SEO – Google on the March 2019 core update: This is not the biggest update we’ve released

SEO - Google on the March 2019 core update: This is not the biggest update we’ve released

It’s still a bit early to tell too much about what the March 2019 core update that touched down on March 12th means for publishers and search marketers, but Search Engine Land was able to get some more questions answered by Google.

Read between the lines. When asked if this new core update reverses the previous core updates, possibly the August 1st core update, a Google spokesperson gave us a scripted comment: “We’re constantly improving our algorithms and build forward to improve.”

But, Google didn’t say no. In other words, Google said it makes changes with the effort to improve their algorithms. Google does several core updates per year and each one is aimed at making improvements. I suspect the last one aimed at improving some of the issues they had with the previous core updates.

That being said, the data does show some of the sites that got hit hard with previous core updates improved with this last one. I also suspect that this is not the case across the board and many sites that previously got hit, probably are still not doing too well in Google.

Penguin related? Google said this update was not related to any of the past Penguin updates. “This wasn’t a Penguin update, because we no longer have those, as we’ve said before. This was a core update, as we’ve explained.”

Not the biggest update. Google won’t tell us how big this update was but said it wasn’t the biggest. “This was a noticeable update that we felt warranted confirming, in keeping with what we’ve said before,” Google said. In fact, Google said “But it is far from being the biggest update Google has ever done,” implying this update compared to other updates were much larger.

Google wouldn’t go into more detail around how big this update was, saying “we’re not characterizing it beyond that.”

Neural matching. Google said all core updates and neural matching updates are unrelated, in fact, Google said they checked to see if any updates to Google’s neural matching were released around the same time as any of the core updates and they were not.

“Neural matching has been part of our core ranking system for over half-a-year. None of the core updates we have confirmed coincided with some new use of neural matching,” the company said.

We will continue to gather data in our survey and look for patterns and other signals that may be able to help our readers and the SEO community. As we said before, early data does show some interesting patterns thus far.

In addition, we will be covering the March 2019 core update in our SEO Meetup at SMX Advanced on June 3.

About The Author

Barry Schwartz is Search Engine Land’s News Editor and owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on SEM topics.

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