Every time you notice a change in your website rankings or the traffic it receives, it’s almost always likely that a recent Google algorithm update is to blame.
The search engine has a long history of algorithm updates, fixes, and refreshes. When you think SEO is already too complicated, Google seems to be at full speed in introducing changes in the way you rank—an average of 9 updates daily, to be more specific.
Previously, we did a mid-year social media marketing review. But, in today’s feature, we created a timeline that recalls the most significant—both confirmed and unconfirmed—algorithm updates that rolled out in the past half of the year. We also take a look at the changes that will most likely happen before the end of 2019.
Google has been quiet for quite some time at the beginning of the year. But, in February, early chatter in the SEO community hinted at an update that primarily targeted UK-based queries. Although the SERP trackers indicated a global update, the nature of the change appeared to differ between searches in other regions. Google has never confirmed the update.
In March, a rare instance happened when Google confirmed an update with the release of a broad core search ranking algorithm. Specific to this update, the search engine reiterated that there’s no remedy to pages that are performing less than focusing on building great content.
Early in April, webmasters started to notice that some web pages weren’t showing in Google Search. Contrary to speculations that it was part of a new algorithm update, Google announced that the cause of the deindexing was a bug. It took about a week to resolve the index issue but it wasn’t before Moz reported that about 4% of all indexed pages were affected.
Early in June, Google announced that it has updated its algorithm to show more diverse search results. The update meant searches will show no more than two results from the same in the top results. However, Google reserves the right to show more than two results from the same website when it thinks it is appropriate.
It took Google five days to fully roll out the June 2019 core update and when it did, two high-authority publication websites have lost a significant amount of traffic. This challenged the conventional theory that expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness (E-A-T)—the metric by which Google ranks pages is the way to recover from an update.
In case you’re wondering, core updates are released several times in a year. While they don’t have a clear or specific focus one thing’s guaranteed: they’re introduced to make subtle changes and affect websites in various areas.
Google algorithm updates have always been the talk amongst SEO professionals and agencies, with every update resulting in ranking changes to websites.
With such updates, it’s evident that Google always finds a way to optimise their search engine to make sure that users are getting the best experience and we can only expect the rest of 2019 would be no less different.
As such, it pays to be reminded why it matters to stay updated—if not ahead—as changes happen.
As an SEO professional, it only makes sense to keep track of algorithm changes that could impact your SEO strategies or for this matter, your client’s search ranking and visibility, organic search traffic, conversions, ROI, and revenue.
While some may think these updates are Google’s way to penalise websites, it’s actually a way to provide users with a good experience and relevant content.
If Google is prioritising user experience, so should you, too. As Google stated in its previous announcement, there’s no fix for pages that are poorly performing than to focus on beefing up on valuable and relevant content.
This advice may not be the most comforting, but it’s correct in all aspects. Updating your website with high-quality content that’s targeted to your audience is always the best SEO strategy—not to mention will keep your website compliant with the Google standards.
What do you think of the Google algorithm updates in the first half of the year? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment!