March 2024 Google Core Update Case Study

Google March 2024 Core Update Case Study: A tale of four tremors, reversals, and a great example of the counterbalancing of systems

This is my second post in a series about the March 2024 broad core update. Again, it was a huge update with many moving parts, so I wanted to cover several interesting things that went on versus writing just one post. For this post, I’m going to cover a very interesting case study that underscores … Read more

March 2024 core update and the transition of helpful content system to core

The March 2024 Google core update and how the transition of Google’s helpful content system to its core ranking system is supposed to work

I cover the old HCU(X) classifier, site-level quality algorithms, the counterbalancing of systems, and how the transition has been as smooth as a bed of razor blades… This is the first post in a series about the March 2024 broad core update. The update was one of the largest and most complex core updates Google … Read more

The evolution of Google's HCU

5 ways that Google’s helpful content system could evolve based on the evolution of previous punitive algorithm updates like Panda and Penguin

Update March 20, 2024: Helpful content system baked into core ranking systems.The March 2024 core update rolled out alongside a spam update on March 5, 2024, and Google announced the helpful content system is now part of Google’s core ranking systems. That means there will not be additional helpful content updates (and the way the … Read more

Highly visible and low-quality. A most dangerous SEO combination.

Highly Visible and Low Quality (or Unhelpful) – A Most Dangerous SEO Combination

As I’ve been helping companies that were heavily impacted by the “2023 Fall of Insane Algorithm Updates”, I have once again heard from several site owners that had their highest levels of traffic right before getting hammered. I’ll cover more about that soon, but it’s something I have seen for a long time. And now … Read more

The long-term impact of Google's reviews updates.

Analyzing the long-term impact of Google’s reviews updates and what that could mean for sites impacted by the helpful content update (HCU)

Google rolled out the November 2023 reviews update on November 8, 2023 and announced it is moving to more of a continuous rollout (so the November update will probably be the last reviews update announced). That’s unless significant changes to the system are implemented (like expanding to additional languages or other major changes implemented). As … Read more

Low-quality AI user-generated content and Google's helpful content system

Google’s Helpful Content Update (HCU) and the danger of low-quality AI user-generated content

Including tips and recommendations for helping site owners navigate the AI UGC triple (detection, volume, and pace of lower-quality AI user-generated content.) The term “low-quality AI user-generated content” is a mouthful, but it’s an important topic for site owners that allow UGC to be published on their sites. And I have come across several tough … Read more

Google's broad core updates

Google’s Broad Core Algorithm Updates: Important Points And Frequently Answered Questions For Site Owners And SEOs

The past two months in Google Land has been one of the most volatile times I can remember in the search industry. Google released the August broad core update, then a powerful helpful content update in September, then the October broad core update, and also sandwiched in a spam update which overlapped the October core … Read more

September 2023 HCU

The September 2023 Google Helpful Content Update – Did Google’s Announcement in April About Page Experience Foreshadow What We’re Seeing With The Current HCU(X)?

Based on what I’m seeing with sites heavily impacted by the HCU, and what Google explained in its April documentation update, the combination of unhelpful content and poor UX can be an extremely problematic combination for site owners. Update: 10/2/23:Included a section about Google’s latest blog post on which covers how to effectively run … Read more

Google’s April 2023 Reviews Update – Exploring its evolution from PRU to RU, a powerful tremor on 4/19, and how its “Review Radar” found larger publishers

Google launched the first Product Reviews Update in April of 2021 and it’s been fascinating to watch the evolution of the system over time. With each successive update, you can see Google fine-tuning the system, expanding to other languages, and more. And now we have the next step in its evolution, and it was a … Read more

How to compare hourly sessions in Google Analytics 4 to track the impact from major Google algorithm updates (like broad core updates)

I was just asked on Twitter if there was an easy way to compare Google organic traffic hourly like you can in Universal Analytics. That’s a great question, and that’s a super useful report to have as major algorithm updates roll out. You can typically start to see the separation over time as the update … Read more

Google’s September 2022 Broad Core Product Reviews Update (BCPRU) – The complexity and confusion when major algorithm updates overlap

Well, SEOs and site owners had a heck of an end to the summer of 2022. It all started with the Helpful Content Update (HCU), which rolled out on August 25, 2022. The rollout of Google’s new site-wide signal took a little more than two weeks to complete (and it only seemed to impact the … Read more