An SEO professional asked John Mueller about core updates during a submitted Question and Answer segment of his hangout.
They asked: their website was ranking well, before they performed a design overhaul.
Their timing was terrible, because the core update was released just after the launch of this new website. And this website had some issues with internal links.
They suspect that Google reassessed the quality of the site at this time, but they could resolve the issues.
Their ranking and traffic dropped a lot, they lost all rich snippets in the process and their site has been in limbo for the past five or six months.
Do they wait for another core update for Google to assess their site quality again? Or does this happen when the site is re-crawled?
John answered that he thinks there are a few things that come together here. Firstly, he would recommend checking out their blog post that they did about the core updates.
John thinks it’s called “what site owners should know about core updates” – something along those lines.
And, it has a lot of information about core updates, especially about the kinds of issues that they look into there, and how things are resolved over time.
That’s the first thing they would do in a case like this. The information that they use for core updates, to understand the site, is something that’s collected more over the long term.
That means if you are seeing any effects from a core update, that’s usually due to a longer period of time where Google has run into issues that they are looking at with these core update algorithms.
Also, regarding technical issues, usually this is not a trigger for core updates, because technical issues are not the same as site quality issues.
There can be some technical issues, such as when a user looks at the website and the implementation makes it impossible to use the site.
But if it’s something small, like 404s on a page or broken links, then usually this is not a huge issue for Google. But there are many other things that their quality algorithms look for, and those are all listed in the blog post John mentioned.
This happens at approximately the 10:53 mark in the video.
John Mueller Hangout Transcript
Our website was ranking well, before we performed a design overhaul. Our timing was terrible, as the core update was released just after the launch, which had some issues with internal links. We suspect Google reassessed the site quality at this time, but we could resolve the issues. Our ranking and traffic dropped a lot and we lost all rich snippets in the process and have been in limbo for the last five, six months. Do we wait for another core update for Google to assess our site quality again? Or does this happen when the website is recrawled? We have, for example, maybe we haven’t addressed all of the issues.
John (Answer) 11:33
So I think there are a few things here that come together. But first of all, I would recommend checking out our blog post that we did about core updates. I think it’s called what site owners should know about core updates, something along those lines. And it has a lot of information about core updates, especially about the kinds of issues that we look into there, and how things are resolved over time.
So that’s kind of the first thing I would do in a case like this. The kind of the information that we use for core updates to understand the site is something that’s collected more over the long term. It’s not something where if, right when the core update launched, you had a technical issue, then suddenly, your site would fall into this problem. It’s really something that is collected more over a longer period of time.
So that means if you are seeing any effects from a core update, that’s usually due to a longer period of time where we’ve kind of run into issues that we’re looking at with regards to the core updates. Also, with regards to technical issues, usually that’s not a trigger for core updates, or kind of for core updates to kind of not really know what to do with the website, because technical issues are—tend not to be the same as quality issues.
Obviously, there can be some technical issues that when a user looks at the website kind of makes it impossible to actually use the website. But if it’s just something small, then that’s usually not not a big issue. So if you have things like 404s on a page, or some broken links, that wouldn’t be a reason for our quality algorithms to kind of jump in. But there are lots of other things that our quality algorithms do look for, and they’re all in the blog post.
So I would recommend taking a look at that. With regards to kind of the resolution after improving your website, that’s also mentioned in the blog post. Some of these things will improve kind of steadily over time as we reprocess your website. And some of them do require that our quality algorithms take another run through the site. And that might take a while for that to happen.