It’s hard to overstate the value of high-visibility search rankings, especially for small and local businesses. When your business appears in the top one or two spots on Google, you immediately become an authoritative source of information for users. It’s why companies hire an SEO agency – and why sudden ranking changes caused by algorithm changes cause so much distress.

Last week, Google took the rare step of acknowledging – and even naming – a ranking algorithm update. The March 2019 Core Update, or Florida 2 as it is colloquially known (more on that in a moment), is by all accounts a fairly major play. It has generated significant chatter on SEO agency message boards and been covered by every reputable digital marketing publication.

Algorithm updates in and of themselves are not uncommon. Google releases algorithm updates throughout the year, most often to address specific signals such as content quality. Core algorithm updates are a little bit different: these do not target particular ranking signals, niches, or websites. Rather, they suggest that Google has incorporated a new ranking factor; last year, it was Neural Matching.

Though core updates may affect search rankings, there’s very little businesses can do to “fix” their positioning. If your rankings fall, get back to basics: review Google’s best practices and ensure your websites adhere to them. Most core updates are intended to improve user experiences, so focus on providing great UX.

Now the important part: why was this update labeled “Florida 2” by industry professionals? According to Search Engine Journal, the original Florida update was launched in the early 2000s at the same time as the Pubcon Florida SEO conference. Rumours of the latest update first emerged at the same conference this year.

As a Google Premier Partner digital marketing and SEO agency with access to valuable insights on Google’s preferred practices, GrowthEngine Media is uniquely positioned to help you weather ranking update storms and maintain favourable search engine visibility year-round.