On 12th March, Google confirmed that it had once again updated its core algorithm after experts noticed changes in worldwide Google search indexes.
Dubbed the “March 2019 Core Algorithm Update” or “Florida 2”, Google has not actually confirmed what changes have been implemented, but many within the industry have been analyzing the impact so far. Google labels this update “important and big”. Based on what we’ve been told, we understand this update is one of the biggest in years.
In the past, with big Google updates, it signifies something has profoundly changed with how sites are ranked. While Google updates it’s ranking algorithm between 600-900 times a year, not all have as significant of an impact as a broad core algorithm update. The Florida 2 Update is as major (if not more so) of a breakthrough in RankBrain technology (Google’s machine learning algorithm) as the Google Fred update of 2017.
What’s the Purpose of This Broad Core Update?
The purpose of all broad core updates is to improve user satisfaction.
By Google’s definition, a broad core update is not targeting any niche or any particular signals, like quality or industry. In a broad core algorithm update, Google is not targeting anything or anyone specifically. Some in the SEO industry theorize that Google “targets” specific industries, but Google denies that broad core updates target specific niches.
For this reason, Google has said that in broad core updates, there is nothing to fix. The best approach to understanding a broad core update is to focus on relevance related factors.
How to Respond to a Broad Core Update?
Broad core algorithm updates change how Google interprets a search query, which therefore affects how your page is ranked. The fundamentals of ranking, such as links, content and keywords still remain highly important ranking factors.
The Google Fred broad core update involved the introduction of neural matching. Neural matching was not targeting anything. It was simply a way to improve the relevance of the web pages in the search results so that they more adequately answered a search query.
Why Is the Update Called Florida 2?
Google’s Florida Update was an important one in the early 2000s. It was so named because the algorithm change coincided with the Pubcon Florida SEO conference. Florida 2 correlates with the launch of this algorithm update alongside the Florida conference of 2019.
Nothing to Fix?
Google’s tweet says:
“There’s no ‘fix’ for pages that may perform less well other than to remain focused on building great content. Over time, it may be that your content may rise relative to other pages.”
Keep in mind, over the next few weeks, as more data is available, we will qualify this statement to learn what Google has targeted through “Florida 2” – and what can be done about it.
Follow our blog for the latest news on the Florida 2 Update, and how to leverage this knowledge for SEO success over your competition.