writing, resources, and authority. Websites with top-quality content written by good writers seem to be performing the best as opposed to their competitors.
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