How to Recover from Google Core Update? John Muller Explains

Google’s John Mueller says that retrieving a major update to the google core algorithm will work to improve your website content rather than implement technical fixes.

A drop in ranking after a major update indicates that your website is losing relevance to the search queries it is targeting (according to Google).

It is unlikely that you can improve the relevance of your website by focusing on technical fixes and neglecting page content.

This is stated by Google’s John Mueller during the Search Central SEO Office Hours Hangout recorded on October 8, 2021.

The owner of a website called Granit Doshlaku joins the session to request a restoration of a core update.

You say you have resolved all the technical and user experience issues, but your ranking is still not back to the levels you would like.

So Mueller suggests focusing on content.

Google’s John Mueller on How to Recover from Google Core Update?

Setting Expectations

First, Muller tries to keep recovery expectations realistic.

A website that is affected by a major update will not automatically revert to its previous ranking after improving its relevance.


Because Google will now see it as a different website.

Google will not return you to where you were before because the website is no longer comparable to what it was before.

Mueller explains:

“It’s not so much that we would consider it a situation where you have to fix something. But rather, when it comes to relevance, if you work on improving the relevance of your website, then you have a different website, you have a better website.

So it’s not that we would switch back and say oh, it’s like the issue is fixed, and we will change it back to the previous state.

But rather, you’re saying well this is a better website now, and we look at it and say oh it’s a better website. It’s not the same or comparable to before, so it would be kind of tricky to expect that it changes to the state it was before. But it’s a new website, it’s a better website.

I think, especially with core updates, when you’re talking about recovery, it’s not so much you’re recovering but rather Google is seeing that you have a better website and reacting to that.”

Also read: how to track google ranking

The Connection Between Website Relevance and Content

Improving relevance is a holistic endeavor, Müller explains, and not something that is accomplished by focusing on individual themes.

The best way to get Google to consider your website more relevant is to make some important adjustments to the content.

“With the core updates we don’t focus so much on just individual issues, but rather the relevance of the website overall.

And that can include things like the usability, and the ads on a page, but it’s essentially the website overall.

And usually that also means some kind of the focus of the content, the way you’re presenting things, the way you’re making it clear to users what’s behind the content. Like what the sources are, all of these things. All of that kind of plays in.”

Mueller adds that improving the user experience and changing everything else around content can help to some extent.

But he stresses the importance of working on your content so that Google sees your site better than before.

“So just going in and changing everything around the content— I think you can probably get some improvements there.

But essentially if you really want Google to see your website as something significantly better, you probably also need to work on the content side.

… think about where might there be low quality content, where might users be confused when they go to my website— and is that confusion something we can address with technical issues? with UX changes? Or do we actually have to change some of the content that we present?”

Source: English Google SEO office-hours from October 8, 2021

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