Google’s August 2023 Core Update: Impact, Recovery, and Strategy

Published On: August 23, 2023Categories: Google core update, SEO

Google has commenced the rollout of its much-anticipated August 2023 core algorithm update, designed to further improve the search experience and results for users. The company stated it will update its core update release history page once this broad update completes its phased global implementation.

As part of its ongoing efforts to maintain relevance and reliability in search, Google periodically deploys these major core updates to its search algorithms. While not intended to specifically target or penalize individual websites or pages, core updates can lead to fluctuations in search visibility and rankings across the web. Pages that may have previously ranked lower could gain increased visibility, whereas pages that had benefited from strong rankings may decline as a result of the adjustments.

Measuring the Impact and Strategizing Recovery

The specific impact of a core update will vary widely, with some sites noticing significant changes and others experiencing little to no discernible effect, either positive or negative. Google is careful to note that seeing a decline in performance immediately following a core update does not necessarily indicate an underlying problem with a website or its content. Ranking drops could simply reflect the algorithm’s evolving understanding of quality and relevance.

For site owners who do experience ranking declines or traffic drops after a core update, Google strongly cautions against hasty, technical fixes and promises of quick recovery. The recommended strategy is to double down on improving overall website quality, comprehensiveness, and usefulness to searchers.

Tactics like adding low-value pages just for visibility or manipulating links are discouraged, as they do not align with creating a robust, engaging user experience. Instead, site owners noticing deterioration following a core update should:

  • Detailed Examination: Delve into the pages that are underperforming and conduct a comprehensive analysis.
  • Keyword Analysis: Scrutinize the search terms that have led users to these underperforming pages.
  • Content Alignment: Gauge your content against the queries presented on Google’s help page. This self-evaluation can spotlight areas where your content may be falling short in addressing users’ queries.
  • Strategic Enhancement: Armed with this insight, the next step is to prioritize the enhancement of content to align more seamlessly with users’ search intents.

Google states that even sites making substantive improvements essentially have to re-earn lost trust and authority within the now-updated core algorithm. There are no guarantees that enhancements will restore previous rankings.

The Lengthy Process of Core Update Recovery

For pages that do regain visibility, the process is typically gradual, unfolding over many months. However, Google is perpetually fine-tuning and honing its algorithms outside of the most impactful core updates. So there may be positive boosts from more minor updates if you have invested in content and site improvements.

Remaining Patient and Keeping Perspective

As website owners and SEO professionals assess the ramifications of the August 2023 core update rollout, the importance of staying patient and retaining long-term perspective remains paramount. Core updates are highly complex, wide-reaching algorithmic changes. While unsettling rank fluctuations are understandable, acting rashly and desperately could jeopardize stability further.

The prudent path is continuing an emphasis on relevance, quality content, and ethical practices – the building blocks of robust SEO. By avoiding reactionary quick fixes and maintaining this steady focus, websites impacted by core updates can regain lost ground over time as their improvements are reflected by the evolving search algorithms.

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