Author archives: Hameed Arshad

Core Algorithm, Google’s Biggest Update in 2023

Google has recently updated it Core Algorithm, it can impact search rankings, making it crucial for SEOs and website owners to stay informed and adapt strategies. The update launched on March 15 and completed rollout on March 28, 2023. It targeted all content types within all regions and languages, promoting and rewarding high-quality and high-value web pages. Google’s March 2023 broad core update is set to prioritize the ranking of pages that provide more value compared to those currently ranking on Google. This update may lead to a significant reshuffling of SERP rankings.

Google makes significant changes several times in a year. We refer to these as core updates, and we give notice when they happen on Google search ranking updates. Core updates are designed to ensure that overall, we’re delivering on our mission to present helpful and reliable results for searchers.

How core updates work

There’s nothing wrong with pages that may not be performing as well as they were before a core update. They haven’t violated Google spam policies, nor been subjected to a manual or algorithmic action, as can happen to pages that do violate those policies. In fact, there’s nothing in a core update that targets specific pages or sites. Instead, the changes are about improving how our systems assess content overall. These changes may cause some pages that were previously under-rewarded to do better in search results.

One way to think of how a core update operates is to imagine you made a list of the top 100 movies in 2021. A few years later in 2024, you refresh the list. It’s going to naturally change. Some new and wonderful movies that never existed before will now be candidates for inclusion. You might also reassess some films and realize they deserved a higher place on the list than they had before.

Assess your own content

As explained, pages that experience a change after a core update don’t have anything wrong to fix. That said, we understand that those who may not be performing as well after a core update change may still feel they need to do something.

We suggest focusing on ensuring you’re offering the best content you can. That’s what our algorithms seek to reward. It has questions that you can ask yourself when assessing your own content

Also consider an audit of the drops you may have experienced. What pages were most impacted and for what types of searches? Look closely at these to understand how these pages may perform against the self-assessment questions. For example, there may be other pages that are doing a better job of helping the searcher because they have first-hand knowledge on that topic. You might also have others you trust provide an honest assessment.

Recover from a core update

Broad core updates tend to happen every few months. Content that was impacted in Search or Discover by one might not recover, assuming improvements have been made, until the next broad core update is released.

However, we’re constantly making updates to our search algorithms, including smaller core updates. We don’t announce all of these because they’re generally not widely noticeable. Still, when released, they can cause content to recover if improvements warrant.

Do keep in mind that improvements made by site owners aren’t a guarantee of recovery, nor do pages have any static or guaranteed position in our search results. If there’s more deserving content, that will continue to rank well with our systems.

Posted by Hameed Arshad

Thinking of hiring a marketing agency

Sometime we think bigger is better and we tend to prefer the big traditional agencies over the smaller boutique ones. It’s true that they have all the recognition, formidable track records, shiny awards, certificates and so on, but the question is, are big agencies really better?

While choosing an agency, big or boutique, there are certain questions that we must ask ourselves. Why do we need agencies in the first place? How do they help us? What are the fundamental differences between a big and a boutique agency? How do these differences affect us, or our campaign?

Let’s review some concerns so that we make an informed decision, without going through this laborious thought process. Instead, you can focus on what you want from your campaign. Primarily, we hire agencies to help us with the creative, innovative, strategic, communicative, and technical aspects of a campaign. In short, agencies do all the running around needed to run a successful campaign.

In this way, they share your burdens, allowing you to focus on the next great thing in your business.

Obviously, the agency at work must have a profound understanding of the business they are working with. After all, a campaign doesn’t only promote a product. But, also the brand. The business that strives to bring this product to the people and thrives upon their positive response.

It is only in doing justice to the essence of your business, that an agency can run a successful campaign. In other words, it must always strike the right chords and hit the right notes. Agency must have a fluent communication, both with the business, and the potential clientele, the target audience of the campaign.

So, now that we know what they “must” do, we can discuss how they do it. But, before that, let us try and characterise the two for what they are.

Note that big agencies are those which have hundreds of employees working for them. At any point in time, they are simultaneously working on four, seven, ten, who knows how many projects. The more, the merrier!  Usually, these agencies offer a wide, yet fixed, range of services. Their “best selling” products, smartly catalogued in expensive-looking brochures. Indeed, whatever shows, also sells.

Now how about the small agencies, the term boutique means unique, and it is uniqueness that they thrive upon. After all, if you are not big, you must be unique.

More often than not, they work with small, yet dedicated teams of innovative designers, managers and others. Being closely knit, imparts a dynamic nature to these agencies, as the employees constantly interact with each other.

If there’s one thing that all good boutique agencies have, it’s subtlety. Subtlety in design, in style, in approach and, basically, in everything they do.

Until this point, we have seen what agencies must ideally be, and what the two major types of agencies usually are. Now, it’s time we saw how their differences affect our purpose.

We can go about a point-to-point differentiation of the two types of agencies. Yet, it isn’t arguably as fruitful as a thematic differentiation. After all, it’s upon these thematic differences that we must base our choice.

If you remember the ideal conditions, an agency must work in close communication with your business. In this regard, boutique agencies are often more accessible than the big ones.

Certainly enough, a big agency assigns a relationship manager or a project coordinator for your campaign. Yet, as we know well, the same person is also working on other projects at the same time. Thus, the commitment is more professional than personal. And, this is both good and bad.

Good from a service perspective. But, successful campaigns often require the personal touch which big agencies fail to provide. And, we can’t really blame them for that.

Working with a boutique agency, often allows us to communicate with the entire team, and not with a single point of contact. Such holistic discussions often widen the scopes and open up unprecedented avenues for your campaign.

Working with a big agency inevitably involves strict formalities and policies. Consequently, you’ll have to invest a lot of time, even before the campaign actually begins.

Moreover, these policies often aren’t bendable in the slightest to suit your needs. Boutique agencies bring a major relief in this regard.

While big agencies often tend to be the jacks of all trades, the boutique ones have their specialised niche. The former might be good or even great at everything they do. But, the latter is the best at what it does.

Needless to say, the overall costs of running a campaign with a boutique agency is much lesser than with a big one. The benefits are more than obvious.

Irrespective of whether your project is big or small, it’s always the top priority for a boutique agency. This might not be the case with the big ones. After all, they will obviously prioritise projects that are bigger, and more profitable, than yours’. So, to conclude, it’s more than safe to say that unless you have a resource-intensive campaign which only a large agency can support, it’s often more beneficial to go with a boutique agency.

Posted by Hameed Arshad