I’ll discuss what I noticed about the Broad Core 2023 update and what I’m doing to help to recover my clients’ websites from unexpected loss in rankings. This is my valuable SEO guide on how to recover from the March 2023 Google Update.

Google’s March 2023 Broad Core Update

About the Author

Ignatius Davis - SEO and DIgital Marketer, Perth
Qualified SEO

Ignatius Davis

Ignatius has been a search engine optimiser and digital strategist since 2005. Qualified in E-Commerce, Economics and Change Management.

Get in touch about SEO!

Except when your site isn’t rewarded, it kind of feels like a penalty… am I right?!

Unexpected Fallout from Google’s March 2023 Update

As an SEO specialist with over a decade of experience, I’ve seen my fair share of algorithm updates, but this one certainly shook things up for some of my clients.

Interestingly, the sites I’ve personally managed from the beginning emerged unscathed, while those I inherited from other SEOs faced some unexpected penalties.

We’ll dive into the reasons I believe some sites were rewarded while others were “not”.

I’ll also provide actionable steps to recover lost rankings for those who were affected.

Whether you’re an SEO professional or a complete beginner, I’ll break down the crucial factors of this update and provide easy-to-understand recommendations on bouncing back from any negative impacts.

By the end of this article, you’ll have a clear understanding of what Google values in high-quality web content and how to align your website with those priorities to regain your rightful place in the search results.

So, buckle up and get ready for a comprehensive guide on navigating the post-Google Broad Core Update 2023 landscape and reclaiming ๐Ÿš€ the online visibility your business deserves.

1.Check Search Console to Identify the affected pages

Google search console can show you the performance of clicks, impression, click through rate and average position among other stats. Make sure you’ve set search console up on your website though!

In Search Console, click on performance and you’ll see something like this screenshot below:

google search console analytics indicating a drop off in impressions of a specific webpage since the Google Broad Core update in March 2023
Google search console analytics indicating a drop off of impressions of a client’s website since the Google Broad Core update in March 2023

Below the graph you’ll see an option for ‘pages’.

When you click ‘pages’ you’ll see the performance of specific pages. Drill down through the pages and look for the ones that have been affected by the google update.

In this case as seen below, the page ‘service areas’ has lost significant traction since the Broad Core Update in March 2023.

The Google Broad Core Update in March 2023 did not reward this page with higher ranking at all…. in fact the opposite.

If you’ve identified your downgraded pages in step one, check out the following steps of what I believe are the major factors that were a penalised or rewarded in this update. (Let me know if I’ve missed something, I’d love your feedback!)

2. Refresh Old Content

So across the sites we manage, we noticed that sites with aged content were severely “unrewarded”. A site we had been optimizing for 5 months dropped like a stone:

March 15th 2023 caused this drop in impressions… But can we really blame the Google update?
Not really. Good user experience would never be penalised by Google.

It turns out there were posts and pages(and this page in particular) on this site that had not been updated or modified since 2015!

What I and my team have implemented is a complete refresh on all old posts with a current publishing date, updated links and information and helpful layouts.

  • Refresh the publish date
  • Refresh the title (not the slug or url)
  • Refresh the headings structure
  • Include Key take aways and and index if applicable
  • Include an FAQ at the end of the article
  • Expand and update the information the page is about.

Helpful tip: Check out the top 3 pages on Google Search and Bing outranking your page. Check what they have included and provide a more up to date and relevant page with update links and more helpful design. (More on that below!)

3. Keyword Stuffing is so last decade

Hey, I know you don’t stuff keywords in your pages… nobody does right? ๐Ÿ˜‰

But come one… there was some low hanging fruit:

“Welcome to Personal Injury Lawyers New York. If you need a qualified New York Personal Injury Lawyer, then call Personal Injury Lawyers New York”

Shocking. But it still worked for some websites.

But refer back to Google’s 2011 advice on making quality content:
“Would you expect to see this article in a printed magazine, encyclopedia or book?”

Now let’s be honest: There is no way that anyone would publish an article in a magazine or encyclopedia that repeats the same terms over and over.

Neither would generic keyword titles feature in a magazine.

So be creative and smart :

If your page is about a realtor in Austin Texas then use natural language like:

Top Realtor in Austin Texas” as opposed to “Realtor Austin Texas”

From what I noticed, the broad core update rewarded natural language, singular topic pages with a range of supporting semantics.

This is part of Entity SEO as opposed to pure keyword SEO. (Will be writing about that topic soon! Stay tuned!)

Check out my Free SEO Tool to check keyword density and avoid keyword stuffing!

4.Ensure Above the Fold matches user intent

The pages that were penalised or “unrewarded” all shared something in common: what appeared on the page did not exactly match the user intend or the concept behind the page. The earlier example for instance was a “service areas” page. However, the first thing to appear was a description of services and nothing about the areas in which those services were offered.

Imagine visiting a website only to find that the initial view provides no useful information. You scroll down and finally locate what you need. This is a major annoyance for Google Search and must be avoided at all costs.

In the context of the recent Google Core update, “above the fold” refers to everything visible on a mobile screen or computer monitor upon first loading the webpage. As soon as you need to scroll down, the content is considered “below the fold.”

Take a look at our client Swann Rubbish Removal for an example:

Above-the-fold desktop screenshot Above-the-fold mobile screenshot

For more information on above-the-fold best practices, refer to Semrush’s insightful article here.

Here is some straightforward SEO advice on what to include above the fold and what Google expects:

  1. A clear heading indicating the webpage’s subject
  2. A supportive sentence or paragraph about the topic
  3. Contact information if it’s a service being offered
  4. An optimized image (if relevant) that represents the article’s subject

By ensuring this information is visible on a mobile screen or computer monitor without requiring the user to scroll, you’re on the right track!

Key takeaway: Prioritize displaying the most helpful content on any screen to guarantee users know they’ve found the correct webpage for their needs.

5.Google’s E-E-A-T

I believe the additional E in Google’s E-A-T policy (Now E-E-A-T) was significantly rewarded in the March Broad Core Update. Haven’t heard of it?

Google introduced a new twist to the widely recognized E-A-T acronym.

Say hello to E-E-A-T

My SEO Infographic of Google's E-E-A-T Quality Rater Guidelines
My SEO Infographic of Google’s E-E-A-T Quality Rater Guidelines

Unveiled in December 2022, this update adds an extra layer of importance to content that’s not only expertly crafted but also deeply rooted in real-life experiences.

So, what does this mean for content creators and website owners?

It’s time to focus on delivering genuine and engaging experiences to users, making your content more relevant, valuable, and trustworthy than ever before.

Here is an actionable step on how to ensure your pages also reap the rewards of E-E-A-T.

Tip: Focus on Authenticity and User Experience

  1. Create authentic content: Ensure that the content you produce is based on real-life experiences. Whether it’s a product review or a travel guide, strive to create content that reflects the writer’s first-hand experience with the topic. This may involve collaborating with authors who have relevant experience or conducting thorough research to provide accurate information to your audience.
  2. Highlight the creator’s expertise and experience: Make sure to showcase the author’s credentials, background, and personal experience related to the topic. This will not only help establish their authority but also add an extra layer of trustworthiness to the content.
  3. Improve user experience: Google’s new focus on experience means that it’s more important than ever to prioritize user experience on your website. This includes optimizing page load speed, ensuring mobile-friendliness, and providing easy navigation throughout your site. Make sure your content is well-structured, easy to read, and visually appealing.
  4. Encourage user-generated content: Invite your audience to share their own experiences and reviews through comments, forums, or dedicated sections on your website. User-generated content can add credibility to your brand and provide valuable insights from actual users of a product or service.
  5. Monitor and analyze performance: Regularly review your website’s performance, both in terms of traffic and search engine rankings. Keep an eye on how your content is faring after the Broad Core Update, and make adjustments as needed to better align with Google’s Double-E-A-T guidelines.

By following this tip and focusing on authenticity and user experience, you’ll be well-equipped to recover from the March 2023 Google Broad Core Update and stay ahead in the ever-evolving world of SEO.

6. Boost Website Speed

A crucial step in recovering from the March 2023 Google Broad Core update is to improve your website’s speed. Google values user experience and penalizes slow-loading websites, which can negatively impact your ranking.

Poor website speed performance hurts your rankings. Stats from Google PageSpeed Insights
Poor website speed performance hurts your rankings. Stats from Google PageSpeed Insights.

To effectively gauge your website’s performance, follow these steps:

  1. Assess your website’s speed objectively using Google’s PageSpeed Insights: https://pagespeed.web.dev/ Don’t rely on subjective perceptions of loading time; an accurate measurement is essential.
  2. If your score is above 90 and in the green, you’re good to go. If not, it’s time to take action.
  3. Optimize your website’s images to enhance speed. Reduce their size and consider converting them to the WebP format, which offers superior compression and faster loading times.
    • To reduce image size, use tools like Microsoft PowerToys (for Windows) or Simple Image Resizer (for Mac and online use).
    • To convert images to WebP, use tools like ABIC (for PC) or CloudConvert (for online use, with a limit of 10 images per day).

Improve your Core Web Vitals

To recover from the March 2023 Broad Core update by Google, it is essential that your website excels in all aspects of Core Web Vitals, accessibility, and SEO best practices.

Core Web Vitals are user-centric metrics that measure aspects of web usability, such as loading performance, interactivity, and visual stability.

These metrics include Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), First Input Delay (FID), and Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS).

Improving these metrics can lead to better user engagement, higher conversion rates, and increased revenue. To optimize Core Web Vitals, you should monitor your website’s performance using Google Search Console, fix any identified issues, and validate your fixes.

In addition to Core Web Vitals, accessibility is crucial for ensuring that your website is usable and inclusive for all users, including those with disabilities.

To improve accessibility, follow the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) and use tools like the Accessibility Insights extension for Chrome or the WAVE Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool to identify and address accessibility issues.

Some key aspects of accessibility include providing descriptive alt text for images, ensuring proper contrast ratios for text, using semantic HTML, and offering keyboard navigation support.

Good SEO practices are vital for improving your website’s visibility on search engines, driving organic traffic, and recovering from the Broad Core update. To optimize your website for SEO, make sure to use relevant keywords in your content, optimize meta tags (title, description, and header tags), implement a clear site structure with proper internal linking, and create high-quality, engaging content that meets the needs of your target audience. Additionally, consider focusing on mobile-friendliness, as Google prioritizes mobile-first indexing, and ensure that your website loads quickly and efficiently on both desktop and mobile devices.

By excelling in Core Web Vitals, accessibility, and SEO best practices, you can effectively recover from the March 2023 Broad Core update and improve your website’s overall performance and user experience.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the Google Broad Core Update of March 2023 has significantly impacted websites’ rankings and overall visibility.

While the recommendations I provided from my experience in this article can help you recover from the update, there are other factors that could potentially aid in recovery, such as acquiring high-quality backlinks, focusing on topicality (as briefly mentioned in the Entity SEO section), and other strategies not discussed here.

Feel free to comment and share any additional tactics you’ve found helpful in recovering from the Broad Core update.

To summarize, this article has explored various ways to recover from the Google Broad Core Update of March 2023, including:

  1. Checking Search Console to identify affected pages
  2. Refreshing old content
  3. Avoiding keyword stuffing
  4. Ensuring above-the-fold content matches user intent
  5. Adhering to Google’s E-E-A-T guidelines
  6. Boosting website speed

By addressing these aspects and continually optimizing your website for both users and search engines, you can recover from the update and regain your rightful place in the search results.

Need help to recover?

Reach out to me on my email at hello@ignatiusdavis.com if you need professional SEO assistance in the USA, UK, Australia, United Arab Emirates or South Africa.

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