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Google performed a fairly major update to their search algorithms this past month.
These updates are often shrouded in mystery and as a core update approaches website owners and search engine optimisation specialists often find themselves cowering in fear hoping that their hard earned search rankings are not negatively impacted.
An interesting aspect about this latest core update was that Google decided to roll it out in two stages. The first set of changes occured through the first and second week of June over a ten day period. The second stage began on the 1st of July and is coming to a conclusion now.
Reports about the updates suggested that sites that took a hit in the first phase of the update would recover in the second phase and viceversa which is some what comforting. Don't rock the boat!
The focus on this update is website usability or how friendly a website experience is for the visitor.
One might speculate that Google is trying to tailor their search bot to rate a website much like a human would. Is the site easy to read and navigate? Are there annoying popups and repetitive slogans? Is the website secure? And of course the most important factor in search - is the content high quality, up to date and compelling? This last point should still be clearly the focus for any website owner.
One would suspect that if you have been paying attention to your website you will have already ensured that you have ticked most boxes as far as usability goes. If not then now might be a good time to flick through your site and think of it in terms of usability. What is the user expereince actually like? Can I make the site friendlier?
With each search update Google appears to indicate that the websites that will be rewarded in their page rank are those sites that are focused on the human user experience. (as opposed to a robot)
The message is the same: Google rewards websites that focus on delivering quality content that is written for humans.
Confirming this assessment is a tweet by Google staff on the 2nd of July that indicates that if a website's ranking had been negatively impacted by this latest core update that the site owners and developers should refer to this Google Blog post from August 2019.
This Google tweet also suggests that the computerjazz.net knowledgebase article fromearly 2020 What is the number one strategy for SEO success? is still very relevant with the emphasis still on fresh, high quality content.