Googles September 2019 Update
For the third time in 2019, Google has published a global update to its core algorithm. The September 2019 Core Update was – in keeping with the tradition established by its predecessor in June – officially pre-announced by Google.
The roll-out began on the 24th of September 2019. This Google Update will apply globally, meaning that it covers all markets and search indexes, as it includes alterations to the core of Google’s ranking algorithm.
Danny Sullivan, Google’s Search Liaison Officer, provided a few more details on the update, stating that the roll-out would take “a few days” to be fully completed and that the Google September 2019 Core Update would affect all global search indexes.
However, Google is not expecting to announce the completion of the roll-out, because smaller updates are continually being introduced, and so declaring the update complete could create a misleading impression and create scope for false interpretation.
Google Update September 2019: Impact and Analysis
As of writing, there are not yet any real conclusions regarding the impact of the Google September 2019 Core Update. As mentioned, the roll-out is still ongoing, meaning that interpretation of any impact will be possible after a few days. We will take a closer look at the results on Monday, the 30th of September, by analyzing the latest data in the Searchmetrics Research Cloud.
For any update analysis, we always stress that changes in rankings and SEO Visibility aren’t always a direct consequence of the update – more information is provided in our explainer, “Understanding Google Updates“. If you have already noticed changes to your website as a result of the Google Update, then we would be happy to hear from you via the comments under this blogpost.
In August 2019, Google published a post on its Google Webmaster Blog. Here, they explained in more details which changes to the algorithm are made by Core Updates, and what webmasters and SEOs can do if they have been affected by a Google Core Update.
If you see your rankings drop following an update, then you “haven’t violated [Google’s] webmaster guidelines nor been subjected to a manual or algorithmic action”. The changes are more focused on improving the evaluation of content. These changes can, according to Google, mean that websites that were previously unfairly overlooked, or not given the credit they deserve, now perform better – and vice versa.
One analogy of how these Google Core Updates can be viewed could be a list of the 100 best films, published of 2015. A few years later, in 2019, the list can be updated – and it will likely change because new films have been released and the way we view older films may also have changed.
Google’s recommendations for webmasters and SEOs whose websites have been affected by a Google Update are as follows:
“We suggest focusing on ensuring you’re offering the best content you can.” When auditing a website, Google suggests considering questions regarding the following four aspects:
> Content & Quality: Does the website offer original, high-quality content that isn’t just copied from somewhere? Are the page title and description appealing and do they reflect the content? If you were a webmaster, would you share the content with friends?
> Expertise: Is the content trustworthy? Does the page contain errors? Would you, as a webmaster arriving at the page via Google search, trust the website you find?
> Presentation & Production: Does the content seem to be well researched and well-produced – or does it seem to be mass-produced fodder? Are there too many ads? Does the page load appropriately on all devices?
> Competitive comparison: Does the website offer added value when compared with its competitors? the content fulfill the user’s expectations?
Of course, Google doesn’t provide any clear-cut, universally-applicable advice regarding what to do following a Core Update. However, a good place for webmasters to start is trying to answer these questions as honestly as possible – and compare their website alongside their competition, with a particular focus on the quality of the content they are offering.