Technical Issues Usually Not a Trigger for Core Update Problems

Google’s John Mueller confirmed that technical issues generally do not result in a drop in rankings after a core update. Mueller said that core update ranking problems are more tied to quality issues and offered examples of perceived quality issues that even a core update is not vulnerable.

Website overhauled just before core update

The person asking the question wrote that they did a major update on a site just before the Google core algorithmic update. Website ranking crashed after update and crashed for six months and still not fixed.

John Mueller discussing core algorithm update

screenshot of john muellerJohn Mueller Discussing Google Core Algorithm Update

This question was asked:

“Our website was ranking well before the design overhaul. Our timing was terrible, as a core update was released right after launch, which had some issues with internal links.

We suspect that Google re-evaluated the quality of the site at this time, but we were able to resolve the issues.

Our rankings and traffic have dropped drastically and in the process all the rich snippets have been lost and are in limbo for the last five, six months.

Do we wait for another major update for Google to re-assess the quality of our site or does it happen when the website is crawled again?

Useful to know what is core update

In his answer, John made a recommendation and then offered two insights into what usually doesn’t trigger a core update-related ranking drop.

Mueller began with a suggestion to research what the core algorithm update is, to find out why the site lost search visibility after the core update.

he recommended:

“So I think there are a few things here that come together.

But first, I’d recommend checking out our blog post we did about the key update. I think it’s called “What site owners need to know about Core Update“Something along those lines.

And there’s a lot of information in it about key updates, in particular… about what kinds of issues we notice and how things are resolved over time.

That’s why I would be the first thing to do in such a case.”

Insight 1: Key updates use data collected over a long period of time

Mueller offered further insight that the kind of issues that can lead to negative core update-related consequences are problems that are ongoing over the long term, not technical issues that result in sudden and dramatic changes.

The voice in the video cuts to the opening part of Mueller’s answer.

“… the information we use for key updates to understand the site is something that is collected more over a longer period of time.

This is not something where if, at the time of the launch of Core Update, you had a technical issue, suddenly your site will be in trouble.

It’s actually something that gets collected more over a longer period of time.

So that means if you’re seeing an impact from a core update, it’s usually due to a longer period of time where we’ve run into issues that we’re seeing with respect to the core update.

Insight 2: Technical issues are not the same as quality issues

The second insight is that technical issues usually don’t cause a core update-related issue. Muller pointed to more quality-related issues.

Muller also pointed out that minor technical issues such as broken links are not usually the cause of core update ranking problems.

Mueller continued his answer:

“Also, with respect to technical issues, it’s usually not triggered for a major update or a core update without really knowing what to do with the website, because technical issues do not equate to quality issues. .

Obviously there may be some technical issues, when a user views the website, it becomes impossible to actually use the website.

But if it’s just something small, it’s usually not a big issue.

So if you have things like 404’s or some broken links on a page, that won’t be a reason to jump to our quality algorithms.

But there are many other things that our quality algorithms search for, and they are all in the blog posts.

So I’d recommend taking a look at that.

Regarding the solution after improving your website, it is also mentioned in the blog post.

As we reprocess your website, some of these things will continue to improve over time.

And some of them require that our quality algorithms take another run through the site and it may take a while for that to happen.

Core Update Insights

John Mueller offered many useful recommendations and insights about core algorithmic updates and the pitfalls of ranking.

  • First, it’s useful to be familiar with Google’s core algorithmic update explainer.
  • He then went on to say that Key Updates use information about a website that is collected over a long period of time. This is something worth thinking about.
  • Finally, Mueller said that technical issues aren’t really in the same category as general quality issues regarding a core algorithm update.


Read Google’s Core Algorithm Update Explainer

What site owners should know about major Google updates

Watch John Mueller answer the question at 10:53 am:

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