Google Update Florida II – It’s a Big One

by Search Engine Journal March 13th 2019 – Roger Montti

Danny Sullivan of Google has confirmed that Google is updating its algorithm. He called it another broad core update. Brett Tabke of PubCon received a heads up from Google that a big update was imminent. It was decided beforehand to call it Update Florida 2. It was passed along from Google that this update is important and big.

Google Update Florida 2

How Big Is This Google Update?

Based on what I have been told, this update is important. The information that I was given is that this update is one of the biggest updates in years.

In the past, when a big Google update has happened, it usually has meant the incorporation of something that profoundly changed how sites are ranked. Last year’s update incorporated what Google called Neural Matching.

So it may be reasonable to assume something on this scale may have been implemented, judging from the credible inside information I received.

What’s the Goal of This Broad Core Update?

A broad core update means that Google is not targeting any niche or any particular signals, like quality. In a broad core algorithm update, Google is not targeting anything.

Some in the SEO industry theorize that Google “targets” specific industries. But Google’s John Mueller has consistently denied that broad core updates target specific niches.

Broad core updates do not target websites, niches, or qualities. That is why Google has said that in broad core updates, there is nothing to fix.

The best approach to understanding a broad core update is to set aside preconceptions that Google is targeting low page quality or niches. Then focus on relevance related factors.

How to Respond to a Broad Core Update

I have analyzed many websites that have been affected by broad core updates.

One common issue I have discovered is what looks to me like a change in how Google interprets a search query. This can affect how a page is ranked.

Many other factors can affect a webpage’s ranking as well, such as links. Linksremain a highly important ranking factor.

What Is a Broad Core Update?

Broad core updates are improvements to Google’s overall algorithm for the purpose of better understanding search queries and webpages.

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These improvements help Google to more accurately match search queries to webpages and improve user satisfaction.

It can be said that the underlying goal of all broad core updates has been to improve user satisfaction.

One of the past broad core updates involved the introduction of Neural Matching (read about Neural Matching algorithm here). Neural matching was not targeting anything. It was simply a way for improving the relevance of the web pages in the search results so that they more adequately answered a search query.

Google Update Florida 2 – It’s a Big One

Brett Tabke named this update Florida Update 2

Why Is the Update Called Florida 2?

Google’s Florida Update was an important one in the early 2000s. It was so named because the algorithm change coincided with the Pubcon Florida SEO conference.

The whispers about this update also coincides with that conference so it was decided by Brett Tabke, founder of Pubcon and WebmasterWorld that this update will be named, Google Florida Update 2. WebmasterWorld  has traditionally named the Google Updates.

There is Nothing to Fix?

Sullivan offered the previous guidance from March 12, 2018 on broad core updates. That guidance was a statement made in a tweet that there is nothing to fix.

Here’s what that tweet said:

“There’s no ‘fix’ for pages that may perform less well other than to remain focused on building great content. Over time, it may be that your content may rise relative to other pages.”

In my opinion, what this may mean is that this may be about relevance of content and/or links to search queries. It’s a change on Google’s side.

That makes it challenging to identify why a page is no longer ranking. But from my analyses of sites that lost rankings, those clues are there.

Read more about the update on SEJ: Google Florida Update 2: What’s Changed? Early Insights & Reaction

Read the WebmasterWorld Forum discussion here: Google Florida Update 2 March 12, 2019

Read Google’s official tweet announcement here This week, we released a broad core algorithm update.

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