What is also interesting that the latest update seems to be some sort of a reversal of sorts of their August 2018 update because some websites that were driven down the page ranks seem to be now being benefited by the new update. However, given the small incidence of such reversals, experts are of the opinion that the impact is due to Google’s algorithm improvements rather than a deliberate unwinding of any policy. Consequently, there seems to be a general consensus that Google’s algorithm will continue to promote websites that keep their focus on creating authority by creating valuable content on important subjects around a specific topic rather than just select keywords. Users then are more likely to click on the search results as well as spend more time on the website due to a superior experience. Some key discussion points on the March update:
The Role of Trust
Google completely denies that there is any concept of website trust that helps it to climb up the search rankings. It merely maps the Internet with a link graph that reveals which sites link to other normal sites and which to spam sites. Since there is no metric of “trust”, one site cannot have more of it than any other website. When pointedly asked in a Google webmaster hangout, Google’s John Mueller commented that Google’s interpretation of trust is just a simple decision whether the site is spam or not. It was possible that a link distance-ranking algorithm could construe sites that are closer to the seed as having more trust. Thus, it appears that March 2019 Core Update giving superior ranks to sites with more trust is a myth.
Bias for Sites with Better-Quality Links
According to another conjecture, the adjustment in the algorithm has allowed Google to favor sites and brands that have more authority. However, it is clear that Google does not recognize any trust factor of a brand or the authority of a website. All the sites are ranked by Google on the simple premise that Google users expect them to be ranked, however, it is not necessary that the better ranks are always achieved by sites that satisfy the user query better than the rest or for that matter, are even accurate. A case in point is a query asking for the recipe of paella ranks a site that advises using chicken as the main ingredient rather than seafood, which everyone knows, is the essence of the dish. The Google rank is not because it is the best recipe but because it appears to be simpler using common ingredients that users are likely to find and achieve satisfaction.
Links as a Relevance Factor
Some people have even questioned Google’s March Update as being related to links. In the contemporary SEO environment, more than a ranking factor, links are emerging as a relevance factor, according to experts. A recent Google patent update pertaining to anchor text added usage of text around the anchor text to indicate the relevance of the site. The interesting thing is that Google made no mention of it having any impact on the ranking. The narration restricted itself to mentioning that if certain keywords surrounded a link, there was a possibility that the keywords could describe what the links were about and it could provide a way to understand what subject the webpage dealt with. According to experts, a bias for any brand or authority site is not something Google would ever want. The general principle regarding raking is that the sites that feature in better positions in the SERP are only there because users prefer them and nothing else. Links act merely as a method to relate two separate web pages and also serve to eliminate spam sites from the results page.
Interpreting Click Metrics
Site ranking, not click rates, should be the real indicator of user satisfaction. Click rate information is only useful to the extent that it tells you whether the search engine algorithm is working effectively but cannot shed any light on whether users have found the site useful. A high bounce rate of users returning to Google to click on another link is just an indication of the failure of the algorithm, not that of the websites. Google’s algorithm is tuned to user satisfaction with the click-through rate being employed to gauge how well the algorithm is able to satisfy users, which is why it is not a factor that Google uses to determine page rankings.
Importance of Content Quality
Irrespective of all other influences on the search rankings, it is a no-brainer that the quality of content is perhaps the factor with the biggest impact on page rankings. Useful and compelling content is likely to influence your page rank more than any other factor. You know your content is working when others share it or discuss it on social media and other forums. According to SEO experts, sites that had split into multiple websites were the most impacted by the March update as a result of which, the website splitting strategy for boosting search engine visibility may now be called into question. There were both upward and downward movement for long-form lists and no conclusion could be drawn on the impact of the March update. However, there was a clear negative effect on websites with thin or poor-quality content, outdated content or with lower than expected patterns of publishing. Sites that seemed to be resistant to the effect of the March update typically had publishing schedules that were active.
So far it has been difficult to offer a hard opinion on the effect of the March update on page rankings. Google does not attribute any trust or authority to sites and drives them to better ranks. Good quality content remains the single most important factor affecting the search engine rankings.If you need help in this area, reach out to Remnant SEO Agency Los Angeles or someone else. Your decision will reflect on the results.
Sujain Thomas is a data expert. She has been working with complex database architecture and big data analytics for almost eight years now. She has been helping many leading corporations optimize their customer service and product introductions as per big data analysis and predictive analysis.