As many of us know, Google rolled out some updates in June 2019, and already, reports are coming in about how this update has affected some business niches and websites. While it is still too early to understand and see the impact of the update fully, we felt it was always important to monitor what we are seeing happen.
When Did the Core Update Begin?
The June 2019 Core Update was initiated on June 3rd and would continue until all data centers were updated. There were no specifications on how long the core updates would take. The broad core algorithm updates affect how search results are ranked and listed in the search results. This is not an unusual occurrence, as Google routinely rolls out broad core updates every couple of months throughout the year.
What is a bit unusual is this update was announced, which is not how Google usually handles such things? So, why did Google suddenly make a change? The community has been asking Google to share when such updates would occur so that they could be proactive in dealing with any changes that may happen as a result of the updates. There isn’t anything extraordinary about this update; they don’t want SEO managers and site owners scratching their heads at the sudden shift.
What Major Data Providers Have to Say
In response to the updates, several large data providers have released information about how this update has impacted them. Sistrix, SearchMetrics, Moz, and RankRanger own massive datasets around Google rankings, and they can see a broader picture of what is occurring with their business and the broad core algorithm update. With their findings, we can get a reasonably good idea on the effect of the core updates.
Sistrix shared on their blog post an astonishing number of sites that had a positive response to the core update. Their “winners” list included 20 websites that saw an increase of visibility ranging from 19% to an astonishing 54%, more than half of them reaching at least 20% increased visibility. One thing they noted was that unlike previous updates, the scope of affected domains was much more extensive. It is ranging from YMYL websites, retail sites, classical new sites, and a wide variety of others. It is incredibly reassuring to see such a positive change.
RankRanger discovered some slightly different results in their datasets. They noted that gambling, health, and financial niches were hit with less visibility. More interestingly, they note that many sites fluctuate up and down, but search results pages did not vary as generously.
SearchMetrics reports that their initial analysis is that some parts of the core update that happened in March, reverted during the June core update. They do not believe it was systematic. They are convinced that the March broad core algorithm update changed factors in brand/authority excessively, thus reverting them. Medical sites that had lost their visibility from the previous core update are now seeing increased visibility.
Moz also noted that the health niche gained quite a bit in the core update but Dr. Axe, specifically, lost quite a bit. SERP features didn’t see any significant shifts, not even the medical panels. Moz also noted that the vertical flux was unusually high for Health (114 degrees) and Food & Groceries (109 degrees). However, it is essential to note that Moz is split into 20 verticals, so the sample size is reduced quite a bit.
Across the community, people are noticing how the core update has affected their visibility, and on average, we see 30% increases. Some people are reporting no change or a drop in visibility, but the “wins” seem to outnumber the losses so far.
What Google Says
Of course, Google jumped into the discussion. They are reporting positive responses to the broad core algorithm update and have declared that the update will be 100% noticeable. When asked how long the update would take, they would not give a clear answer. Their answer was anywhere from a day to a few weeks.
Overall, it’s early in the game. Way too early to say how the updates will affect websites because Google is still rolling out the updates to data centers. While the word on the street is extremely positive, we do think everyone should stay relaxed and continue watching how things roll out. Once the updates have had a chance to set in a little bit, take the time to check your analytics and see if you notice any changes to your visibility. Then evaluate how to use that visibility best, or make changes to achieve more.
Google has offered advice previously about updates, and it’s good advice to keep in mind. Google does release one or more updates daily that focus on improving search results. Not all of them are broad core algorithm changes, but at times it is necessary to roll out a broad core update. With any minor or significant change, some sites will see a drop or rise in visibility. There is nothing truly wrong with any page that is suddenly performing less when it was once a high-ranking search result. The changes are merely benefitting other pages that were unrewarded before the change. There is no real quick fix to adjusting your visibility, and it requires patience and time. The one thing you can do is keep providing great content so that your website rises back up to where it once was. If your site has suddenly increased in rankings, it may only be temporary. You should also stay on top of creating great content so that any future drops are minor and you can quickly bounce back.
As SEO managers, we plan to give Google feedback on how this update compares to others. Google needs to know how we feel about the announcements from them, and that we want more of them. Though Google does plan to keep the announcements coming, letting them know we appreciate it will only help us in the long run.