Is your Website in the Crosshairs?


What are we talking about…

Google is looking at your website and as part of the recent Core Algorithm update in March 2024, they are only looking to rank the very best websites in a search.

If you have looked at your Google Analytics and seen a dip in traffic or simply noticed a lack of enquiries, this update with be part of the issue. But why do they have to keep doing this? All any search engine wants to do is deliver the very best set of results to you when you are looking for something you want or need. To do this, they want to ensure they ignore any website that isn’t delivering helpful, original and quality content. We will talk about this in a little more depth later. 


Google has set itself a target of reducing websites that appear spammy or that are irrelevant, by 40% (Source) – This is a bold move from the tech giant, but is part of work they have been doing for the last couple of years.

Google’s HCU (Help Content Update) work began in 2022 intending to reduce unoriginal and unhelpful content, with some rather dramatic effects.

There is no need to press the panic button now, but if you rely on your website to generate business – and who doesn’t? it would be best if you read on…

How Does it Affect Your Business?

The first thing to do is take a good look at your website and ask yourself some questions. 

  • Is it informing the visitor or is it just a passion project of the owner?
  • Is there any value in the content?
  • Is the content easy to access?
  • Does the layout make sense?

Sometimes a website is seen in isolation and the attitude of “build it and they will come” prevails. It’s often the case that a website is built, launched and never touched again. In today’s highly competitive world, a website should be the living, breathing hub of your marketing mix. So, take a look at sites you like to use and compare them to your own, and note down what you do and don’t like. 

What are you looking for? Google is on the lookout for websites with 3 basic pillars to satisfy itself that it is worthy of being considered to be ranked in an organic search. 

  • Inform – Must be full of content that helps make decisions
  • Trust – That content must be credible and hold up to scrutiny
  • Relevant – The content must be designed for the specific needs of real searchers

Now many website owners already spend time and effort looking after the content on their websites but even then, they can’t rest on their laurels. The core algorithm change is significant and if you have a predominately organic-based strategy, it may take time to build your rankings back up. But at least if you already have the ethos that working on your website adds value, you shouldn’t fear these latest changes too much.  

But as we have already established, no matter what size of business you are, a website is a vital part of your marketing. Therefore, if you want to get something out of the investment you put in, you need to take note or run the risk of disappearing from the rankings altogether.

What’s the Worst that Can Happen?

Well, certainly, some websites will already have been de-indexed, which means they have been removed from the listings altogether. But if your website is on the cusp, it will have been sent to the bottom of the pile.

If you need to check, then you can check on Google by typing in your URL. It would be very unusual if a genuine site had been deleted entirely, which means if yours is there that’s great, but if you want it to keep working for your business, you need a plan.

What are the Rules?

Google takes a very dim view of spam, manipulating search rankings or “black hat” tricks and has come up with three specific areas it seems to be targeting.

  1. Content Abuse – Valueless, mass-produced content or repetitive content
  2. Site Reputation Abuse – Feeding off the back of credible content sourced from elsewhere
  3. Domain Abuse – Changing what your business is doing and using the power of an older legitimate URL to benefit a new domain

Is there somewhere I can look to see if my Website has been Affected?

There is no secret button on Google to check this. But you can use tools such as Google Analytics, Google Search Console, MOZ and SEO Console which all help understand more about what’s happening with your website. 

Your SEO team can also help you understand what happened and the best way to get back on top of things again.

As yet, we won’t know the full extent of the Core Update changes but there are things you can do to protect your website. They are basic but they are nonetheless important

  • Clear and Consistent Contact Information to show you are a real business that wants real customers
  • Accurate Open Hours, which seems basic but if a customer turns up at your door and it’s locked when Google has told them it’s open, you can expect a bit of flack
  • Keep the Photos Coming, yes, they work… not stock images but original images that highlight who you are and what you do 
  • Customer Content, listen to what your customers say about your company, products or services and how it benefits them. Feature this type of content on your website as it will help others

    What About Using AI to Generate Content?

    It’s true, you can use AI to help you give you ideas for your content and some of it is very good. However, if you just cut and paste it into your website or blog, it’s the sort of unoriginal content the Core Update is looking for. Also, AI content needs checking carefully for accuracy as most of the content is being drawn from the internet in the first place and because of this, you don’t know the source.

    AI is getting better every day because so many people are using it but if you care about your business, you want to give people the real you. So, using AI as a base to work from is fine but keeping things original is best, no matter how tempting it seems.

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      How can Colour It In help you?

      We know SEO (search engine optimisation) and Digital Marketing inside out. We can run an audit for you to see where you are and take it from there.

      If you think it’s worth an initial chat, then give us a call to set up a meeting 01765 570073.

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