On March 12th 2019, Google released their latest update to the search engine algorithm. originally dubbed “Florida 2” by SEO’s, Google took the unusual (but not unprecedented) step of interrupting discussion to rename the update “Google Core Update – March 2019.”
As is usual these days, Google was reticent about what this update would effect, but they did confirm that the update had happened, and said that it was only the most recent in a long line of core updates that they have ben rolling out quietly, but fairly regularly, for some time now.
The answer is, we don’t really know. Google has however, in answer to some questions submitted to them by the folks at SEO Round Table, told them some things that it was not.
It was not a reversal of a previous (August 2018) core update. It was not related to the “Penguin” series of updates, as Google explained they no longer have Penguin updates. (Penguin was released in 2012 to penalise people trying to manipulate their rankings through bought or exchanged links.) Nor was it related to Neural Matching, which has already been part of their ranking system for more than 6 months. (Neural matching uses AI to better understand the concepts and intent behind search terms.)
SEO Round Table did conduct a survey for people who claimed their sites had been affected, but they reported that the results were inconclusive. Health, e-commerce and content sites appeared to have been most effected, but they reported a lack of any visible pattern in the sites that responded to the survey.
If you would like to see the results of their survey yourself, click through to Search Engine Round Table: March 2019 Core Update Survey Results.