Last week was a busy time for Google and SEO marketers. Google released two new updates that affected SEO results, and website owners were eager to see how their sites would be affected. Google didn’t give specifics about what changed on their June 2019 Core Algorithm Update, but that won’t stop the SEO community. The update has only been out for a week, but there are already some indications on who has benefited or been harmed by Google’s algorithm update.
Sistrix, a company that creates SEO tools, produced an analysis the day after the update went to live to note early winners and losers from the update. Their report found that many sites in the U.K. got considerable boosts in search visibility. The websites for The Mirror and The Sun saw a 54 percent increase in visibility. In the U.S., the top gainers were The Huffington Post (44 percent increase) and Healthline.com (33 percent increase). Notable losers in the initial analysis include NFL.com, Prevention.com, HumbleBundle.com, and Vimeo.
Marcus Tober gave one of the best preliminary explanations of the changes from SearchMetrics. In a response to SearchEngineLand, Tober stated: “My preliminary analysis is that parts of the core update from March were reverted.” However, he noted that it was “not systematically. It seems though that Google changed some factors to brand/authority too much in March, and this is what was reverted. Especially in the medical space like a webmd.com or verywellhealth.com that lost, gained back their visibility.”
One U.K. news site that didn’t benefit from the update was the Daily Mail, which had a 43 percent decrease in visibility using Sistrix’s method. According to a post from the SEO Director for the Daily Mail, Jesus Mendez, the paper’s website was hit hard by the June 2019 Google core search algorithm update. Mendez reported that dailymail.co.uk lost 50 percent of its traffic, with a 90 percent drop in Google Discover feed traffic.
In response to questions from SearchEngineLand, Mendez stated, “The day after the broad core algorithm update (June 3rd) we saw a massive drop in Search traffic from Google (lost 50% of daily traffic),]… This was a drop over the course of 24 hours, and we have not made any changes to the site. Further, we saw our Discover traffic drop by 90% and has not improved. This is across all verticals, devices, AMP, and Non-AMP.”
The Daily Mail’s experience is telling, because it’s clear that June 2019 Core Algorithm Update caused the change in traffic due to the timing. Unfortunately, there’s little concrete evidence to suggest the cause of the massive drop in traffic. Some of the speculations included ads, the site speed, the content, the political slant, and more.
However, this isn’t the only algorithm change that happened last week. Google also introduced an update that affects domain diversity in search results. For most search results, Google will limit domains to two links in high-ranking spots.
The domain diversity update will negatively affect sites that had many pages that ranked high for popular search terms. Since they will have fewer links in the top spots, they will see reduced traffic as searchers try some of the options from different domains. So if a site sees their traffic drop, it could be the result of either update.
For more recent news about updates and changes to Google, read this article about the updated guidelines for page quality and search results.