The March 2019 Core Update to Google’s algorithm should be on your radar. If you saw your Google rankings change over the past few weeks, this is likely why. This isn’t a huge update, but it is a confirmed update (which is rare coming from Google.)
Tentatively known as the Google Florida 2 update within the SEO community, the update was confirmed when Google chose to rename it as “the March 2019 Core Update.” Since then, Google hasn’t offered many clues about what the update has done. SEO thought leaders have been working on unpacking it, though, giving us some insight into what has changed.
This isn’t surprising from Google, as they very rarely reveal what their updates are doing. The only time Google will discuss changes they’re making is if they’re looking to drive a behavior like promoting mobile responsiveness. This is why I urge you to keep an eye out for news about updates, because being aware of them can give you a huge leg up on the competition.
These updates come several times a year, and if you aren’t paying attention you’ll only notice the newest Google update by shifts in your rankings. Google claims that there’s nothing you can do to fix your rankings post update if you’ve dropped, but you can use the update as fuel for your strategy moving forward. This update doesn’t require a huge shift – most don’t – but there are a few things you should know.
The underlying idea, though, is that you should remain focused on great content. This is part of the reason that Google addressed the update, as they wanted to emphasize that Google will continue to focus on showcasing only the best content. So if you work on creating great content, your Google rankings should remain fine.
If you want to know how to rank a blog on Google and strengthen your SEO numbers, I’ll guide you through the Google Florida 2 Update and what it contains. It’s a small, but impactful update that should change your digital marketing strategy just a bit. This Google algorithm update pushes a technique I’ve been using for a while, and I’m excited to discuss it with you.
Why Did Google Name the March 2019 Core Update
The latest Google update was slated to release alongside the 2019 Pubcon Florida SEO Conference. Because the update was going to be discussed to death at the conference, people began to refer to the update as the Google Florida 2 Update. The number was placed in the name because there had been a similar situation previously, when Google released an update alongside the 2003 Pubcon Florida SEO Conference.
That was known as the Google Florida Update, pushing this one to be the Google Florida 2 Update. However, that update looked nothing like this one. In the interest of keeping confusion down, Google decided to step up and rename the update “the March 2019 Core Update.”
The naming was about as much information as Google offered, but even saying what kind of update it was, is uncommon for Google. It seems likely that the March 2019 Core Update moniker was an internal thing, and leads to some speculation about how frequently these updates are happening. Google’s confirmation has brought extra attention to this update.
You shouldn’t wait for Google to tell you when this sort of thing happens, though. If you want to stay on top of your SEO, I would suggest setting up a Google Alert for “Google algorithm update” or something similar.
What The March 2019 Core Update Contains
This Google algorithm update centers around a few minor changes. The continual refinement of the Google algorithm always pushes great content, but it does so in little bits. The Google algorithm can’t actually have opinions about content, so Google needs to teach it how to tell if something is good or not.
When a person searches for a set of keywords, Google uses a handful of data to decide what the most relevant articles are. These data start with keywords, but also include page bounce rate and every other metric you can think of. Google even includes metrics that you don’t have access to like page authority.
Page authority is a ranking on a scale from 1 to 100 that every indexed page has. 100 is achievable (not even Google has it) but you should be looking to build your page authority as much as possible. The pages that you see on the front page of practically every Google search have high page authority.
In trying to make page authority function correctly, Google is using the March 2019 Core Update to further enhance their authority rankings within a website. This is a small but important change that should inform your content creation from here forward. I’ve been using a strategy for this since before the update, and I’ll run you through it later on.
The Google Florida 2 update is most likely to affect people working in health, automobile and animals, as the pages will be better sorted inside of a Google update. The seeming goal of this Google algorithm update is to fix those times where you’re sent to a narrow blog when looking for answers to a more general question. Because of that, knowledge base pages should move up in rankings.
However, Google has said that this will be low volatility update. This means that there shouldn’t be major shifts in rankings except in a few edge cases.
How Can I Use the March 2019 Core Update to My Advantage
If you haven’t been using topic clusters up to this point, I would strongly suggest you start now. The Google Florida 2 update strongly pushes the use of topic clusters, which were a strong strategy even before that. It’s very simple to implement topic clusters into your marketing strategy, so you should look to do so ASAP.
A topic cluster is simple: a topic cluster is a group of content that all comes from 1 parent piece. So you start with a single blog or video, then break that down. Each time you move down a level in the hierarchy, you can create 2-6 pieces of content per parent piece. So a three tier hierarchy could have 1 parent, 6 second level pieces, and 36 third tier pieces.
To use this strategy in accordance with the March 2019 Core Update to Google’s algorithm, to get the most out of it, you need to link between the topic cluster to create a hierarchy. Each piece should contain inbound links to content within one level of it – so your third tier can link up to the second or down to the fourth.
The only exception to this is that any piece of content can link to the top tier content. This creates a hierarchy that Google can read. When this happens, Google will know how to match your content to searches throughout the full specific – general range. That way, if a person wants that top level or second level content it will appear before something on the bottom rung.
Going forward, implementing this into your strategy will help you stay up to date after the March 2019 Core Update and keep your rankings looking good.