What Was The Big Summer Update?
Google rolled out the big Core Update in August. It was active worldwide for 16 days.
The August 2023 Core Update followed the Core Update from March; after that, Google also rolled out the Reviews Update in April. SEOs and site owners had been waiting a few months for the next big update.
What site owners should know about Google's major updates
The current status of the update - and that of older ones - can be seen on the Google Search Status Board. Google Search Central announced in spring 2023 that the Ranking Updates Page will be united with the http://status.search.google.com/ section.
According to this, current and historical updates back to 2020 are to be displayed uniformly. This will give SEOs and site operators an even better overview of the update developments.
For example, the ranking factor Page Experience, which has also been weighted on desktop since 2022, should also be taken into account. Furthermore, (product) reviews are receiving more and more attention. And since August 2022 at the latest, people-first content should be at the core of optimized articles.
Google had already indicated in 2023 that AI-generated content is not a problem for ranking, as long as it is relevant and of high quality. That aspect remains.
The search engine reduced the visibility of FAQ and How-To rich results in search, causing traffic drops. This move could also be related to the fact that the Search Generative Experience and the AI bot Bard could lead to more conversion-driven search processes, but at least in Google's mind they should.
Google is also adding Gen AI features to the Assistant and has some new features up its sleeve for the Search Generative Experience, such as displaying definitions directly in Snapshot Answers. SEOs and site operators may have to increasingly adapt to providing not only high-quality content, but also content that is understandable and, above all, presentable for AI systems.
With the new Core Update, Google is primarily addressing low-quality, often repetitive, AI-created content.
Content is checked for originality, sentence structure, vocabulary, and factual basis. It is then pushed or penalized on the ranking accordingly.
Here’s a checklist from Google on creating “people first” content
Read the original German adaptation here