Google Broad Core Updates and Non-Profit Websites
One thing a non-profit thrives on is information. One of the ways non-profits get their information out to the masses is through their website. This is cultivated further by creating website content that can be searched for and found on Google. Like it or not, this means that content is subject to Google algorithm updates. Now, some updates are specific, targeting a type of site, link or content, however, there are those algorithm changes that affect just about every site in some shape or form. Those are called Broad Core updates.
What is a “Broad Core” update?
A broad core algorithm update is a change to Google’s “core,” or overall, search ranking algorithm and systems. Google’s core algorithm is actually a collection of algorithms that interpret signals from webpages (e.g., keywords, links, etc.), with the goal of ranking the content that best answers a search query.
More simply, Broad Core update is Google hitting the reset button while tweaking hundreds if not thousands of “ranking” signals all at once. Your site may have gone up or down, or be in the same position in the search rankings after the update has finished rolling out.
How often does this update happen?
Google’s Broad Core updates usually happen 3 times a year. Over the years, there have been several unconfirmed Google algorithm updates. Google tends to tweak it’s algorithm many times over without telling anyone. Google’s Broad Core updates are one of a few updates they actually announce before it happens ( though sometimes right before).
What to do if your site’s traffic drops
If you find your nonprofit’s website has it traffic just drop off, Google “ Google Algorithm Update (insert month and year here)” If you find Google is rolling out a Broad Core update, my suggestion is to take a page from Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and “don’t panic”. First, these algorithm changes usually take about 2 weeks to complete and I have seen rankings bounce back and forth throughout that time. So the last thing you want to do is make changes while Google is in the middle of the update.
After about few days after the update has been confirmed to be completed, then you review the damage. If there was a significant drop, there might not have been anything you have done wrong, Google just might have put more weight on one ranking factor over the other. Google’s advice is to “focus on ensuring you’re offering the best content you can. That’s what our algorithms seek to reward.”
Another thing we suggest is to do an audit of the search results that come up for the term you are trying to rank. Google might have changed the type of results it serves up, like more how to’s versus product reviews for a certain term.
How long until rankings recover?
There really is not a definitive answer to this one. Google states ”Content that was impacted in Search or Discover by one might not recover—assuming improvements have been made—until the next broad core update is released.”
There really is nothing you can do but be aware of these updates that happen, and create the best content you can. In the end, if your non-profit creates informational content that people want, then you should not see too drastic of a drop from a Broad Core update.