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Google has announced that a broad core update is being rolled out in September 2022, ahead of the product reviews update expected.
This will be the second broad core update of the year and it’s anticipated that some sites may notice a difference once this release has been finalised.
But what is the broad core update and what changes can be expected? Here’s what you need to know.
Google has announced that its second broad core update of the year is in the process of being rolled ahead, catching some experts by surprise. A fifth product review had been anticipated, but Google opted for a broad core update instead, the second one so far in 2022.
The release began on 12 September 2022 and is expected to take two weeks to roll out entirely, although some estimates suggest it may be complete in as little as one week.
This broad core update will impact all languages and all regions, being classified as a global update. All type of content will potentially be affected but it’s not designed as a penalty. Instead, this broad core update is designed to reward and recognise web pages with great quality.
This means that site owners won’t find themselves suddenly slapped with a penalty or fixes to implement after this broad core update - but that doesn’t mean there won’t be a problem with their site. It’s possible for your site to drop in ranking after a core update as Google promotes other pages which perform better under the improved criteria.
Therefore, while a broad core update isn’t anything to be especially concerned about, you will need to keep a very close eye on your reports and take action if necessary.
The one question that every site owner will want to know is: will the September 2022 broad core update make a big change? Will the update be visible?
Core updates can affect a wide range of features such as Google Discover, snippets and more. The impact of a core update is usually wide, and fast so you can expect to notice the changes very quickly.
This core update follows hot on the heels of the helpful content update in August 2022. The two releases aren’t connected, but have the potential to interact, making the impact even greater than it might previously have been.
SEO tends to be hit pretty hard by core updates. Google previously admitted that a site which was on the periphery for the helpful content update could be affected much more greatly if it also had core update issues too.
For this reason, you can expect this core update to have a noticeable effect - but that might be good OR bad.
The latest core update from Google isn’t a punitive change so site owners won’t suddenly find themselves with a long list of fixes to urgently address.
Google say the core update is just one of a raft of measures which is designed to identify and reward sites with high-quality, helpful content that provides genuinely useful and unique information to its audience.
It’s also worth remembering that Google are clear that their algorithm uses a range of signals rather than relying on one single factor. The signals are also weighted so lots of content classified as unhelpful will have a greater impact.
Site owners may find their pages rank higher after this latest update if Google identifies what it believes to be higher quality content. However, if the changes reward your competitors without lifting your site results too, you may find yourself slipping down the ranking results, leading to lower visibility.
For this reason, although the update isn’t intended to be punitive, some site owners will notice a significant downturn. It’s therefore essential to check to see what impact the change has had, and to take corrective action as necessary to climb back up the rankings.
Some site owners will find that the latest core update benefits them, sending their site shooting up the rankings despite not making any changes.
For others, the update may not be as welcome, causing a drop in visibility and organic results.
Google admits that those adversely affected may not have anything “wrong” with their site, with no fixes required. Google even urges site owners not to try to fix things that aren’t broken, as the results could be worse.
So, does this mean you are stuck with no means of improving the outcome? Not necessarily.
A little while ago, Google published some guidance on what might help sites to bounce back after a core update. Much of this revolves around their EAT principles: expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness.
By checking and improving presentation, extending content beyond obvious conclusions and by including unique information, it’s possible to improve site ranking. Google says that all of its updates are designed to improve quality so any focus on that will produce a climb in site ranking.
It has been a fairly relentless timetable of major updates from Google, with many site owners barely catching their breath from the helpful content update, before having to get to grips with the core update.
But there are more updates expected to follow from Google, such as the ranking release history page, and the fifth product reviews update. The latter is designed to make it easier for customers to find legitimate, useful product reviews and to make online research better quality and more meaningful.
With just over a month since the last product reviews update, Google are releasing their updates at a thick and fast rate.
Core updates are typically released a few times a year, and it can be helpful to be braced for the impact. While the changes to the algorithm may be useful, it’s still essential to be alert, and be prepared to take any necessary action.