Updated SEO Guidance from Google

In October, Google released the latest “core update” to its search algorithm. In a guidance statement, Google emphasized its commitment to accuracy in SERPs as well as thwarting attempts to manipulate the algorithm.

Photo of the author, Jason Tweed, with a background featuring fingers typing on a keyboard with the title "Updated SEO guidance from Google"

In October, Google released the latest “core update” to its search algorithm, the third such release of 2023. The release was nothing earth-shattering. Google emphasized its commitment to accuracy in SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) as well as thwarting attempts to manipulate the algorithm. Reading between the lines, we believe that Google wants to prevent the use of AI copywriting technology as a method to game their system.

Generally, websites that use best practices will see little effect. Search engine rankings may drop temporarily, but typically rebound quickly. If you experience a drop in ranking, we recommend analyzing the difference and identifying potential points of improvement.

In general, here are the best practices all websites should do to remain discoverable on Google SERPs.

Quality Content: Google emphasizes the importance of high-quality, relevant and authoritative content. This is important even if the content is not directly promoting your business. For example, a home health agency may provide deep education for caregivers on their site. While visitors to those pages may not result directly to sales, Google will recognize your expertise and rank you higher when a searcher is looking to buy services.

E-E-A-T (expertise, experience, authority and trustworthiness): Essentially Google wants not only well-written content, but content that demonstrates your expertise in your field. This is a constant point of discussion among SEO professionals. How do we provide the highest level of content without giving away proprietary knowledge? What resources will it require to provide truly in-depth knowledge and unique ideas?

User Experience: The term “WorldWideWeb” was coined by Tim Berners-Lee in 1990. After three decades, this vision has come to full fruition. Today the Web is connected to a huge variety of devices in every corner of the globe. While global companies need to focus on every possible device, small companies should target a handful of key ideas:

  • Mobile-friendliness
  • Ease of navigation
  • Page load speeds
  • Accessibility
  • Content presentation

Freshness: There is a bit of irony to this part of the algorithm. Google favors websites that provide fresh and frequent content. Google also favors websites with long histories and older content that is part of the archive of the web. Basically, it likes old websites with new stuff. In terms of an action step for your company, keep producing content that’s engaging, organize it and archive it well, and over time Google will give you more and more recognition. Effective SEO is a long game.

Local SEO: For companies that serve a geographic region, you’ll want to make sure directories, including Google Business, are up to date. It’s critical that your Google Business listing is managed and updated regularly. Service businesses will want to concentrate on an area of service rather than an individual location. Companies with multiple locations need to make sure they are clearly identified and labeled under the umbrella organization.

These are general best practices that will ensure your company is found in Google search and in the Google Business directory.

For companies that depend directly on search results for revenue dollars, it’s important to work with SEO experts and constantly monitor your analytics. Your goal should be consistent incremental improvement.

All Mediastead plans include SEO and Google Business updates as well as regular content creation. Digital marketing is a multilayer process. If you’d like to discuss how Mediastead may help your business, book an appointment with Jason today.

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