Google has confirmed a new algorithm update recently, named Florida 2, and it’s been making waves in the world of search engine optimisation ever since Danny Sullivan confirmed it to be ‘a broad core update.’
All major SEO news outlets are reporting that this is a major change, many going so far as to call it one of the biggest changes Google has made in years.
Historically, large updates such as Florida 2 have fundamentally changed how ranking works. Just last year, Google introduced Neural Matching, which caused a huge shift in the way we understood how Google handled user intent. If this is projected to be a bigger change than that, then it’s best to start preparing for it now.
First of all, we need to understand that Google calling this a broad core update means that they are not fixing one thing in particular. Instead, the changes they make will affect everything across the board.
Often, SEO experts infer that Google updates are usually structured around particularly interest points, such as specific industries. When it comes to broad core updates, however, Google Webmaster Trends Analyst, John Mueller, has consistently vetoed this opinion.
Google’s official stance is that broad core updates are made without focusing on any particular niche or industry. Instead, they are usually made to enhance Google’s central purpose for providing relevant information to users.
Broad core updates can affect ranking, but it’s important to understand that this isn’t because of your site itself, or because of Google dramatically changing it’s ranking factors. Rather, sites may rise or drop in ranking based on how Google translates and understands search queries.
Changes to the way Google’s interpretation of search works implies that the goal of the update is to improve user experience, so we can expect something along these lines.
The last Florida update was big, and it occurred back in the early 2000s, around the same time as the Pubcon Florida SEO conference. This algorithm update also seems like it might line up with that conference again, so the name was coined by Pubcon founder Brett Tabke. Brett also founded WebmasterWorld, which has typically named major Google updates in the past. There’s been a lot of discussion on the WebmasterWorld forum about the update, which you can check out here.
Google’s statements on updates of similar magnitude in the past has been that there is nothing specific you can do to change your rankings in response to broad core updates. This time we are seeing the same advice again.
Our guidance about such updates remains as we’ve covered beforeGoogle SearchLiaison
That said, they have offered that focusing on building high-quality content and user-friendly web pages is the best thing you can do to keep your ranking.
If you’ve noticed your rankings change recently, it could be related to this update, the company indicated that the update has been rolling out slowly since March 12th. They expect it to take around a week to build up full momentum.
Here at Pure SEO, we stay on top of these changes so you don’t have to. If your business needs to rank, talk to us. Get in contact today, either online, or at 0800 SEARCH.