Over a 5 day period earlier this month, ending on June 8th, Google rolled out a Core Update to its search algorithm. Unlike past updates that were given names like Panda or Penguin, this update is simply referred to as the June 2019 Core Update, but its impact is just as big.

Google frequently updates their algorithm, so ranking your site on the first page of the search results is a constantly moving target. And of course, Google never tells you exactly what the changes are, but based on my research here is what I have discovered from multiple sources.

The focus of this update is on quality and relevance. Google is no longer concerned just with keywords, but rather with the user’s intent. Google built its current algorithm around RankBrain, a machine learning (AI) algorithm Google uses to help sort and improve the search results. According to Backlinko:

In short, RankBrain tweaks the algorithm on its own.

Depending on the keyword, RankBrain will increase or decrease the importance of backlinks, content freshness, content length, domain authority, etc.

Then, it looks at how Google searchers interact with the new search results. If users like the new algorithm better, it stays. If not, RankBrain rolls back the old algorithm.

Notice that content freshness and content length continue to play a huge role in what Google determines to be important. Blue Corona has identified these items to be Google’s top ranking factors in 2019:

  1. Secured sites (HTTPS vs. HTTP)
  2. Mobile-friendliness
  3. Page speed
  4. Schema markup
  5. Webpage content quality
  6. Webpage content length
  7. Social and local signals
  8. Quality backlinks (including YouTube)
  9. Optimized images
  10. Domain age
  11. User experience

Initial Impact of the June 2019 Core Update

YouTube Videos – with the June 2019 Core Update, we are seeing a jump in video carousels, which now appear for 61.1% of desktop searches. Vimeo on the other hand has lost ground.

Video carousel in search results

Importantly, it appears as if Google may be targeting low-quality news sites. What this means is that consistent, high quality news content is more important than ever.

Did you find this article useful or learn anything? If so, I’d love some feedback about what you thought.