What Is Google Broad Core Algorithm Update & What Can You Do?

On 1st August 2018, the world of SEO experts trembled when they saw a sudden drop in their website traffic. Without any reasons, many websites saw dropped in their ranking on SERPs.

People from SEO community started gathering on Black Hat World and Google Webmaster World to figure out the issue.

Here are some chats from Black Hat World and Webmaster World:

Guys – any google update in the last few hours? have you guys noticed anything?

Yes, Seen in last 3-4 hours, 20-30% decline in traffic.

Yes, my main site has lost pretty much all page 1 rankings, game over.

All last 4 or 5 updates benefited my site, this one killed it.

The update is still going, im still seeing huge shifts in my niche.


And then speculation started:

I think this is Penguin related.

When was the deadline for mobile first index?

It is not a speed penalty for sure because my site is fast. I am getting back links every day (not paid) so thats not it either. This has to be something related to quality content.


So, what happened?

Did Google change its algorithms without any warning?

No, it was not sudden.

Google is a smart player, it likes to play with the minds of SEO experts. Each tweet and post from Google foreshadows an upcoming event, it is you who have to catch the hint.

In this case, the hint lies back in March 2018 when Google tweeted this

Later Google itself cleared everyone’s confusion by confirming about releasing a broad core algorithm update and by reminding about the March 2018 tweet.

It was the same as when in  November 2016 Google stated that how mobile searches are increasing and they want to provide a better experience for mobile users.

Mobile First Index webmasters googleblog

And then in 2018 Mobile-First Indexing finally rolled out.

webmasters googleblog 2018


What Is Google Broad Core Algorithm Update?

Core Update is not a new addition in its already existing algorithm family (i.e. Hummingbird, Panda, Penguin, Pegion) but an update to it on the basis of their performance, importance, weight and ranking. 

In simple words, it is the changes that have been made on an already existing 200 Ranking Factors through which Google use to rank any website.

It is not a new ingredient that has been added to the current recipe, it is the change in the proportion of those existing ingredients.


So, if Google will make changes in few of those factors out of 200 factors, the ranking will change as well, but only to have a better result.

Of course, Google will not reveal its secret recipe and tell us what is more important and what is less.

At least not that easily.


What Can You Do To Tackle Core Update?

Nothing and Everything.

By “Nothing” I mean if everything is good with your site then you cannot do anything to fix the drop as there is nothing to recover from.

No faulty tire in your car.

Its just google started giving more priority to some factors than the others.

Google itself said there is nothing to fix.

Consider it like a teacher grading papers.

If all the students give the correct answer, it will become difficult for the teacher to choose the top 10. In such a case, the teacher has to focus on some other factors such as which student used diagrams to illustrate the answer more or which student used the easiest method to solve the equation.

Similarly, if everyone is using H1 tags properly then Google has to decrease the importance of H1 tags and focus on some other factors such as content accuracy to distinguish between sites.

So, the reason for the drop can vary from site to site. 

By “Everything” I mean start focusing on all the current algorithms that you know about and proceed in the right direction. 

Google AlgorithmTarget
PandaDuplicate, plagiarized or thin content
PigeonPoor on- and off-page SEO
PenguinSpammy or irrelevant links
HummingbirdKeyword stuffing
RankBrainLack of query-specific relevance features
FredAffiliate-heavy or Ad-centered content
Mobile-First IndexingSites not optimized for mobile users

Remember while some lost traffic there are some who gained traffic.

Here are some chats:

I noticed better ranking. No decline for the moment.

Till now, no major ranking drop noticed. Traffic normal from USA as well. Let’s see for more few days.


This is what Google is working on, to provide clear and clean quality content to the users.

Look at what John Mu from Google has to say,

With the development of AI and machine learning, unnecessary content length and keyword use are becoming irrelevant.

Algorithms understand the content better than ever before.

And that’s why even your longer contents with proper keyword density are losing the battle in front of short and to the point content.

So Whats Next?

My best guess, it is all leading to this, new Google FAQ, Q&A and How-To Snippets that requires Schema.

Google FAQs Q&As and How-Tos

(Source: SearchEngineLand /  A picture taken at Google Dance Singapore Event)

A Google Spokesperson told to SearchEngineLand:

We’re always looking for new ways to provide the most relevant, useful results for our users. We’ve recently introduced new ways to help users understand whether responses on a given Q&A or forum site could have the best answer for their question. By bringing a preview of these answers onto Search, we’re helping our users more quickly identify which source is most likely to have the information they’re looking for. We’re currently working with partners to experiment with ways to surface similar previews for FAQ and How-to content.


Google testing new snippets increase the user experience furthermore by providing valuable results.

Clearly explains why all these algorithm updates happening.



The purpose of Broad Core Update is to promote clean, accurate to the point content that offers significant value to the user.

Analyse the sites those have ranked up to figure out the difference between you and them.

Keep your SEO on the right track and have patience as your ranking and traffic will keep going up and down.



By Rishabh K Sharma

Rishabh is a hospitality professional with a pinch of marketing.

2 replies on “What Is Google Broad Core Algorithm Update & What Can You Do?”

Updates are still rolling out until the things settle down completely it would be hard to tell which factors Google is giving more importance to.
Till the meantime what you can do is analyse the websites similar to your niche that are ranking up now. This can give you an idea what Google might be preferring right now.

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