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Making Sense of Google’s March 2023 Broad Core Update

By Danni Winter

March 16, 2023

Google has begun rolling out the March 2023 Broad Core Update. This is its first broad core update of 2023 and the first in six months its previous update in September 2022. The rollout is estimated to take two-weeks, starting from March 15, 2023.

Google made the announcement of the update Twitter:

What is a Broad Core Update?

Google makes periodic changes to its ranking algorithms, known as core updates. These updates are designed to increase the relevance of search results, make them more helpful and useful for all users and keep pace with the changing nature of the web. Broad Core Updates, once the dust settles, are useful to revisit search engine optimization strategies and plans, too.

Core updates are not site-specific, but they can produce noticeable changes to your site’s performance. Google provides general advice on how to best react to a broad core update.

  • Core updates are purposefully broad because they aim to improve Google’s search engine results page.
  • Expect to see noticeable changes in your website’s search rankings.
  • The best way to prepare for Google’s core algorithm update is to focus on creating the highest-quality and helpful content as possible.
  • Pages that drop in rankings are not necessarily being penalized. Instead, the search engine is reassessing those pages against other pages published since the last core update.
  • Core algorithm updates are traditionally implemented every few months.
  • Implementing improvements to a website is not guaranteed to help recover lost positions in the SERP. 
  • You will likely see a long-term impact to your SERP positions without making changes, though.

Initial Impacts of the March 2023 Core Algorithm Update

Google has yet to specifically define the intent of the March 2023 Core Algorithm Update. The early buzz within the SEO community indicates substantial fluctuations and instability in Google’s search rankings. Overall volatility was in the high range on 3/16/23, the day after the rollout began. 

Four categories that seem to be most affected by the changes early on include: Finance, News, Shopping, Games and Online Communities. 

Finance Sector Volatility Google March 2023 Broad Core Update
Finance Sector SERP Volatility | Semrush 3/16/23
Online Communities Sector Volatility Google March 2023 Broad Core Update
Online Communities Sector SERP Volatility | Semrush 3/16/23
News Sector Volatility Google March 2023 Broad Core Update
News Sector SERP Volatility | Semrush 3/16/23
Gaming Sector Volatility Google March 2023 Broad Core Update
Gaming Sector SERP Volatility | Semrush 3/16/23
Shopping Sector Volatility Google March 2023 Broad Core Update
Shopping Sector SERP Volatility | Semrush 3/16/23

Travel is the least affected category so far. 

Travel Sector Volatility Google March 2023 Broad Core Update
Travel Sector SERP Volatility | Semrush 3/16/23

How To Recover After Google’s March 2023 Keyword Update

Emphasize E-E-A-T

E-E-A-T stands for Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. The acronym refers to a set of quality guidelines that search engines use to assess the credibility and relevance of a website’s content. Websites that demonstrate an intuitive experience and high levels of expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness are more likely to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs). 

Prioritize the User Experience

Ensure that your website provides a positive and seamless experience for users from the moment they land on your site until they leave. This includes factors such as fast loading times, easy navigation, engaging and informative content and mobile responsiveness. By prioritizing the user experience, you can improve user engagement, increase the likelihood of conversions and ultimately improve your website’s search engine rankings.

Boost Technical SEO 

Improving the technical elements of a website to make it more accessible, crawlable and understandable by search engines can help minimize the impact of a broad core update. 

This can include: 

  • Improving website speed
  • Ensuring mobile-friendliness
  • Fixing broken links
  • Optimizing URLs
  • Improving site architecture and navigation
  • Implementing structured data
  • Fixing technical errors that could hinder crawling and indexing the site. 

By optimizing the technical aspects of a website, it becomes easier for search engines to understand and rank the site, leading to improved SEO performance.

Perform a Content Review

Conducting a content review is essential for SEO purposes, as it helps you to identify the strengths and weaknesses of your website’s content. A content audit enables you to understand which content is performing well and which is not, allowing you to optimize your content strategy accordingly. It also allows you to identify gaps in your website’s content against competitors and opportunities to improve your website’s rankings and visibility in search engines.

Get Help Fixing a Website Affected by the March 2023 Broad Core Update

If you’ve experienced a drop in traffic or rankings following Google’s recent algorithm update, don’t sit back and wait for things to improve on their own. Instead, focus on building a technically sound website with high-quality content and a great user experience.

Not sure where to begin? It may be time to bring in Noble Studios to help.

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