Google has announced that they have released the March 2023 core update today. The roll out may take up to two weeks to complete.
Core updates are designed to ensure that Google Search is delivering on their mission to present helpful and reliable results for searchers. Core updates happen several times a year and in this type of update, Google makes significant, broad changes to their search algorithms and systems.
According to Google, there is nothing in a core update that targets specific pages or sites. Instead, the changes are about improving how their system assesses content overall. This does not mean that pages affected have violated spam policies or have been subject to manual or algorithmic actions.
In a core update, pages that were previously under-rewarded may do better in the search results.
According to the search documentationon on core updates:
“One way to think of how a core update operates is to imagine you made a list of the top 100 movies in 2021. A few years later in 2024, you refresh the list. It's going to naturally change. Some new and wonderful movies that never existed before will now be candidates for inclusion. You might also reassess some films and realize they deserved a higher place on the list than they had before. The list will change, and films previously higher on the list that move down aren't bad. There are simply more deserving films that are coming before them.”
If you have experienced a drop in rank after a core update, Google suggests focusing on ensuring that you offer the best content that you can, as this is what the algorithm seeks to reward. Check out Google’s guidelines on how to create helpful, reliable, people-first content for guidance on what type of content Google rewards and for some questions to ask yourself in assessing the content that you have on your site.
A content audit would also be helpful. Look at your site and the pages that you have, which pages have been impacted and for what type of searches? Doing a content audit will help you understand why particular pages may have dropped, what pages have been rewarded, and if there may be other pages on your site that can perform better for particular searches.
With regards to how long it takes to recover from a core update, assuming improvements have been made, changes may not be felt until the next core update is released. However, Google does release different types of updates constantly, and some are not always announced. When these are released, they may cause content to recover if the improvements are warranted.
Keep in mind though that improvements aren’t a guarantee for recovery, nor do pages have any static or guaranteed position in search. If there is more deserving content, then that content will continue to rank well in their system.
Looks like the best course of action is always to make sure your content is the best above the rest!