Google has published a list of questions that search marketers should ask themselves if their company’s website is negatively impacted by a core search update in query results. The questions could help marketers gain a better understanding of where to focus changes, if needed.
While a core algorithm update may prompt changes and cause some pages to perform better, other pages may perform worse. Sometimes marketers do not need not make changes, as there is nothing to fix.
“There’s nothing wrong with pages that may perform less well in a core update,” according to Google. “They haven’t violated our webmaster guidelines, nor been subjected to a manual or algorithmic action, as can happen to pages that do violate those guidelines.”
For those who feel they must do something to bring up the pages that have fallen in the rankings, Google suggests focusing on improving the content, because that’s what Google’s algorithms reward.
Google updated its advice with new questions to consider. It is a way to assess how the updates impacted website pages that may have taken a hit in the rankings during updates.
When it comes to content, consider whether it provides original information, reporting, research or analysis. Consider whether it provides a comprehensive description of the topic and offer insight and analysis beyond the obvious. Also determine whether this is the sort of content someone might like to bookmark and recommend to others.
Expertise behind the content is also important. Is the content free of factual errors? Is it written by an expert who demonstrates the knowledge behind the words? Be careful to avoid having too many ads on a page that may distract from or interfere with the meaning of the content, per Google. And note whether the content displays well on mobile devices.
Marketers can find a complete list of questions and suggestions on how to evaluate their content, including becoming more familiar with Google’s search quality rater guidelines.
This column was previously published in the Search Insider on August 2, 2019.