- What We Do
- Case Studies
Google’s August 2023 Core Update
Google completed the August 2023 Core Update on September 7, 2023, 16 days after the update began rollout. Core updates are broad changes to Google’s search algorithms that typically happen a few times per year.
The rollout is now complete as of September 7, 2023.
— Google Search Central (@googlesearchc) September 7, 2023
These updates aren’t targeting specific pages or sites but instead aim to improve how Google assesses content. Ultimately, the goal of core updates is to improve the quality of search results on Google.
What Did This Core Update Impact?
As with all core updates, the August 2023 update had a mixed impact on different websites and types of content. There have been quite a few fluctuations, but here are some notable trends:
User Generated Content
Amsive Digital compiled a list of winners and losers of the August 2023 Core Update and found Reddit to be the biggest winner.
User Generated Content (UGC), like that found on Reddit, was rewarded with top spots, and other content that is often UGC, like review sites, has continually seen rewards from core algorithm updates of late.
UGC satisfies the latest addition to Google’s quality rater guideline abbreviation, E-E-A-T, with the newest E standing for “experience.” UGC often provides firsthand accounts and experiences that are valuable to users.
Not to mention, UGC also helps provide hyper-specific results that can satisfy longtail queries.
Authoritative Government & Healthcare Sites
Recently, Google changed how FAQ results appear, limiting them to appearing for “well-known, authoritative government and health websites.”
This change was not tied to the August 2023 Core Update, but whenever we see Google prioritize sites in one area, we’re likely to see those priorities reinforced elsewhere.
As a result, it doesn’t come as a surprise to find that government, health, and education sites are also winners of the recent update.
This can be tied back to Google’s quality rater guidelines as well, as these sites tend to embody E-E-A-T’s “Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trust” factors.
The Impact of E-E-A-T
Studies of the impacts of core updates are usually limited to large websites, but that doesn’t mean the impact stops there.
E-E-A-T is important regardless of what kind of website you have. It’s important to note that E-E-A-T is not a ranking factor, but it does play a role in how Google ranks websites.
The August 2023 Core Update makes it clear that E-E-A-T is an important consideration for website owners.
If you want your website to rank well in Google search results, it’s important to make sure that your content is high-quality, informative, and trustworthy.
What We’re Seeing
Across our home service clients and their competitors, we’re seeing fluctuations from the updates. Ultimately, these fluctuations can usually be tied back to content quality.
Our clients that invest in SEO services are seeing high-quality content be rewarded by the algorithm, while older or outdated content, usually blog posts, may see more fluctuations.
Content quality isn’t the only factor that can lead to fluctuations from algorithm changes. Competitors for your keywords can also play a role in how a site is impacted by the algorithm.
In the home services space, we’ve seen Google continuously shift the intent of some keywords and SERP appearance over the last few years, embracing shopping content and directories.
As a result, players like directory sites, big box retailers, and manufacturers may rank where they haven’t before.
Ultimately, there’s no major pattern to the impacts across the home services space, but one thing is for sure: Google continually rewards quality content.
What Should I Do if My Site Was Impacted?
First, it’s important to note that Google states “There’s nothing wrong with pages that may not be performing as well as they were before a core update.”
Instead, Google frames core updates as rewarding underperforming content. There isn’t a big target on your site to be “punished” by Google’s core updates.
If you’ve seen fluctuations in rankings after a core update, you should assess your content to make sure it aligns with Google’s best practices on helpful content. This includes:
- Creating content relevant to your target audience
- Writing concise, clear, and informative content
- Ensuring your content is up to date and accurate
People, not search engines, are your main audience. Writing content and creating websites with good user experience in mind is essential to performing well on search.
It may sound counterintuitive to not write with search engines in mind, but your content can be optimized for search without being written for search.
That’s where AI content often misses the mark, it lacks the person-first element.
Since core updates are designed to improve the overall quality of Google search results, having people in mind is key.
For a digital marketing partner who believes in the power of person-first content, contact Blue Corona today.
About The Author: As Manager, SEO Services at Blue Corona, Rachel oversees our SEO team's initiatives, growth, and strategy. She is passionate about using the power of search to help local businesses succeed. Outside of work, she loves to work on DIY projects, watch documentaries, and explore all that Charlotte has to offer!
View more blogs by Rachel Tinker
The information on this website is for informational purposes only; it is deemed accurate but not guaranteed. It does not constitute professional advice. All information is subject to change at any time without notice. Contact us for complete details.