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Google confirms release of ‘Florida 2’ algorithm update

Google logo black background

Google confirms release of ‘Florida 2’ algorithm update

A tweet from the Google SearchLiaison account on Tuesday announced that a “broad core algorithm update” took place this week.

Although the tweet states that these updates happen several times a year, Search Engine Land notes that it is unusual for Google to publicly confirm that one has taken place, while a Search Engine Journal article has suggested that this could be “one of the biggest updates” in years from the search giant.

A second tweet from the SearchLiaison account, which is run by Google’s Search Liaison Danny Sullivan, states that Google has given this change the factual name of ‘March 2019 Core Update’, indicating the month in which it was performed and the type of update. A ‘core’ update is one that changes the way Google’s search algorithm works, rather than being one of the standard tweaks of a particular issue or weakness that Google performs more or less every day.

Many in the industry, however, have named the update ‘Florida 2’. A major 2003 update by Google was referred as ‘Florida’ because it took place at a similar time to the Pubcon SEO conference in the American state. That also happens to be the case with this latest update, hence the sequel-style name.

Sullivan’s tweets suggest that this is not an update designed to target signals of “low quality” within website. Sites may have had their rankings negatively affected without having anything wrong with them.

What’s more, he states that there is nothing to “fix” on any websites hit by the update, and directed concerned parties to a tweet that, coincidentally, was published exactly a year ago. It advised that core updates are designed not to punish sites, but to reward those that were previously being overlooked, meaning webmasters might see their sites leapfrogged by hitherto ignored competitors.

While some algorithm updates might require those running websites to remove or change some pages, in the case of these core updates, Sullivan advises that the solution is simply to keep focusing on good quality content. This should, in time, see sites regain their rankings.

In addition to this, Roger Montti of Search Engine Journal notes that links play an important role when broad core updates take place, as does the way Google interprets a search query.

Even among SEO experts though, the way Google updates its algorithm remains something of a mystery, but what will always be true is that regular, high-quality content will be looked on favourably by all search . Not only that, but it offers you a wealth of material to share on social media as well.

If you’ve noticed your rankings affected recently, or are concerned that they might be in the future, why not get in touch with the Engage Web team?

John Murray

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