Home > Blog > January Google Algorithm Update 2019: What We Know So Far

January 11, 2019

January Google Algorithm Update 2019: What We Know So Far

We are only a couple of weeks into 2019 and a new algorithm update has already been rumoured.  With the search engine launching between 500-600 updates annually, there is no surprise that one has been bought to light already this year. However, with the algorithm changes only being hinted at the moment, we only know parts of the update. So, what do we know so far? Let’s take a closer look, below.

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What Do We Know So Far?

So far there have been indications to suggest that there is a new update by Google will be favouring long tail keywords. These tend to be around four words long and actually help you rank higher on Google, as well as increase the organic search traffic to your site.

In addition to the focus on the length of keywords, this rumoured update that is yet to be named is predicted to be aiming at businesses that are in industries such as food and drink, pets and animals, law and government and automotive. Following on from the Medic Update that focused predominately on the medical and healthcare sector, the predicted new algorithm could be heading to cause major disruption to businesses within these industries in the weeks to come.

As we don’t know exactly what the update will contain, it is difficult to predict a solution to ensure that your rankings don’t decline significantly. However, if it is a similar algorithm change to the Medic Update back in 2018 then by optimising the content on your site, making it relevant and user-friendly will help towards maintaining your SERP. Unfortunately, every site is exposed to these changes, so you need to be aware of the alterations and keep up to date with them.

What Did 2018 Bring?

2018 saw quite significant changes in the world of SEO that made alterations in terms of the ranking of sites on Google. But who did they impact and what did they consist of?

  • The Medic Update

August 2018 introduced us to the Medic Update. This Algorithm change from Google concentrated on content being written with the user in mind opposed to Google, in order to rank higher. Before the update, there was a focus on content being written for a specific word count, however, after the launch of the Medic Update, it was decided that content was to be written to a high-quality standard.

When a user visits your site they want to learn specific information, therefore content should be written in a Q and A form, to ensure that users are gaining the information they desire. Failure to receive what they are looking for will result in them leaving the site. Therefore, the content on your site also needs to be engaging, to make sure that you keep users on your site for as long as possible. In turn, if Google can see that users remain on your site for a longer time, they will deem this as good user experience, which will rank your site higher.

  • Speed Update

In the month previous to the Medic Update, Google released the Speed Update. This change by Google meant that not only was website speed a ranking factor for desktop search, but it was also now for mobile search. This affected the slowest sites the most, as it would give users a bad experience, instead of a good one. The slower your site took to load, the lower the ranking position. Therefore, sites had to audit their speed in order to not drop from their position on Google.

  • E-A-T Metric

As a part of the broad core algorithm update released in August 2018 by Google, the E-A-T rating guides were produced. What was it? The E-A-T guidelines were created in order to determine where a webpage should rank when it contains content from a business.

The letter ‘E’ stands for the expertise of the author who wrote the content. They need to appear to have experience or knowledge in the area they are writing about in order to achieve a good rating. To showcase expertise on your site, you need to have author bios as well as an ‘About Us’ page that is in-depth and shows the expertise of your author.

‘A’ stands for authority, which refers to the author of the content, as well as the business and website. How does Google determine the authority of your business? The search engine looks at recommendations from external sources and review sites to determine the authority of your business.

Lastly, ‘T’ is for the trustworthiness of your site and this is decided by the quality of your website. Does it have the appropriate protection? Is the contact information readily available? Is the loading time fast enough? All of these factors are assessed to ensure that the only sites that Google recommends are highly trustworthy.

  • Small September Algorithm Update

A month after the Medic Update, Google confirmed a smaller algorithm change in September. Sites that had suffered from the big update in August were just about reaching their original ranking, but then sites including gaming and e-commerce were the ones to see their rankings alter, however, this wasn’t a rise.

Due to the dips in the traffic to these sites, it was thought that it may be Google that had realised a new update. Google announced that the core algorithm is continuously updated, so it is important that you keep your site optimised and that you’re ready to make appropriate changes quickly, should you need to. For those sites that were affected by the Medic Update, it may take another algorithm update from Google to settle down the ranking positions.

There has been a number of algorithm updates conducted by Google over the last year that have really made an impact on the way that we write content for our sites and how we design our web pages. If you would like help getting your site or content optimised in order to meet these updates, don’t hesitate to get in touch with a member of our expert team for more information, today.






Ben Austin

With a solid background in the sales and finance industry, Ben was inspired by the possibilities of SEO after propelling his own website to search engine success. With a natural flair for digital marketing and a strong work ethic, his entrepreneurial streak soon took over, leading to the birth of Absolute Digital Media.

Naturally ambitious by nature, Ben didn’t stop here, instead pushing the business to new heights, offering a wider range of services to more and more clients. He is now proud to employ a number of SEO, PPC, web design, social media, copywriting and marketing professionals and is driven by all things digital marketing. His passion and persistence have led the company to multiple awards and accolades, such as the company being awarded the prestigious ‘Best Use Of Search – Finance’ award at the UK Search Awards 2018 and announced as Digital Agency Of The Year at the 2018 Southern Business Awards. When he’s not busy leading the company on new ventures, Ben enjoys spending time with his wife and children.

Email b.austin@absolute.digital

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