On September 12, Google announced on Twitter its broad core update for September 2022. This followed the broad core update that took place in May this year.
In the announcement, Google stated, “Today we released the September 2022 core update. We’ll update our ranking release history page when the rollout is complete.” The search engine added, “The rollout could take two weeks to complete.”
What is a core update?
When we talk about a core update, we are referring to a considerable change that Google has made to its ranking algorithm and will affect many indexed web pages. These core updates will typically take place approximately once every few months.
These updates are meant to improve the relevance and quality of Google’s search results by rearranging the search engine rankings of the indexed web pages. All these individual updates refine the formula Google uses to rank web pages.
This change could mean that pages that once ranked high for target keywords could get a low ranking after the update. In contrast, pages that had a low ranking could now get a high ranking for these keywords.
Core Updates vs. Minor Updates
Along with the core updates that Google completes, there are also minor updates or changes to their algorithm. These smaller changes are also meant to improve the relevance and quality of Google’s search results.
These updates are different because they will affect fewer indexed web pages. A core update can affect roughly five to ten percent of all searches. In contrast, a minor update can affect 0.1 to 1 percent of these searches. In most cases, these updates are so insignificant that they might go unnoticed by site owners.
The Google Search Central site explained that some updates would be more noticeable than others.
“We aim to confirm such updates when we feel there is actionable information that site owners, content producers, or others might take in relation to them. For example, when our “Speed Update” happened, we gave months of advanced notice and advice.”
These minor updates will take place more often than the core updates. These updates are performed daily with data gathered from Google’s engineers and search specialists. In contrast, the core updates are planned for months in advance and can take a few weeks to be rolled out.
Why should you care about the core updates?
As we explained before, a core update will sometimes affect your website’s ranking. The update can either increase or decrease your website’s ranking. If you want to be prepared for any changes that might happen, it’s recommended that you stay up to date with Google’s changes.
Don’t worry too much if your rankings drop.
Google explains on its search Central site that a webpage’s ranking might have decreased after a core update doesn’t necessarily mean there’s anything wrong with the pages. It also doesn’t mean that the page hasn’t violated its webmaster guidelines or been subjected to an algorithmic or manual action.
The site explained, “In fact, there’s nothing in a core update that targets specific pages or sites. Instead, the changes are about improving how our systems assess content overall. These changes may cause some pages that were previously under-rewarded to do better.”
The site further recommended that users consider these core updates as a list of the 100 best movies for 2015. Later, this list will be updated in 2019 with new movies added. Previously mentioned movies might be evaluated again and might be moved higher or lower on the list.
“It’s going to naturally change. Some new and wonderful movies that never existed before will now be candidates for inclusion. You might also reassess some films and realize they deserved a higher place on the list than they had before.”
Focus on creating quality content
Google strongly suggests that content creators and site owners focus on high-quality content. If you suspect that your content is not up to standard, you should take some time to assess your current content. There are a few questions that content creators can ask themselves.
Questions for creating quality content
- Is this the sort of page you’d want to bookmark and share with your friends and family?
- If this content gets information from other sources, does it just copy and rewrite the text from these sources?
- Does your page provide new, original information and research?
- Is this content relevant, useful, and interesting?
- Does the content give readers a comprehensive description of the subject?
- Is the headline or title helpful and descriptive, especially about the topic of the content?
- When reading this content, do you think you will see it referenced in an encyclopedia, book, or printed magazine?
To get a high ranking, building your site’s authority on a topic is important. So when you create content, there are a few questions content creators need to ask themselves.
- Does their content have any factual errors that could easily be checked and verified?
- Is this content written by someone who knows the topic well, whether they’re an expert or enthusiast?
- Do you think readers will be comfortable trusting the information in your content regarding their life or money?
- After reading your content, will readers have an impression that you are an authority on the topic?
- Is the information presented in such a way that it’s clear and readers can trust it?
Content creators shouldn’t only rely on asking themselves these questions mentioned above. They should also have those they trust to give their site a thorough assessment. It’s also recommended that if your rankings have dropped, an audit should be conducted. This will help creators to understand what pages were impacted the most and for which searches.