Mordy Oberstein
CMO - Rank Ranger
Read more about Mordy

Escaping the Wrath of Google’s Core Updates Unscathed (& with a Win Perhaps)

New York 2020 | 13 - 15 July 2020 | 11:15

Don’t let your site get clobbered by the core updates. Get advanced tips on what your site needs to avoid the wrath of Google’s core updates!

A far-reaching contextual analysis of Google’s core updates that culminates in an understanding of how to deal with the updates both in terms of specific action and overall approach. If you want to understand what’s driving the core updates, why Google started implementing them, and what it says about the search engine, this is the session for you. No one else is really talking about the updates in this way and from such an overall context (supported by data, of course).

The session will go through the size of the core updates and their overall impact. At the same time, I’ll go through how the core updates have impacted the rank stability picture and how significant the core updates are qualitatively from a data perspective (Ungagged exclusive).

From here the session will jump into why the core updates are necessary (i.e., the unique purpose they serve). This naturally segments into the relationship of the core updates to the Quality Raters Guidelines and YMYL industries. There’s a whole heap of bullcrap to work our way through here as a lot of what some SEOs are preaching (and some of what Google is saying) doesn’t really add up.

What I’d like to do from this point in the presentation is to show what the abstract underpinnings of the core updates actually look like at the site level. That is, once we understand the updates’ power and purpose, how do they actually manifest themselves when ranking (or re-ranking) sites.

After this, we’ll look at what actually works when trying to set your site up for success in the core update era. At this point, I’ll take up Google’s advice on the core updates and show, via some data, why it’s actually not a total load of crap, but rather, incredibly vague (and in a way reminiscent of what Google has said about RankBrain). (Ungagged Exclusive)

(At some point, I’ll go through why a lot of the data on the winners and losers of the updates is off the mark in many cases)

Takeaways from the session will be:

Being vigilant about the core updates is uniquely important as the data shows the positions gained or lost are significantly steeper than a typical unconfirmed update. (Ungagged Exclusive)

Create a strong foundation of identity. The most fundamental thing you can do is ensure your site has a strong and unconflicted identity. Strong identity equals authority. This is achieved by having a staunch content focus, the ability to create multifaceted content around that focus, and by being an active content member within your vertical. I’ll also show how to determine the right level of “authority” for a query as authority can be relative. (This is a Mordy exclusive, I’ve talked about this before as it’s the foundation of dealing with the core updates).

There is extreme benefit in creating a highly nuanced identity depending on your vertical. The data shows that for high search volume / high authority keywords there is very little room on the SERP for the average site. At the same time, the data shows that for more nuanced and specific queries (i.e., long-tail) Google leaves room for industry focused sites. That is, sites that have strong industry identity are placed on such SERPs as they both target intent and satisfy Google’s demands for authority/safety.

Authority is not linear. The notion that having your content reviewed by an expert or an author bio is what creates authority is too simple of a concept. Authority is latent. It’s UI, UX, tone, and more. For example, health sites (other than the super-authorities) that always (or nearly always) link internally to their own informational content saw their top rankings demoted as the result of the Jan. 2020 update, whereas pages that were diverse and included other authorities via their linking were not affected. In such a case, sites that were not content diverse (via their linking practices) lost rankings for queries that demanded high levels of authority. Simply, you can’t be an authority if all you do is quote yourself. (Ungagged Exclusive)

Think thematically. It’s one thing to know some of the site-level patterns shown by the core updates. It’s another thing entirely to understand how to find those patterns yourself. To do so, you have to think about the pages that win/lose as a result of a core update in terms of the latent messaging they send to the user (since Google is now picking up on those messages). This demands a thematic mindset. (Ungagged Exclusive)

Key Audience: The session is for any SEO geek. Anyone with an intermediate to advanced background in SEO will get something out of this. The session will do a thorough job of really pulling back the various layers to the core updates in a methodical way. So even though some of the content is more “advanced” anyone should really be able to follow along. “Holistic SEOs” will really go nuts for this (link focused SEOs will probably lose their collective mind).


The Venue

Where is it?

UnGagged New York 2020 is taking place at Convene at 32 Old Slip. The space is state of the art and fitted for every amenity imaginable for a couple of days of learning. And if that wasn’t enough, Convene 32 Old Slip has a first class team ready to assist your every need. See you in the heart of New York!

32 Old Slip, New York, NY 10005
United States
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