Latest Google Core Update: What Financial Services Providers Now Need to Watch Out for

The Google Core Update of September 2019 has particularly affected the ranking positions of websites from the financial and health sector. We were also able to detect some high ranking shifts among our customers.

Did your results deteriorate with the update and have they not recovered since – not even after the BERT update in October? Then our Blog Post can help you.

The effects of the update

In particular “Your Money Your Life” pages (YMYL. Examples are pages advertising financial or health products) are affected by the update. According to the Page Quality Rating Guideline, Google is particularly strict on these pages, “because low quality YMYL pages could potentially negatively impact a person’s happiness, health, financial stability, or safety.”

At first, there was no clear pattern distinguishing winners from losers after the update. For some keywords, for example, websites with a stronger link profile took the lead, while websites with weaker backlinks, and better content quality and keyword coverage were able to secure the hard-fought top positions for other keywords. For this reason it can be concluded that the overriding ranking factors of E-A-T (Expertise, Authority and Trustworthiness) continue to be of great importance.

How to optimize for E-A-T ranking factors (Expertise, Authority and Trustworthiness):

  • Make sure that your content is published by people who have real expertise in their field.
  • Create online profiles with proven expertise for your content producers: from author biographies to relevant links to trusted external websites to their social profiles.
  • Make sure your content is factually correct.
  • Network with trusted websites in your industry, such as relevant conferences or higher-level associations.
  • Back up your content with data and make sure you get it from trusted sources.
  • When you create affiliate content make sure it adds real value to the user’s purchase decisions and doesn’t just redirect them to a partner shop – for example – by conducting product tests or reviews.
  • Moderate user-generated content.
  • Structure your content in such a way that it corresponds to the natural reading flow and information demand of the users.
  • Pay attention to the user’s intent and offer them the most detailed, generic information possible before offering your own services.
  • Avoid marketing talk at all costs! Market your products better by explaining to your customers in detail what effects the possible transaction will have.

All these factors are of course no substitute for a technical audit or other SEO interventions such as a meaningful keyword strategy. Rather, they serve as a supplement.

Background to the Core Update

On September 24, Google implemented the Core Update globally for all markets and search indices in the core of the ranking algorithm. Google speaker Danny Sullivan confirmed via Twitter that the roll-out will probably take several days, so the roll out is already finished.

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