Index Selection During A Google Core Update

A recent discussion by Gary Illyes of Google sheds light on the intricacies of indexing and canonicalization during these updates, which is good information for anyone involved in managing or optimizing a physician’s online presence.

Core Updates and Their Impact on Indexing

Gary Illyes recently addressed a question that is particularly pertinent to website owners: Do Google’s core updates affect how websites are indexed and how canonical URLs are determined? It has been speculated that during core algorithm updates, services like canonicalization might slow down.

Illyes clarified that Google’s core updates and the processes of indexing and canonicalization operate independently. He used an analogy comparing core updates to adjusting ingredients in a recipe, while indexing and canonicalization processes are likened to operations in salt mines or MSG factories. In essence, the core updates might tweak the “flavor” of search results, but they do not directly interfere with the fundamental mechanisms of indexing and URL selection.

What This Means for Your Physician Website

  1. Stability in Indexing: Even during significant updates, the basic functions that determine how your content is indexed and canonicalized remain stable. This means that the efforts you put into optimizing your website’s structure and content continue to hold value, independent of algorithm changes.
  2. Focus on Quality Content: Since indexing and canonicalization are not directly affected by core updates, your focus should remain on creating high-quality, relevant content. For physicians, this could mean detailed blog posts about common health issues, answering common patient questions, updates on medical advancements, or informative content that addresses common patient concerns.
  3. SEO Best Practices: It’s important to implement best practices when it comes to SEO for Doctors. Ensure that your website has a clear structure, uses proper tags, and that the canonical URLs are correctly used to avoid duplicate content issues. These elements help Google to understand and index your site more effectively, ensuring that your content reaches your target audience.
  4. Regular Monitoring: Keep an eye on how your site performs in search rankings and make adjustments as needed. Tools like Google Analytics and Search Console can provide insights into how patients are finding your site and how you can optimize their experience.


For physicians managing their own websites, it’s good to understand the distinction between Google’s core updates and indexing processes. While core updates can tweak the search landscape, the foundational SEO practices that support your website’s visibility remain unchanged. By focusing on creating valuable content and following SEO best practices, you can ensure that your site remains a reliable resource for current and potential patients, regardless of the changes in Google’s search algorithms.

This knowledge not only helps in keeping your site optimized but also in understanding how to strategically react to changes in Google’s algorithm. It empowers you to maintain a robust online presence, ultimately supporting your practice’s growth and outreach in the digital age.

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