Algorithm Rolled Out: March 7, 2018

Algorithm Summary: Overall Gist 

Google’s most recent core algorithm update was the brackets core update. The update altered how search engines rank websites based on content quality. The update was released around March 7, 2018, but some site owners noticed changes as early as March 2.

What’s the Story Behind the Name “Brackets”?

Because it coincided with the 2018 NCAA March Madness Basketball Tournament, Google’s new update was dubbed “Brackets.” Both the tournament and the algorithm update appeared to be equally unpredictable.

Why Did Google Update the Brackets Core Algorithm?

The King of Content

Yes, we all know that content is king. It’s been said several times that it’s almost irrelevant. Except it isn’t. It’s the most crucial point. Google has been ranking websites based on their content since the beginning of the search engine. The search engine rewards good content, which is relevant to the search query and useful to the reader and punishes bad content, which is irrelevant and useless. Seems pretty straightforward.

What Exactly Is Quality Content?

In theory, defining quality content is straightforward, but it can become extremely complicated in practice, particularly when search engines and algorithms are involved. Google is constantly improving its quality indicators to provide users with the best (read useful and relevant) results on the first SERP. That’s great for users, but it can be risky for website owners. Google’s constant fine-tuning and tweaking of its quality algorithm could result in losing your hard-earned position on SERPs.

What is the Bracket Core Update Fix?

When your site suffers a setback due to a Google algorithm update, it’s natural to want to address the issue as soon as possible. You immediately begin looking for solutions, hoping to find the proverbial magic wand that will instantly restore things to their previous state. We understand. Unfortunately, the Brackets update is not one of those that has a permanent fix. According to Google, there is no fix for the Brackets Core Algorithm Update because your website is not broken, even if it has dropped in the SERPs. If you are losing rankings or other quality indicators (for example, rich snippets), this is a natural result of the search engine rewarding other sites for producing relevant content.

Be Prepared for More Brackets

The brackets update shook things up for web admins and the SEO community in general. It had a significant and unexpected impact. Although we’d like to tell you that this algorithm update was a one-time occurrence and that you’ll never have to worry about such a major change again, we can’t. Another brackets-level update is much more likely to happen sooner rather than later. So keep an eye out for Google updates like this one in the future, and be prepared for it when it arrives!

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