If you work in the digital media sector you will be au fait with (and probably knowledgeable about) Google’s latest core algorithm updates.

If you don’t, you’re probably thinking (a) “what on earth is that” and (b) “it doesn’t impact on me or my business”.

The short answer to both assertions is (a) it’s a revamping of how search results are collated; and (b) in all probability it does.

As long as you inhabit the internet sphere (by dint of owning a website or having a business that sells online) you will have been, and will continue to be, affected by it to some degree.

Basically, the advent of AI-generated content en masse (because of easily accessible platforms such as Chat GPT) has resulted in Google clamping down on unoriginal text in an attempt to weed out patently falsely-generated (ie not human) text.

Its pursuit of unique, quality content is laudable, but in its scourge on unsuitable content it’s not just AI text that is falling foul.

Each update evolves how search results are curated for your audience, and some updates are more significant than others.

For example, we recently saw two major Google algorithm updates roll out in October 2023 and March 2024, both focused on addressing low-quality or spam content.

These updates can impact rankings over the course of the following few weeks or months, and many businesses have had to pivot their Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) strategy accordingly.

As a result, some previously high-ranking content may have lost its value. You may find that some content previously not thought to be spam might now find itself in that category.

If you are a business and are reproducing content to fit different towns that you service – for example Inverness, Forres and Elgin – it might be viewed as unoriginal and result in less traffic being directed to your site.

In fact, many businesses are reporting a significant loss in organic traffic in the past few months, and it is clearly attributable to this.

Some industries have been suffering more than others and it seems that it has impacted more in food and drink, beauty and fitness, home and garden and shopping.

If you think you have been affected, however you can take steps to redress the balance and prepare for the next update.

Continue to prioritise your Experience, Expertise, Authority and Trust (EEAT) – the cornerstone of a strong SEO strategy. If you stress the originality of your offering and constantly tweak your SEO (ideally by conducting regular audits) you can stay ahead of the game and whatever Google may have up its sleeve in future.