How to Recover from the November 2019 Google Update

Every year, Google releases new updates as a way to improve the user search experience. However, each update also means that site owners have to keep up to recover from the update. It’s easy to panic and be overcome with confusion. But instead of wasting your time doing the guesswork, we recommend some tips here so you’ll know what to focus on.

For the November update, here’s what you can do:

What’s new with Google?

The newest update is BERT technology. This neural system revolutionizes how search engines interpret search queries. Instead of just interpreting the meaning of each individual word, BERT will now assess the relation of these words to each other. This will impact the generation of rich snippets and the traffic of the affected sites. Also, it will change your rankings for specific keywords.

Nevertheless, BERT will only be used in 10% of all searchers. This also means that you’ll only lose the traffic that’s not helpful for your site.

What Googlers say

According to Google’s John Mueller, fixing things will not actually help you solve the problem. You have to move forward with better content that’s highly relevant to your site. This way, when BERT kicks in, it will attribute your pages to the right search query.

Why did my rankings plummet?

The release of BERT aims to match relevant pages to the proper search query. This will literally impact how you rank for your keywords. If you currently rank first for a money keyword now, you may go down a notch at second or third.

Take note that when it comes to rankings, it’s all about relevance. It’s the same reason why Google changed its nofollow attribute to a hint.

The thing about site speed

Every SEO expert knows that speed is the name of the game. But how come slow websites rank higher than your pages?

Well, Mueller emphasizes that there are more ranking factors than page speed alone. Page speed doesn’t override everything else. So even if your website is loading fast, the content quality and relevance could be the deciding factor.

Aside from site speed, you should also focus on factors on like popularity signals, relevance, website domain age, and more.

Take note that Google won’t down-rank a site just because it’s slow. They will also look at other factors as well.

What about junk links?

Even high ranking pages have junk links. But how come Google isn’t paying attention to it? Well, as long as the pages answer a search query and are highly relevant, Google will not pay attention to these links.

Take note that Google also snobs paid links. Once the link expires, it becomes a junk and the boost you get from it will also vanish. With that, your page will go back to its original ranking.

Also, Google tends to overlook keyword stuffing as long as the site is popular and is in great demand. So even if a site does keyword stuffing (which is unacceptable), they may still pop at the top of search results.