Google core updates often leave webmasters in a fix as there is no clear indication as to why these sites were penalized until further notice. Even more pressing concern is, how and when the websites will recover from these core updates.


In a recent Webmaster Central Office Hours Hangout, John Mueller from Google answered questions from one of the Webmaster’s about recovering from a core algorithm update. In his explanation, Mueller explained what exactly are core update generally is and how should publishers respond to it.

Should publishers wait for next core update?

The background of the question that was asked during the hangout session was that why some of the sites have to wait for the next core algo update to recover.

Such activity gives an impression that all the work done on the site to fix problems go unrewarded until the next core update rolls out.

The exact question asked to John Mueller was:

“What exactly, websites that have been hit by the core updates can’t recover before the next core update, even if they make good improvements?

Some algorithms are launched one time for a couple of months or how does that work?”

In response, Google’s Mueller first stated that the core algorithms are primarily concerned with understanding how webpages are relevant to the search queries. He stated that,

“With core updates we’re essentially trying to re-understand how the relevance of the search results are.”

What he meant was the cool updates are trying to improve the relevance of the search results and nothing else. Therefore, if a site is not matching the searchers’ intent then it has to work on improving its relevance to see an improvement in rankings.

Then addressing the main question about having to wait, Mueller said:

“And it’s not something that requires a site to… wait for the next update to have a chance to be seen differently.

They can continue working on things and things can improve over time.”

The need for wait was during the early 2000’s when Google updates happened on a monthly basis, in those days a site would have to wait for the next month update to be rewarded for the changes.

Simply put, what Mueller is confirming is that Google’s algorithms operate on a rolling refresh, where entire index is constantly refreshing to keep the search results most relevant.

Once any core algorithm change goes into effect, then the index is constantly been refreshed using those changes. Let’s suppose a change is made in how “food recipes” are ranked promoting some particular features, then all the recipe results will be continuously refreshed to accommodate those changes.

If a site loses rank because it does not have those particular features then they can work on including them and the site should start to begin to gain rankings before the next update.

This is why SeoEaze always encourages clients keep improving the site in case the next update focuses on some improvements that are already been made, then our clients will be benefited.

Mueller agrees on the same, he said:

“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.

But in general, sites don’t have to wait for the next bigger update in order to start seeing changes.

So, from that point of view, I wouldn’t… stop working on things once you think you’ve done the right thing. But I’d continue working in that direction.

You should see at least some incremental improvements over time.”

Focus on regularly improving sites

One of the oldest rules in the book that is still useful is to keep the content diversified.

Some sites make the mistake of getting stuck with the same kind of content, this can put off audiences who get tired of the same thing. This approach can also cause websites to miss on acquiring more traffic from related audience demographic.

Your goal with content diversification must be to rotate through different content forms.

We recommend that you keep a mix of evergreen and temporary topics and start including some other kinds of articles and contents like how-to articles, image heavy articles and others such that your site can target a broader audience. This will also signal that you are building stronger authority.

The reasons why people search for things, trends and other content can be in a state of constant change and you must be able to do the same.

Check out complete Hangout session here: