In this post, we're discussing Google's most recent core algorithm update, which commenced on March 15th, 2023 and will roll out over the two weeks following. While Google themselves haven’t provided much information on what this update focuses on, we’re predicting it's at least partly focused on detecting and downgrading mass or general AI-generated content while reinforcing the importance of Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (E-E-A-T).
Let's dissect what's known about this update, what we’re currently, what we’re predicting and explore how you can prepare and respond.
THE BIG REVEAL FROM GOOGLE
Google disclosed the March 2023 core algorithm update via their Google Search Central Twitter account, tweeting: “Today we released the March 2023 core update. We’ll update our ranking release history page when the rollout is complete.” The update breaks a period of relative tranquillity since the previous core update in September 2022.
ANTICIPATING THE MARCH 2023 CORE UPDATE'S DIRECTION
While specific details about the update remain a mystery, across the portfolio of sites we’re managing, we’ve seen some substantial fluctuations (mainly to the upside) in search rankings/impressions/clicks for the majority of sites directly after the update. This has been especially noticeable for sites that we’ve recently helped to disavow spammy links, although we acknowledge that this factor could be a coincidence.
On another note, with everything happening in the AI space lately, we anticipate that some of the update will prioritise identifying low-value or generic AI-generated content. Although Google has mentioned that AI-generated content aligning with their "helpful content approach" could perform well, we think it would make sense to continually enhance the targeting for websites that increasingly depend on AI-generated content without offering genuine value to users.
Moreover, we expect the update to further enhance E-E-A-T signals, rewarding sites that demonstrate experience, expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. This aligns with Google's long-standing strategy of delivering the finest possible search results to its users.
RESPONDING TO THE MARCH 2023 CORE UPDATE
There’s no way to tell exactly what this core update focuses on, so if your website encounters fluctuations in rankings, wait for the situation to stabilise before taking any action. Once the update has been fully implemented, contemplate the following steps to maintain or improve your rankings:
- Concentrate on crafting high-quality, valuable content.
- Position yourself as a leader in your niche.
- Refrain from producing thin, low-quality content with minimal value for users.
- Emphasise spelling, grammar, and readability.
- Avoid keyword stuffing and excessive on-page content optimisation.
- Get rid of any spammy or paid link-building techniques and possibly review your backlink profile for toxic links that need removal.
THE ROAD AHEAD
For now, remain vigilant and monitor the impact of the March 2023 core update on your industry. Following the two-week rollout period, evaluate your competitors' tactics and performance to identify what Google values in your specific niche. Staying informed and improving your SEO strategy accordingly will help you continue to prosper in Google's constantly evolving search landscape.