1st of August saw a Google ‘Search Quality Update’ that wiped out website rankings. Google were quick enough to give a reason behind it and explained how people can respond. Spoiler alert, there’s not much you can do. Read on to find out more. There’s a twist to this update too!
We were notified by our SEO software on the 2nd of August that a Google algorithm update had occurred. “Ok,” we said, “it won’t be too bad.”
We headed over to our SERP volatility sensor – which essentially represents how changeable the search engine result pages are on Google – lo & behold, the scores were high… very high.
Check out the 1st – 3rd August below…
A good volatility score is generally between 2-5!
Google’s Danny Sullivan was the one to confirm via Twitter that a new Google algorithm update had been implemented. We were first notified by our SEO software of the update and noticed that a client of ours had annoyingly been affected by the update. Not impressed!
Here’s Google’s official announcement:
This week we released a broad core algorithm update, as we do several times per year. Our guidance about such updates remains the same as in March, as we covered here: https://t.co/uPlEdSLHoX
— Google SearchLiaison (@searchliaison) August 1, 2018
As Danny later revealed on Twitter, it would take a few days to settle down:
A few days. Say by middle of next week, should be fully rolled out.
— Danny Sullivan (@dannysullivan) August 3, 2018
So that’s the he said she said out the way, what does this update mean for you and your website if it was affected?
Taking a look at Google’s official statement above, they referred to their tweet back in March… that might not mean much to you, so here’s the gist of that tweet:
“Each day, Google usually releases one or more changes designed to improve our results. Some are focused around specific improvements. Some are broad changes…”
“Some sites may note drops or gains. There’s nothing wrong with pages that may now perform less well…”
“There’s no ‘fix’ for pages that may perform less well…Over time, it may be that your content may rise relative to other pages.”
This essentially tells us that there’s a difference between daily improvements it makes compared to broad algorithm updates.
If your site was affected by this or the last update, then at least you know that the loss of rankings isn’t due to your website having poor qualities.
That’s all very well, but how can you regain those rankings?
You can’t… dun dun duuuuuunnnnnnnn – inserts evil laughter from Google -.
Let’s focus on this particular tweet:
There’s no “fix” for pages that may perform less well other than to remain focused on building great content. Over time, it may be that your content may rise relative to other pages.
— Google SearchLiaison (@searchliaison) March 12, 2018
“There’s nothing to ‘fix’,” doesn’t give us much to go on, but what you can do is check out those sites which have come from the bottomless pit of Google SERPs to appear on page 1 and see if you can tell why they’re there.
But something we tell our clients, and what seemingly Search Engine Journal and many other SE experts suggest to do is… WAIT. Yeah, that’s right, just wait it out. It should pass, and everything should go back to normal. But this is Google we’re talking about.
As Danny Sullivan suggested himself, an update can take a few days to settle down. In my experience, I’ve seen rankings drop because of an update, only to return a few days, weeks or months later.
And finally, the plot twist!
After some research about this update, I found that Barry Schwartz had “reviewed a ton of sites” and found that the update had a huge impact on the health/medical space. Funny enough, our client who was affected by the update is considered by Google to be in this sphere of the online world!
Check out Barry’s findings in his “Google Medic Update”.
Let us know if your website was affected by this algorithm update and whether your site has regained its rankings again or not.