Yesterday, Google posted two blog posts around how it delivers reliable information in its search engine. Some believe this is a pre-announcement to a core update but it is not. It does not mean a core update is not happening very soon, we are due one and we are waiting for it. But this announcement is unrelated to any core update.
What Google did was a big press conference, prior to the elections, to get ahead of any big press complaints around bad quality search results before the elections. Just look at the headlines across the major media outlets:
You get the point.
I asked Google if anything really was new in this announcement on a search algorithmic side and the answer was no, just a lot of tweaks over the past year leading up to this announcement.
I wrote about this announcement at Search Engine Land where I summed it up in these bullet points and then broke it down in more detail:
- Auto-complete policy change around elections, specifically being more conservative and showing less vs more in this area.
- Google BERT being used in full coverage news stories to better match fact checks with stories.
- Fact check labels has been shown over 4 billion times in 2020.
- Google works closer with Wikipedia to detect and remove vandalism that Google may use in knowledge panels.
- Google is now able to detect breaking news queries in a few minutes versus 40+ minutes.
So what is newish is in those bullet points but do not expect this announcement to be about core updates.
I should add that Pandu Nayak from Google reconfirmed that Google does figure out and categorize query categories to be associated with the YMYL category and treats those queries with more caution by showing the most authoritative sites in those cases.
I do expect a core update really soon, maybe even over the weekend. But again, unrelated directly to this announcement.
Forum discussion at Twitter.