What is Google Florida Update?

Google Florida is known to be one of the most prominent updates in its algorithm. The first update came in the year 2000. 

When Google Florida came into action, its impact was visible on many e-commerce websites. The update depreciated the presence of many small businesses and retailers in the search engine ranking pages. 

The focus was to remove the sites from top results that were ranking because of links and not the content present in the website. This ensured that the genuine websites are rewarded who were doing a lot of efforts in providing useful information to their customers. 

Usually, for an eCommerce website, the conversions come in from the click-to-action buttons present on the web pages. If a website indulges in unfair practices of link building, it ranks higher in search rankings. And thus the major reason for the launch of the Google Florida update to remove such websites. 

One thing to understand is that the core reason behind these updates is to focus on user experience. The better the user experience a website provides, the more it matches with the site requirements to rank on top. 

‘March 2019 core update’: What should marketers understand? 

As Google’s algorithm continues to develop and becomes more intelligent with time after implementation. Google Florida update was updated again in 2019 and marketers reported changes in the link assessing patterns. 

The update was known as the Florida update due to the Pubcon Florida SEO conference. In 2019, the update was changed to ‘March 2019 core update’ to avoid confusion among the SEO and marketing communities. 

Earlier the major impact was seen in the eCommerce and affiliate marketing industry. From 2019 onwards, the ‘March 2019 core update’ also known as Florida update, has made its presence in more generic industries. 

The overall aim of these updates is to focus on value drive brands rather than brands that are building presence through manipulative practices. 

March 2019 core update (previously known as Google Florida update) is often linked to the ‘Statistical Analysis’. 

The statistical analysis of links is the method of assessing links by plotting a graph for a website. The graph contains important metrics in it such as the number of outbound links present on the web page, the focused anchor texts use for such links, the ratio of outbound vs inbound links, etc. 

Since 2001 Google has been researching on making link evaluation much intelligent and accurate. This detailed paper on statistical analysis sheds light on finding the spam links using the algorithm. 

Marketers mostly relate this study to Google Florida as it was the same time when the study was established, the impact was also visible. It is important to know that Google Florida is one of the very first attempts by Google to understand links using statistical analysis.

Links form the core part of the SEO practices. And, with developments in the user experience, the links are now used in the natural sense rather than forcing it for the sake of linking. 

Today links are considered the most crucial parameters in rankings. However, everything comes down to the user experience. As far as you are providing necessary and relevant information to your users. And, guiding them to different web pages, that supports the information, is the main goal for websites today. The links have to natural for search engines to interpret. 

To remain unaffected by the 2019 core update, make sure you are not purchasing links or using black hat SEO practices to build fake popularity on the internet. Google is smart enough to locate such websites and put them down the SERP. 

Basic steps to act upon to remain unaffected by the March 2019 core update

1. Customer experience is the ultimate key

A good user experience goes a long way in helping you rank higher than using malicious link practices. Understand that Google kees customer experience as the priority. However, this does not rule out the importance of links for improving rank in SERPs. But emphasizing user experience is what is becoming more crucial as it covers wider aspects of brand image and reputation. 

Some of the basic staples you can take to move in the right direction are as follows. 

  • Limit ads on your website. Using excessive ads leads to a poor experience on-site. And Google can understand your intention of generating revenue out of your audience who were only looking for your products and services rather than clicking on ads on your site. 
  • Cater to your mobile audience and not only the desktop users. 
  • Improve your site performance such as site loading time, checking for broken links, making your site compatible with different browsers, and so on.
  • Focus on personalizing the user experience. Keep your minimum response time while clearing users’ queries. 

You can check this detailed guide in optimizing customer experience that would further help you in improving site ranking significantly. 

Focus on getting links from websites that provide genuine content to users. You can get quality links if the website is relevant to yours and serves a larger part of your audience. 

Even if you manage to get a few quality links rather than hundreds of links from irrelevant sites, your site would improve its ranking. Google crawls links to understand how authoritative your website is and how genuine websites are willing to link your site. 

3. Making quality content your powerful tool

Build user experience through highly useful content on your site. Provide various content formats on your site that explains to the audience who you are and how you solve their problems. Brands that create awareness among their audience are proven to be thought leaders in their industries. 

And Google can understand that easily through its algorithm if what you provide to your users is what they are looking for. Content relevancy is the most important aspect of building your brand presence.

Provide case studies, ebooks, regular blogs, videos, podcasts, webinars to have a collective presence in the larger audience.  

Check this detailed blog on writing engaging content. 

4. Optimize your titles, meta descriptions, and hashtags

Google’s algorithm checks the relevancy of the content using different parameters. Some of the most basic aspects are optimizing your title tags, meta descriptions, and hashtags to allow Google to understand your aim in building the content. 

Imagine if you talk over confidently about your blog in the meta description, but fail to provide genuine and unique content inside the webpage, Google will certainly know about it using much advanced algorithms. 

For example, if your content fetches higher clicks, which is a good thing, but your bounce rate is higher for the page, the Florida algorithm can interpret this metric and push your site down the rankings. Therefore, optimize your blogs based on what you aim to provide to your users. ‘