Another Sunday, another day for us to share some news from the digital marketing world. Tune in for two major Google news in this Sunday Rundown #105 🙂

Google Announces New Core Algorithm Update for Search

Get ready for fluctuations in your Google Search traffic, with Google announcing a new “core update” to its algorithms, aimed at reducing spam and low-quality results. Which, in theory, should be a good thing, but you never know exactly how these things are going to play out.

First off, on low quality results, Google’s looking to expand on its low quality downranking project that it initially began testing back in 2022. That experiment was aimed at removing unhelpful results.

This update involves refining some of our core ranking systems to help us better understand if webpages are unhelpful, have a poor user experience or feel like they were created for search engines instead of people. This could include sites created primarily to match very specific search queries.


How significant could that impact be?

Based on our evaluations, we expect that the combination of this update and our previous efforts will collectively reduce low-quality, unoriginal content in search results by 40%.


Google’s also looking to tackle low quality, third-party content posted to high quality sites “primarily for ranking purposes”. So people using high domain authority sites to refer to back to their low quality content could lead to penalties.

For example, a third party might publish payday loan reviews on a trusted educational website to gain ranking benefits from the site. Such content ranking highly on Search can confuse or mislead visitors who may have vastly different expectations for the content on a given website.


Finally, Google’s also looking to combat the use of expired domains by spammers to boost their content ranking.

Occasionally, expired domains are purchased and repurposed with the primary intention of boosting search ranking of low-quality or unoriginal content. This can mislead users into thinking the new content is part of the older site, which may not be the case. Expired domains that are purchased and repurposed with the intention of boosting the search ranking of low-quality content are now considered spam.


These are logical updates, though as anyone who’s ever analyzed any level of SEO knows, the actual impacts could be vastly different from the intended aims.

Inside the Crisis at Google

The latest AI crisis at Google — where its Gemini image and text generation tool produced insane responses, including portraying Nazis as people of color — is now spiraling into the worst moment of Pichai’s tenure. Morale at Google is plummeting, with one employee telling me it’s the worst he’s ever seen. And more people are calling for Pichai’s ouster than ever before. Even the relatively restrained Ben Thompson of Stratechery demanded his removal.

Yet so much — too much — coverage of Google’s Gemini incident views it through the culture war lens. For many, Google either caved to wokeness or cowed to those who’d prefer not to address AI bias. These interpretations are wanting, and frankly incomplete explanations for why the crisis escalated to this point. The culture war narrative gives too much credit to Google for being a well organized, politics-driven machine. And the magnitude of the issue runs even deeper than Gemini’s skewed responses. 

Bonus links

Thank you for taking the time to read our Sunday Rundown #105. If you have a story that you want to see in this series, reply to us below or contact us.