Websites that have slumped in search rankings following a core algorithm change can recover before the next update if issues are addressed, according to Google’s SEO expert John Mueller.
During a Webmaster Hangout last week, Mueller was asked about the impact of core updates and, more specifically, whether webpages can bounce back almost immediately if high-quality content is crafted and other problems are “fixed”.
Mueller responded by stating that core updates are designed to help Google “re-understand” the relevance of search results and that a site does not have to wait for the next update to see positive changes.
He noted that working on things in the interim can help and that performance can improve over time, even before another core algorithm change is rolled out.
This suggests that search works differently from how it did 10 to 15 years ago, when websites had to wait for the monthly Google update to see a potential reward.
Mueller confirmed that the algorithm now essentially works as a rolling refresh and is constantly updating based on the specific changes.
This means that sites that have fallen on the first page of SERPs, for example, can recover lost ground by adding features and addressing problems in the days and weeks after a change.
Mueller added: “It’s possible that our next core update will make a bigger change in the same direction that you’ve been working and you’ll see a bigger change in your site’s performance as well.”
For this reason, Mueller concluded by advising SEOs and webmasters to continue making improvements even after fixing problems, as there can be additional gains in the long term.
Marketers can also help by diversifying the types of content that are published on webpages, mixing long-form how-tos and tutorials with image-heavy blogs to build better signals.