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Google’s John Mueller Says Websites Can Recover From Recent Core Update

May 8, 2024

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John Mueller, a Senior Search Analyst at Google, has been sharing advice on recovering from recent core algorithm updates. He emphasizes the importance of strategic realignment, quality improvement, and adaptation.

Since late April, webmasters and SEOs have been raising concerns about how to recover their sites from the negative impact of the Google Helpful Content update.

In response, Google’s John Mueller addressed those concerns on X.

Thomas Jepson, an SEO professional, led the questioning by asking Mueller if Google’s past reply on the subject held true, being that it “doesn’t hold a grudge” and that once sites resolve their issues, they will recover. 

Here’s how it played out:

But as days pass, confusion and concerns grow, leading to further questions!

Addressing misconceptions and confusion

Following Mueller’s initial reply on April 29, confusion remains about whether sites could regain their lost rankings and traffic anytime soon or need a future core update.

Mueller gave this reply:

Mueller said:

Mueller addresses permanence concerns

The ongoing discussion on X centered on the potential long-term disadvantage for websites affected by the September 2023 content update.

Mueller addressed these concerns, saying websites can regain traffic by improving their quality. However, adding fuel to the fire by admitting a return to pre-core update levels isn’t realistic.

Here’s how that conversation played out:

GenZod, a small New York publisher, continued to probe by asking Mueller if sites improve their quality will they grow again.

The long road to recovery 

The conversation moved from X to LinkedIn, where Mueller explained that recovery processes apply to various Google updates and systems, not just the most recent content updates.

Mueller put it like this:

  • “To be clear, it’s not that helpful content update recoveries take longer than other updates. It’s just that some kinds of changes take a long time to build up, and that applies to all kinds of systems & updates in Google & any other larger computer system. Saying that this is specific to the helpful content system or core updates would be wrong & misleading.”

What does this mean for sites in the future?

Mueller clarified that recovering from this requires time, adaptation, and analysis to ensure your website stays relevant.

Also, recovery is more than a technical issue and may require changing business priorities.

Terry O'Toole

Terry O'Toole

Terry is a seasoned content marketing specialist with over six years of experience writing content that helps small businesses navigate where small businesses meet marketing - SEO, Social Media Marketing, etc. Terry has a proven track record of creating top-performing content in search results. When he is not writing content, Terry can be found on his boat in Italy or chilling in his villa in Spain.

SEO Power Plays

Read by 10,000+ world-class SEOs, CEOs, Founders, & Marketers. Strategy breakdown: monday.com's 77% traffic boost 🚀 + Industry news and expert tidbits every Wednesday 🔍 + in-depth SEO strategy tips every Sunday ✨