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Google’s Latest Algorithm and SEO Updates for NZ – How it Affects You

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    • On March 15, Google Search Central released its first core update of the year, named the March 2023 broad core update.

    • This update aims to prioritise websites that offer superior user experience and provide the most value to their visitors

    • The core update has led to a significant increase in peak volatility, with a reported increase of 74% on desktop and a whopping 94% on mobile suggesting a more dynamic and competitive SEO landscape.

    • This update has targeted all content types across all regions and languages to ensure a consistent and high-quality user experience around the world. This means almost all websites will be affected.

    • Google’s strong stance against “repetitive regurgitations” AI-generated content that is reflected in this core update serves as a move to encourage content that provides more value to the user.

    Here’s How the Google March 2023 Core Update Affects Your Business in NZ

    The March 2023 Google Core Algorithm update significantly affected businesses and websites in New Zealand, as it did worldwide.

    Here’s a closer look at its impact on online businesses and websites:

    1. Peak Volatility

    In the SEO world, volatility refers to the fluctuations or changes in a website’s ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs). Peak volatility signifies an unusually high level of these fluctuations resulting in a site’s rankings swinging wildly from one extreme to another.

    This core update has caused a significant increase in this peak volatility. Desktop saw a 74% surge in volatility and mobile users experienced a 94% increase. These fluctuations directly affected the website’s visibility, organic traffic, and businesses all across New Zealand.

    As Google continues to refine its algorithms, businesses all across New Zealand must get prepared to adapt accordingly or they might also lose all their search rankings.

    2. Search Visibility and Rankings Shifts for NZ Businesses

    The volatility increases seen during the March 2023 Core Update was 74% higher than what was recorded before the update. This indicates that businesses had to deal with a lot of unpredictability in their website rankings during this period, which led to fluctuations in web traffic and business revenues.

    The update has highlighted the importance of user intent, quality content, and E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness) in determining search engine rankings.

    This core update directly affected online businesses in New Zealand and businesses are constantly either gaining or losing their search rankings because of this huge algorithm update.

    3. Better Content = Better Rankings

    Google’s updated algorithm demands original, engaging, and high-value content in order to improve your search ranking and website traffic. It’s time to move away from repetitive, AI-compiled content, and instead focus on creating content that provides real value to your readers.

    4. User Intent and Content Optimisation

    With a focus on user intent, businesses need to ensure that their website content aligns with what users are searching for. This includes conducting thorough keyword research, optimising product descriptions, and addressing FAQs or concerns that potential customers may have. By understanding and catering to user intent, businesses can improve their chances of ranking well and attracting relevant traffic.

    7 Important Things You Must Know About Google Core Updates 2023

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    The March 2023 Core Update was a significant change to Google’s search algorithm, affecting all types of content across regions and languages. It is essential to understand that these core updates aim to improve the relevancy and quality of search results by rewarding high-value web content.

    1. Say No to Repetitive AI-generated Content

    The tech titan’s latest move – taking a firm stand against repetitive, AI-compiled content in its March 2023 Core Update – serves as an indication that Google is now raising the bar.

    Repetitive content no matter how cleverly it is compiled by AI will not rank unless it provides value to the user. Simply put Google wants content that truly resonates with audience needs. It’s about embracing creativity over automation, quality over quantity, and value over volume.

    So, isn’t it time to reconsider your content strategy? Isn’t it time to ensure your content is original, engaging, and provides real value to your readers?

    2. Quality Over Quantity

    The update prioritised the ranking of pages that provide more value compared to those currently ranking. This reiterates the importance of focusing on creating high-quality, valuable content rather than simply stuffing keywords and generating thousands of AI-generated blogs with different wording.

    3. Winners and Losers

    Every core update has its winners and losers. The March 2023 Core Update is still causing significant volatility among dictionary sites, with many sites losing visibility but others gaining. In order to become a winter it is important that you learn from the winners and understand what they are doing differently and how they are not hit by this Google core update.

    4. Adaptive SEO Strategies

    This Broad Core Update underlines the importance of adapting your SEO strategies in line with Google’s evolving algorithms. Staying informed about these updates and adjusting your approach accordingly is key to maintaining or improving your website’s ranking.

    5. Impact on Visibility

    As with any core update, the March 2023 update has the potential to significantly impact a website’s visibility in SERPs. Websites that adhered to Google’s guidelines and focused on quality content were likely to benefit, while others might have seen a decrease in visibility.

    6. User-Centric Approach

    At the heart of these updates is Google’s commitment to providing the best possible search experience for its users. Therefore, adopting a user-centric approach in your digital strategy, focusing on delivering valuable, relevant, and high-quality content to your audience, is paramount.

    7. Future Updates

    Google regularly rolls out core updates to its search algorithm. The next major update after the March 2023 Core Update was rolled out in August 20238. Staying updated with these changes can help you prepare and adjust your SEO strategies in advance.

    What to Do if Your Website is Hit?

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    Wondering what to do if you are hit by Google’s algorithm updates? First and foremost, don’t panic! Core updates are part and parcel of Google’s ongoing mission to improve the quality and relevance of search results. Google releases updates but they are not meant to penalise certain web pages or negatively influence your search rankings.

    Here are the top 3 ways to recover if your website is hit by the Google Core update:

    Follow the Winner’s Pattern

    Look at the winners and losers from this update. What did they do right? Where did they go wrong? Learn from their experiences and use these insights to guide your path forward.

    If your website is hit then let this update be a wake-up call. A call to raise your standards, to strive for excellence, and to deliver nothing but the absolute best for your audience. After all, isn’t that what we’re all here for?

    Focus on Value

    Google now prioritises pages that provide more value compared to those currently ranking. The question you need to ask yourself is: Does my content offer superior value? If not, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get to work.

    Make Informed Decisions

    Look at your problem pages and ask yourself: Are these pages relevant? Do they offer valuable insights? Are they up-to-date? Website owners need to be brutally honest with their answers because it’s only through honesty that one can truly improve.

    How To Recover from a Google 2023 Core Update?

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    Google announced that any website or an online business that is hit by the core update can regain or improve its search ranking by following the industry’s best practices. Here’s how to minimise the impact of the latest Google algorithm updates SEO NZ:

    1. Focus on Quality

    Create high-quality, valuable content that provides more value compared to those currently ranking. Remember, quality trumps quantity in the eyes of Google’s algorithm.

    2. Improve User Experience

    Enhance your website’s user experience by keeping your target audience in mind. This includes improving site speed, making your website mobile-friendly, and ensuring easy navigation.

    3. Enhance E-A-T signals

    Establishing expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness through expert opinions, credentials, testimonials, and customer reviews can positively impact search rankings.

    4. Optimise for local SEO

    With the update impacting both organic search results and map pack rankings, optimising local SEO factors such as Google My Business profile, local citations, and customer reviews can improve local visibility.

    5. Stay Up to Date

    Google regularly rolls out updates to its search algorithm. Stay informed about these changes and adjust your SEO strategy accordingly.

    New Best Practices in Web Design for NZ Businesses

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    As the web design industry continues to evolve, staying on top of the latest Google algorithm updates is crucial for businesses aiming to thrive in the online realm. These updates have a direct impact on website performance, search engine rankings, and ultimately, the success of digital marketing strategies.

    By understanding and adapting to the following changes, you can unlock the potential for increased visibility, enhanced user experience, and sustainable growth.

    Navigate Mobile-First Indexing: A Must for New Zealand Web Designers

    Google’s focus on mobile-first indexing has transformed the way websites are ranked and displayed in search results. You should explore the significance of mobile responsiveness and apply actionable tips to optimise your web design for mobile devices.

    Remember that a seamless browsing experience that caters to the growing number of mobile users elevates your chances of success in the digital landscape.

    Use AI-Driven Search Results to Elevate User Experience

    User experience has become a paramount factor in determining website rankings. Incorporate personalised recommendations, intuitive navigation, and engaging content to revolutionise your website’s performance.

    Unleash the power of AI and enhance user experience to gain a competitive edge in the New Zealand web design industry.

    Optimise Your Website Design for Voice Search

    Voice search is rapidly shaping the way users interact with search engines, and businesses must adapt accordingly. Analyse the impact of voice search on web design and strategies to optimise your website for voice-enabled devices.

    Harness the potential of voice assistants to attract and engage a wider audience in New Zealand, ensuring your website remains at the forefront of this emerging trend.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What to Do if Your Website is Hit by Google Core-update?

    Understand the purpose of the update and analyse your website’s analytics. Then, compare your site with those that have benefited from the update, focusing on improving content quality, user experience, and relevance. Exercise patience as fluctuations may occur until the update fully settles.