On June 3rd, 2019, Google started rolling out a broad update to the ranking algorithm, named the June 2019 Core Update.
They announced this over the weekend, and on June 2nd, 2019, there were temporary outages of Google services (Gmail, YouTube, Google Search, Google Cloud) across the world in various locations.
Maybe they needed to reboot the servers at data centers to integrate these new changes.
Google had a similar broad core update in March 2019, which appeared to be aimed at general quality.
If the June 2019 Core Update is anything like the March 2019 Core Update (which Google has indicated it may be), it is not targeting specific spam or black-hat SEO tactics, but rather trying to surface the highest quality sites and web pages.
The Google team seems to be taking a proactive stance towards naming these broad algorithm updates. The March 2019 Core Update was dubbed “Florida 2” by many SEOs, and the August 2018 Core Update was dubbed the “Medic” update by people in SEO community.
Getting involved in naming these periodical larger updates may be a way to circumvent SEO consultants prematurely interpreting what an update is targeting. For example, the so-called Medic update from August of 2018 was initially said to target Your Money or Your Life sites (aka YMYL sites: finance, health, or other sites that contain information that can impact your quality of life.) These are (supposed to be) held to a higher standard of quality than basic marketing, service, or product websites.
The problem with letting the SEO community name Google updates is, there is often a rush to determine what the updates are targeting. This leads to confirmation bias.
Instead of looking at the evidence, many people in the SEO community run with a preconceived idea, and enforce the ideas they already have.
Google may be trying to steer the SEO community away from this line of thinking, by giving these intermittent updates more generic names.
Some Observations From the SEO Trenches
I make the following statements as someone who makes 100% of their money from doing client SEO. I’m not selling a “how to do SEO” course, or making money from SEO podcast sponsorships, or selling “SEO agency in a box” products to aspiring SEO consultants.
You can take my insights with a grain of salt (and you should).
But these are things I’ve noticed from my own client roster, researching prospects and their competitors, and doing SEO audits.
In my observations, the August 2018 Core Update, the March 2019 Core Update, and everything in between has only negatively affected sites that needed some sort of quality improvements.
That includes improving site design, updating content to make it current, adding references and citations to certain types of content, and technical SEO issues.
Links are still important, and I haven’t seen evidence to the contrary yet.
E-A-T (Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness) is more about the long-term track record of a website as a whole than a specific guest author, or trying to prove that your site authors are “experts”. The ranking algorithm is not nearly sophisticated enough to judge the expertise of every single blog writer on the planet, for a given subject.
Like I said, you can take these observations, or leave them. These are simply been my own experiences.
Why You Shouldn’t Freak Out When a Google Update Rolls Out
Google has told people what type of websites and web pages they want to reward. It’s right there in the Search Quality Rater Guidelines.
If you are working towards improving your website, your content, and your brand a little bit every day, you will see gains in your search rankings.
Remember that Google makes several adjustments to the ranking algorithm on a daily basis. Many SEOs also believe Google does split testing, or A/B testing with certain rankings. The June 2019 Core Update is probably more of the same, a dialing-in on quality signals, and not aimed at any specific spam signals.
The June 2019 Core Update is now live and rolling out to our various data centers over the coming days.
— Google SearchLiaison (@searchliaison) June 3, 2019
Time will tell.
Don’t listen to the Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt that SEO talking heads spread every time there’s an update. Google wants to reward brands that have high-quality sites and web pages.
If you continue to match keywords to searcher intent, create good content, let customers complete the tasks they are trying to achieve, have a well-designed website, build links, and proactively build your brand, you should be in good shape, and this is nothing to worry about.