Google recently released a new update to their search engine called the March 2019 Core Update. Google makes hundreds of small changes to their algorithm every year, but most of them go unannounced. Core updates refine Google’s algorithms to make search results better.
Google did not officially announce the update or make a public statement until industry professionals started to notice some changes and approached the company for clarification. This type of privacy is common for Google, especially since the guidelines surrounding how it ranks websites are complex. Industry professionals are still waiting to see how the changes associated with the March 2019 Core Update, which was rolled out on March 12th, may impact websites' overall rankings and traffic.
Two of the biggest algorithm updates that changed Google’s search engine rankings in the past were the Panda and Penguin updates of 2011 and 2012. Google's Panda update mostly evaluated and rewarded websites that shared high-quality content. Websites that contained duplicate, overlapping or redundant content were penalized and moved further down in the search results. Meanwhile, the Penguin update punished websites that used unsavory strategies to increase their number of backlinks. These changes ultimately forced people to stop abusing certain fraudulent backlinking strategies and indirectly encouraged them to publish better content to get more website traffic.
How to Handle Google's March 2019 Core Update
As is typical with core updates, there is no solve for webpages that don’t perform well after an update. However, you can check to see if your website has been affected by it so far. Log into your Google Analytics account and review the information. You can also look for any changes in website traffic or impressions around the 12th or 13th of March. Check to see if you received any error messages or notifications in Google Search Console (GSC). If you notice any unusual traffic patterns from organic search or see notifications from GSC, your site may have been impacted by this update.
If your traffic was negatively impacted, focus on improving your organic search performance by producing great content. For example, you can revise a handful of blog posts with updated information or publish more website pages that provide value to your audience. You can also make a conscious effort to find out what users are searching for and publish fresh content that addresses their concerns or answers common questions. When you make a consistent effort to update your website, publish high-quality blog posts and make other positive changes it can bring in new traffic and help boost your website's organic search performance.
Although it's important for business owners and marketing professionals to know about the latest Google algorithm changes, it’s also important to diversify traffic sources. For example, you can use paid search to find and convert customers online. Using a wide range of tactics to drive users to your website will help offset any potential losses in organic search traffic.