Last week at Search Engine Land I wrote Google says you can recover from core updates without a new core update. Part of the video conversation where I spoke to John Mueller of Google on this topic is now publicly available. In this video John discusses that sites can recover, some might not see a full recover but some can. And that Google regularly refreshes the scores within the core update between core updates.
The video starts pretty much right away, at the 42 second mark where I ask John about this:
And here is the video which sparked this from a couple weeks ago:
It goes on for about four minutes and note, this was the second time he answered this for me. The first time, we got “zoom bombed” on Google Meet and we had to start it again. It was also a more fluid and back and forth conversation between the two of us where John did say a full recovery before a new core update is pushed out is possible.
In short, John said:
(1) Sites can recover between core update releases. I asked John “although most SEOs I’ve asked say they would never see a site recover from a core update until the next core update, that is not true and that can definitely happen?” John said “that can definitely happen. The important thing to know that if a site is negatively affected by a broad core update that it doesn’t mean you can’t do anything, that you have to wait it out.”
(2) Google “regularly” does update the scores in core updates between core update releases (unlike the old Panda and Penguin updates). John said “there are kind of things that kind of require us to rethink how to calculate a score, but a lot of times we can recalculate it the same way, using the new data we have.”
(3) Some situations do require a new core update to be released to have a site refreshed fully. John said “Some kinds of really strong changes when it comes to core algorithm updates do need to kind of wait for the core update to be re-processed again. So that is something where on the one hand, some really big changes might be things where you have wait for us to be able to reprocess things and take a new look at the way we would want to consider relevancy. But many small things along the way essentially can be adjusted over time.”
Again, I wish both videos were published but this one has some good nuggets in it.
Here are some tweets I had earlier on with John about this:
Hi @JohnMu you said in this morning’s hangout that you do not have to wait to see recovery from core updates until the next core update but the Google blog says you do “Content that was impacted… might not recover… until the next broad core update https://t.co/8ZPZ41v9Ae
— Barry Schwartz (@rustybrick) September 4, 2020
I didn’t realize we had it written up like that, that’s awkward now :). There’s always a mix involved.
— 🍌 John 🍌 (@JohnMu) September 4, 2020
He said he would ask folks, which he confirmed he did before we recorded the answer above in the later video:
I’ll double-check some things, but it’s a day off at the company, and afaik Monday too, so it might be a bit.
— 🍌 John 🍌 (@JohnMu) September 4, 2020
More from John:
One thing to keep in mind is that there’s no concept of “recovery” in any of these cases. The situation of a site after a few months, especially if the site made significant changes, will be new & different. It’s not “just like before”.
— 🍌 John 🍌 (@JohnMu) September 5, 2020
I asked on Twitter via a poll about SEOs recovering and most said not, but it was a pretty big mix:
SEOs: Can you fully recover from a Google core update before Google releases a core update? Like, can you recover between updates before a new update. Google says yes https://t.co/sbnh8YU5Zi but I don’t know SEOs who have.
— Barry Schwartz (@rustybrick) September 9, 2020
Checked all of our sites and the vast majority of nice recoveries we have seen have been in conjunction with core updates. Some sites though will occasionally see improvements (not full recoveries as far as I can see though), on dates that aren’t core. pic.twitter.com/03JR4lSjp1
— Marie Haynes (@Marie_Haynes) September 10, 2020
Fully? I’m in the “no” camp.
However, I have a recent client success story where a massive website overhaul and migration appears to be resulting in a huge recovery. 250% traffic increase so far and counting. Can’t wait to share more.
— Lily Ray 😏 (@lilyraynyc) September 9, 2020
At the risk of stating the obvious, it’s important to understand that each case is a separate case. While many more serious quality issues can only see recovering after a broader update, probably smaller issues will recover faster.
— Pedro Dias (@pedrodias) September 9, 2020
And last, here are some screenshots showing exactly what many sites have seen that were impacted by broad core updates. Only big swings during those broad core updates. This is the most common situation I have seen. Not recovery in between: pic.twitter.com/ct6sWfBrBF
— Glenn Gabe (@glenngabe) September 9, 2020
I would still say most SEOs would say a full recovery from a broad core update is not really possible until the next core update is run. But hey – we have something to look forward to.
Forum discussion at Twitter.