To site owners working to recover from August’s core algorithm update, Google’s John Mueller suggests making content more relevant.
This topic was addressed in a Google Webmaster Central hangout last week in response to the following user-submitted question:
“Regarding the last big core update – how soon can we see sitewide changes after we fix all of the content that didn’t satisfy intent? Is that like three months? Or is that longer?”
When it comes to these core algorithm updates, Mueller says it’s not a matter of fixing specific issues.
Rather, Google is more concerned with how relevant the content is to searchers’ queries.
People’s needs change, so perhaps the relevance of a site’s content has waned over time.
Site owners should take an honest look at the content that dropped in rankings after the August update.
Consider how to make that content more relevant to the queries it previously ranked well for.
However, even after improvements are made, it may still take quite a bit of time for Google to process the changes.
It’s an ongoing process with no fixed timeline, Mueller explains.
So the most important thing site owners can do is improve the relevance of their content.
From there, it could take any length of time for the changes to be reflected in search results. Try not to get discouraged along the way.
Hear the full question and answer in the video below starting at the 10:09 mark.
“So, in general, the bigger updates that we do around search like this core update it’s not a matter of us looking at sites and saying “this is bad and this needs to be fixed.”
But rather us looking at these sites and saying “well maybe this isn’t as relevant as it used to be.”
So you can, of course, as a webmaster take that and say “well I need to fix things to make my site more relevant.”
But it’s not, from our point of view, something where we’d say “well something is broken and you just need to fix these five lines and then it’ll be back to normal.”
But essentially a matter of how can you show that you’re relevant for these kinds of queries. These are changes that take quite a bit of time for our algorithms to figure out.
Like on the one hand, in general, if you’re talking about a whole site, understanding how a whole site is relevant is one thing. Understanding how your pages are relevant is one thing.
These things take time and there’s no fixed timeline for that. It’s essentially a kind of ongoing process where we review the pages, we process them, we reindex them, we reassign the signals that we have there, and this is kind of ongoing.
It’s not that there’s a fixed timeline where we’d say “at this point, everything should be updated.””