So far, Google has rolled out two major core updates since the start of 2020. The exciting updates were rolled out in January and May respectively to deliver the most relevant results and best rankings for any Google user. With every update, websites will notice a change in their rankings (especially in the initial days). Both core updates were global and not specific to any region, language, or category.
Here’s a roundup of some changes you might notice thanks to these features:
–COVID-19: This update seems to have taken into account the COVID-19 crisis while defining ways of search. The new algorithm’s aim is “user search intent” i.e. making the SERP (search results pages) more relevant by evaluating the content of the websites and the user’s search intent.
This is important as most people are looking for information related to COVID-19 these days. A COVID-19 Google Search group was also set up to help health organizations in making their information more accessible. Google also allowed a schema.org event status property for event organizers to update the status of their event to “cancelled, postponed or rescheduled”.
–A new report for Google Search Console: Users will now be able to find a separate report which tells the site owners about the performance of their website based on Web Vitals (these include page loading speed, page interactivity, and visual stability, etc.)
–Higher volatility rates: The new update led to nearly 9 to 9.4 points rates of volatility. Owing to the pandemic and the update coming in around the same time, industries like travel, tourism, and events took a hit to their rankings initially.
–Content leads the way: As per Google’s Webmaster Central Blog, the content remains a key factor in determining relevancy and ranking. Original, analytical, researched, comprehensive content that can be trusted without the interference or disturbance of ads will take the front seat in terms of SERPs.
The update will also continue to ensure that raters use the E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness) criteria to assess webpages and webmasters must adjust their content accordingly.
–Considering no-follow links as hints: Google also announced in March 2020 that a no-follow link will now be seen as a “hint” to exclude any information from those links while ranking websites and each of them can now have different information attributed to them. To better understand what no-follow links mean on your website, the search engine giant released 3 new attributes to understand the differences between sponsored content, user-generated content (UGC), and a no-follow:
rel=” sponsored”: to be used for links on your site that are a “part of advertisements, sponsorships or other compensation agreements”
rel=”ugc”: to be used “for links within user-generated content, such as comments and forum posts”
While Google continually updates its algorithm, it stays consistent in its ways of transparency as it sticks to the idea of presenting the most relevant results for these searches every user.