Google’s September 2022 Update and What You Need to Know


Google’s September 2022 Update and What You Need to Know

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Google once again sent the online community into a frenzy when they announced their second core update this year on 12th September 2022. This update followed August’s Helpful Content Update which was rolled out to help deliver relevant information to search engine users and provide users with a satisfactory experience.

The rollout began shortly after the announcement and was officially completed on 26th September 2022.

As a website owner or SEO specialist, you’re probably wondering how this core update may affect your users and the content you create. In this article, we discuss Google’s recent core update and everything you need to know about it.

What is a core algorithm update?

A core algorithm update is a significant change to Google’s algorithm that affects numerous index web pages. A Google core update changes the platform’s base formula for ranking web pages and affects 5-10% of search results. Such a significant update is usually announced to users as it affects web page ranking, backlinks, branding, and SERPs.

According to John Mueller, Google runs 3-4 minor updates daily to improve the quality and relevance of the search results users get on the platform. These daily changes, although paramount to the improvement, only  affect 1% of websites and remain unnoticed for the most part.  

Core algorithm updates on Google are a necessity to ensure the platform is constantly evolving to ensure the search engine provides researchers and web users with the most relevant results for their queries.

This constant updating of the core algorithms is the reason Google remains the most popular search engine to date.

How this core update affects your website and what to do about the changes you see

As a core update is a significant change in the algorithm, multiple websites across all niches are bound to feel the effects within weeks of the rollout. However, according to SemRush, this recent update is 53% less volatile than its May counterpart.

While the May update was felt vastly between the Travel and Real Estate niches, this new update was immediately felt in the Online Communities, Games, Pets and Animals, Beauty and Fitness, and the Hobbies and Leisure niches.

Both the data ranking platforms SemRush and RankRanger concluded that the impact of the September 2022 update was weaker than previously run updates.In accordance with their 2014 initiative to fight misinformation through the E-A-T( Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness) guideline, this update served to further place high authority sites at an advantage in ranking.

Medical and government sites which are the epitome of authority, expertise and trustworthiness are bound to continue on the upward trajectory they have had over the past few years.

So how can you as a website owner, marketer, and SEO specialist ensure that your content remains relevant in the face of an update?

Monitoring your ranking before and after an update

The best way to determine how a core update has impacted your website is by reviewing your ranking over the months prior to the update and after the update.

SERPs can remain unstable for a few weeks after the update while the new algorithm sifts through multiple websites to find and push websites that offer quality results.

During this time, you can monitor your websites and competitor sites in your niche to determine whether the changes in your ranking affect you solely or other creators within your niche. Making this evaluation will be important to help you decide on your next step in the event your website is no longer well-ranked.

Make sure your content is high quality and relevant to users

As part of their recent update, Google integrated a new method into their system known as “Deep Learning.” This new system enables the AI to interpret data and learn from the data it analyses.

As a result of this change in the core algorithm, Google is able to decipher whether the content created on a website is relevant to the search results it appears for.

For this reason, high-quality content written by experts to target actual readers is rewarded and content that is written to target keywords and the Google bot is no longer pushed to the front page. When creating content, try to  adhere to Google’s E-A-T guidelines to ensure your content is flagged for being high value.

Update your content and create original content

As Google is moving towards pushing high-value content, you can stay on top of the game by constantly creating expert-backed content that conclusively addresses the subject matters within your niche.

If your old content is no longer ranking following an update, you can refresh the content by including new information, research, studies, and statistics so that it is flagged as relevant and current. When creating content, aim to reach users and refrain from keyword-oriented writing that mainly targets bots. If you have taken all the necessary steps to ensure your content is the best and still experiencing a lower ranking, you can review Google’s content quality questions to help you evaluate your content.

Ensure your website is mobile friendly

Technology is moving towards being easily accessible and mobile for everyday users. Adapting your website to become light and fast on mobile devices where internet connectivity may be lower is likely to place you at an advantage over competitor sites.

This move to provide mobile-friendliness also involves using CTAs that require minimal scrolling to access your site and providing useful links that provide visitors to your site with the ground information they need.You can also optimise your site to be more visible to the multitude of users accessing web search engines via voice-activated assistants.

Reviewing and building relevant backlinks and internal links

Backlinks have been relevant in SEO writing as they represent another person’s confidence in your content. With the new update to push highly relevant content, backlinks have become more valuable. Unfortunately, despite the great content you put out, having backlinks to your site from irrelevant and spam sites and entirely purchased backlinks will bring your ranking down.

Reviewing your backlink profiles and disavowing poor backlinks can help you improve your website ranking. Besides backlinks from high-value sites, you can invest time in internal linking and ensuring the attached links have descriptive anchor texts that help more of your content get discovered.

Along with the September 2022 core update, Google also launched a Product Review Update targeting the Product Reviews niche. This update aims at rewarding insightful and unique product review content. If you are within the product review niche you may feel the impact of these recent updates more than websites in other niches. Due to the back-to-back update rollouts, it may be a little difficult to narrow down your ranking statistics however with a little patience you are bound to figure out how to remain visible.

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