Doesn’t it feel good to be updated every time? It does, but not always when it’s Google that does the updating. If Google is your boyfriend, I suggest you take a deep breath, because I know all business owners are.
Last September 12, Google Search Central announced the rolling out of the new Google Core Update this year. Experts in the field called it the September 2022 update.
If you look back at the May 2022 Google Core Update, the changes made were considered fast and significant. Many websites took a hit and were left scrambling to recover their Google rankings. So, what can small businesses expect from this new Google Core Update?
Keep reading and let’s find out below.
Google Announces Sept 2022 Core Algorithm Update
For starters, Google’s core updates are not necessarily meant to penalize users. In fact, it’s the opposite. Google has always prioritized improving search results by giving users the most relevant and high-quality content for their queries.
Updates are then used to reward those websites that add value and meet the search intent of users. Google will prioritize websites with well-written, original, authoritative and reliable information. It just so happens that some pages lack in these departments so they take a heavy blow. The Google Core Update last 2022 will most likely tread the same path.
The Twitter page, Google Search Central, announced the update last September 12.
A few hours after the announcement, relatively high volatility was observed according to Semrush Sensor. Although Search Engine Land describes it as “fast but not impactful” like the May 2022 Google Core Update. Look at the changes below:
Source: Search Engine Journal
Core update rollouts normally take two weeks and the September update was completed on the 26th. Just one day after completing the Google Core Update, another high volatility was observed by Semrush’s sensor. If we look at the categories, the most affected industry was news with a staggering 8.4/10 volatility rate. On the other end, real estate was the least affected and remained relatively stable with only 3/10 volatility.
Amidst all these changes in rankings, there’s one thing for sure: content remains king.
Along with the September Google Core Update, other updates were also on the roll-out. For example, on September 20, Google also released the 5th version of their Product Reviews Update. This aimed to reward reviews that go beyond the description and actually produce in-depth, comprehensive reviews. The Google Helpful Content Update also rolled out on August 25 and was completed on September 9, 2022.
All updates point to prioritizing helpful and high-quality content for its users. In other words, produce thin content, and Google kicks you in the buttocks. Publish high-quality material, the Google gods reward your goodness.
As a small business owner, it’s more important than ever to position yourself as an authority in your industry. This covers producing powerful, trustworthy, authoritative content on your website. Business Marketing Engine can help with that.
From SEO to social media, to webpage copy or advertising needs, we have you covered. All you have to do is reach out and we’ll get you hooked up.
Helpful Content Update
It seems utterly ironic. The September 2022 Google Core Update looks more like a reinforcement rather than a big change. Why? Because of Google’s Helpful Content Update.
Allow us to explain.
Google is a rabbit hole of information. Unfortunately, the only way you can be visible on Google is when you rank high on results pages. One trick in the book used by marketers to get their content ranking favorably is Search Engine Optimization. Through the use of keywords, backlinks and other technicalities, Google’s algorithm can recognize and rank your content higher.
But Google isn’t exactly the biggest fan of this game. Indeed, these peripherals help but what Google wants, ultimately, is for websites to have helpful content for users. The Helpful Content Update is all about this.
According to Google’s blog, the Helpful Content Update is meant to encourage businesses to focus on people first before search engines. After all, it’s humans who read your article, not Google bots. This is in line with Google’s guiding principle to make information available to everybody. Reliable, trustworthy and high-quality information, that is.
Here’s what creators should know about the Helpful Content Update:
- Will your audience find your content useful if they came directly to you?
Content should not be fluffy. Google likes content to be actually helpful to users. If you write content that adds no sense of value to users, you’re bound to fall off your ranking.
- Does your content demonstrate first-hand experience and a high depth of knowledge regarding the topic discussed?
Similar to the Product Review Update, only first-hand usage makes your review reliable. You should be actively involved with the topics you’re discussing. Will you trust someone that tells you a place is wonderful even though they haven’t been there? Exactly.
- What is the primary focus or purpose of your website?
Some websites are like a stew mixed with all kinds of incompatible ingredients. Whatever mix you put, it will confuse any culture that tastes it. Google wants a focal point. What really is your focus as a business? Concentrate on that.
- Will people learn something from you that helps them achieve their goals?
Content should be actionable more than it is entertaining. Sure, you can make people giggle with the words you blurt out, what happens next? They return to their seats feeling like they learned nothing important.
- Does your content provide a satisfying experience to users?
Break content blocks into digestible pieces. Don’t let people squint their eyes while reading through your text. Moreover, make sure what you write is reliable enough that they don’t rush to press ‘back’ right away.
- Are you aware of Google Core Updates?
Google Core Updates and other minor updates like the Helpful Content and Product Review are all for you. To refine your website to Google’s standards. The people are your boss. Satisfy them and you satisfy Google.
So, now that that’s out of the way, let’s head back to the September 2022 Google Core Update. Who exactly are the winners and losers of this change? Discover below.
Core Update Winners and Losers in September 2022
In every change, there will be winners or losers. Those who fail to keep up with the times are the most definite losers. Google’s rule is simple: content is king. If you can’t make your content reader-friendly and informative, don’t expect mercy from Google’s judgment.
To view the winners and losers in the September 2022 Google Core Update, we’ll look at four categories.
Lawn Care Websites
Semrush Category: Home and garden
Landscape and lawn care is a growing industry, with market size of more than a hundred billion dollars in 2021. A 4.9 percent increase in the number of landscape businesses was observed in 2021 compared to 2020. This is a clear indication that more online websites were created in light of this.
Google and his army of spiders are quick to pick up on this change. They instituted relatively high volatility in the industry with its latest Google Core Update.
- Create high-quality blogs on landscaping and lawn care tips
- Keep your website updated with relevant information, like new services offered or customer reviews
- Adjust web copy to your audience’s language
Here are the winners and losers of this year’s 2nd update:
Home Services Websites
Semrush Category: Business and Industrial
Residential home service businesses took a stronger hit compared to lawn care and landscape with a 6/10 rating. Home services are business models were experience matter greatly. People need to know you are a reliable source of information for their home service needs. If you only primarily focus on promoting your business, you may be at risk.
- Create high-quality blogs on home services: HVAC, plumbing, roofing, masonry, etc.
- Update web copy, make sure it’s up-to-date and speaks the audience’s language
- Include reviews from past customers
Here are the winners and losers:
Medical Related Websites
Semrush Category: Health
The health industry has been relatively low in volatility before the Google Core Update. Perhaps because the industry has a high barrier to entry. A medical degree, background or credential is required before you become a credible contributor to the industry. The major changes could be attributed to the increasing number of health information websites there is.
Health insurance, drug companies and doctors all add up to this. Google will, of course, measure the credibility behind ranking the website.
- Don’t write on health if you’re not experienced or educated in the health industry
- Make sure all claims are substantiated by research (link them!)
- Increase the quality of articles found on your website
- Provide actionable tips for people searching for information
Here are the winners and losers:
Fitness and Wellness Websites
Semrush Category: Fitness and Beauty
Fitness and beauty garnered the third spot among the most volatile categories next to news and sports. Personally, we think it’s because of the countless unsubstantiated health tips and regimens that are spread online. There are no definite ways to regulate this information except to rank up the more reliable ones.
Like the medical field, releasing information on fitness and beauty should be science-based and legitimate.
- Write what’s real, unproven diets are not real unless scientifically backed up (you may still share experiences)
- When sharing wellness products, make sure the claims are true
- Write more high-quality and scientific articles
- Write reviews on items that you actually have first-hand experience using
Here are the winners and losers:
In a way, the Google Core Update is a wake-up call. This a reminder for business owners to be mindful of what they publish online. Google wants expert, authoritative and trustworthy content pervading search engines. Those that violate this will be met with a lower ranking. On the other hand, people who do their part in providing valuable information are blessed with higher ranks.
It begins and ends with content.
How about your website? Are you doing okay in the content department or are you in dire need of some sprucing? Business Marketing Engine can help. We are committed to helping entrepreneurs rank better in Google through high-quality content.