Losing Site Traffic? What To Do About the Latest Google Core Update
It's that time of year again when Google shakes things up in search rankings. Just last year, we discussed the impact of Google's Helpful Content Update. Now, Google has rolled out another Core Update that has left many property management websites experiencing a significant drop in organic traffic.
If your website's traffic has taken a hit recently, chances are you're feeling the effects of the latest Google Core Update, which took place in August and September of this year.
In this blog post, we'll get into the details of this latest update, shed light on Google's Helpful Content System, and explain how these changes are affecting your website's content and traffic. Plus, we'll provide you with actionable steps to navigate through this update and ensure that your property management marketing efforts remain on track.
What Is the August Core Update?
Google's Core Updates are broad changes to its search algorithm that can have a significant impact on search engine rankings. The August-September Core Update, like its predecessors, brought about changes in how Google assesses and ranks websites.
While Google doesn't disclose all the specifics of these updates, we can infer some of the key focus areas:
Content Quality: Google continues to prioritize high-quality, helpful content. Websites with well-researched, original, and informative content tend to perform better in search results.
User Experience: User satisfaction is highly important to Google, more so than how important you think your content is. Websites that provide a satisfying experience for visitors, including fast loading times and mobile-friendliness, are favored.
E-A-T Signals: Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (E-A-T) remain crucial. Google wants to ensure that content comes from credible sources.
If you're looking at that list and wondering if your content has any chance of ranking high enough for anyone to see it, you're not alone! That doesn't mean your content is "bad." In fact, it could have been doing just fine after making adjustments since the last algorithm update — then suddenly (or even slowly) appear to no longer generate the traffic you were seeing earlier this year.
However, as Google continually updates its algorithms and criteria, we must also update content to keep up (and rank up).
What Is Google's Helpful Content System?
Are you sick of hearing about "helpful content from Google? Well, buckle up because it's not just a "thing they did once" or a phase. They have an entire system they continually refine to prioritize helpful, informative content for search results pages.
One of the key elements of Google's recent updates is the Helpful Content System. This system generates a signal used by Google's ranking algorithms to identify and promote original, helpful content in search results.
While Google never reveals specifics about its mysterious algorithms, as best we can tell, here's how it works:
The system's goal is to reward content that provides a satisfying user experience, while content that doesn't meet user expectations may not perform well.
It generates a site-wide signal that helps Google assess the overall helpfulness of a website's content.
The system automatically identifies content that lacks value, adds little to the user experience, or is otherwise unhelpful.
Of course, all of this is subjective to what Google deems as "helpful." However, as SEO content marketing experts and ongoing study-ers of what makes search engines happier when creating content, we have a pretty good idea of the best practices to incorporate into content Google will see as "helpful."
What Is the Impact on Content and Property Management Website Traffic?
So, what does the latest update mean for your content and traffic? The ramifications of the Helpful Content System and recent updates are widespread.
It's not just unhelpful content that is affected — as in, a single blog that wasn't as helpful as it could be. Any "website" with a significant amount of unhelpful content may see a drop in search rankings.
This means that even valuable "people-first" content on a website classified as having unhelpful content might be negatively impacted.
As we said, it's kind of a big deal, and you could be experiencing the aftermath of the latest update by seeing less traffic to your site than you saw just a couple of months ago.
It's Not Necessarily Consistent, Either
Additionally, the impact is not uniform; it varies based on the extent of unhelpful content on your site.
Websites with substantial amounts of unhelpful content may experience more significant drops in rankings, while others may not have as much "unhelpful" content and remain relatively unscathed. This makes it hard to compare your content and rankings to a competitor's content and rankings and pinpoint a direct correlation to why their content may be doing better than yours.
It's also challenging to look at your own website and clearly see what's helpful vs. what isn't and is suppressing your site's visibility in search results pages.
However, the blanket takeaway underscores the importance of regularly assessing and improving your content to align with Google's evolving standards. As long as your content is overwhelmingly helpful to your target audience (not to your own goals), follows the E-A-T structure we mentioned above, and delivers an excellent user experience, your property management company is more likely to rise in online search rankings.
What You Can Do
As we just mentioned, if you're producing high-quality, helpful content that meets user expectations, you're on the right track. The Helpful Content System is designed to reward websites like yours.
So, why is your site traffic still suffering? You may not be able to figure that out until you do a deep dive into "any and all" content on your website with an eye toward helpful vs. unhelpful and quality changes you could make to improve it.
If you've noticed a decline in traffic that you suspect is related to this system, here are steps you can take:
Self-Assess Your Content: Use Google's guidelines and questions to self-assess your content's quality, relevance, and helpfulness. Make improvements or remove content that doesn't measure up. Yes, even if you love a blog you poured your heart and soul into a year ago, if it's not serving up helpful content that Google recognizes as such, it needs revisions (or to head to the recycle bin) for the sake of reviving your business website traffic.
Stay informed: Keep an eye on publicly posted ranking updates related to the Helpful Content System. Google provides valuable insights into what they are looking for in high-quality content.
Regularly Update and Refresh: Continuously improve your content to meet evolving user expectations. This will not only help you regain lost traffic but also maintain and grow your search visibility.
You can also connect with experts like our Geeks. We constantly monitor Google's updates to see how they impact content and traffic, then we work with our clients to quickly adjust and move forward. We also publish "helpful content" (like this blog) to keep property management marketers informed.
How Long Will It Take for Your Site Traffic to Recover?
You may be thinking at this point that your property management business can't afford for traffic to stay low for very long. So, after making updates, how long will it take your site to recover?
It likely won't be a quick rebound, unfortunately. Recovery time can vary, as the Helpful Content System continually monitors websites. If your site is identified as having unhelpful content, it may take several months for the signal to no longer apply after reviewing and updating content.
The key is to consistently maintain and improve your content to align with Google's guidelines.
However, doing that can be challenging when your primary objective is running your property management company, reducing churn, and closing new business.
How Can Geekly Media Help?
Geekly Media understands the challenges that property management marketing strategies and websites face in the ever-changing landscape of SEO and Google updates.
That's why we've developed a special limited-time service tailored to help your website rebound from lost traffic due to Google's Core Updates.
It's called the 2024 Search Visibility Booster and is designed to help your website become more visible in searches to start the new year strong. The package includes:
A Content Review: Our team will thoroughly review your website content for your highest-traffic pages, identifying areas that need improvement. This could include blogs or your primary web pages and service pages.
Optimization: We'll optimize your content in line with the latest Google algorithm changes, ensuring it aligns with the Helpful Content System.
Traffic Monitoring: Our experts will monitor the impact of your content updates as your site regains lost traffic and improves overall visibility.
This is something we've pulled together as a limited-time service for businesses and property management companies that need an expert review and insights into what could be dragging their website traffic down, with actionable solutions to get your site ready to take on 2024 at full strength.
However, you don't have to just stop at recovering lost traffic as a band-aid for what your site has recently experienced! Use this opportunity to enhance your website's performance and generate more leads as we head into 2024.
Overcome the Google Core Update With Geekly Media's Search Visibility Booster
Google's Core Updates, such as the August Core Update, can have a significant impact on property management marketing efforts. Understanding the Helpful Content System, assessing your content, and taking proactive steps to align with Google's standards are essential for maintaining and improving your website's search visibility.
Geekly Media is here to support you in this journey, ensuring that your property management website thrives despite the ever-changing SEO landscape. Our team of Geeks comprises the best inbound marketers and SEO experts dedicated to helping businesses like yours stay ahead of the game. Launch your Visibility Booster below!