Google does not usually provide details about the updates before they officially announce it.
But this time, the June 2019 Core Update was pre-announced by Danny Sullivan on Twitter and went live on June 3. It took Google about five days to roll out this core update. As Google said, it is a BIG ONE! Danny Sullivan from Google said the only reason they are talking about it is because it is going to be “definitely noticeable” and thus want to talk about it:
Here’s an update about updates — updates to our search algorithms. As explained before, each day, Google usually releases one or more changes designed to improve our results. Most have little noticeable change but help us continue to incrementally improve search….
— Google SearchLiaison (@searchliaison) October 11, 2018
Google pre-announced a core update for the first time. The announcement of the June 2019 Core Update broke on Twitter, where Google revealed the upcoming date of the roll-out.
Tomorrow, we are releasing a broad core algorithm update, as we do several times per year. It is called the June 2019 Core Update. Our guidance about such updates remains as we’ve covered before. Please see this tweet for more about that:https://t.co/tmfQkhdjPL
— Google SearchLiaison (@searchliaison) June 2, 2019
Danny Sullivan too tweeted that Google wants to be more pro-active with this kind of information to let people know in advance to avoid them only finding out after the update has is rolled out and then getting puzzled.
While the SEO industry was thrilled that Google is now giving more information about updates, it was surprising to see that they pushed out another update, called the Diversity Update, at the same time.
But the diversity update did not have a massive effect on traffic for sites.
WHAT HAPPENED WITH THIS CORE UPDATE?
As many have noticed, the update seems to have affected the entire domains and are not focused on a single page!
Recovery VS Drop In Ranking:
- Few noticed minimal changes to their traffic. It was consistent, steady, and the trend was also the same. While others were negatively affected and saw the site losing 50% of its traffic, with an additional 90% drop in their Google Discover traffic!
- When Google normally brings a new update, it fairly tells what type of sites will be affected. Sites which already had good brand recognition, like e-commerce sites, experienced improvements. On the other hand, less-known sites like several health sites and/or news sites lost 50% of their Google search traffic.
- For those who noticed their competitors were overtaking, it just not meant that you dropped, it could also mean that they might have seen a few improvements!
- It was also noticed that the sites with too many advertisements or excessive pop-ups suffered a search traffic decline after the update.
- Another thing that can negatively affected user experience is large drop-down navigation menus that are on some of the e-commerce sites.
The update also reduced traffic to sites with low quality content. Publishers who had low-quality content generated to research quickly and inexpensively faced great troubles in ranking.
Another factor that affected the sites was that the sub-domains could see a drop in traffic while the main domain is stays steady and unaffected.
The core update did not appear to apply any new penalties for linking practices. It was noted that backlinks from .gov sites increased by nearly 2.5x, while backlinks from .edu site decreased slightly.
Excessively long content isn’t necessarily good content even if people are more likely to link to it and share it. After the June 2019 Core Update rolled out, some posts experienced an increase in traffic while others experienced a decrease!
Creating New Content:
Since creating content allows websites to keep their audiences engaged, sites with low quality content are at the risk of losing their traffic.
Chatter About The Crawl Behaviour:
Even though Google has reported this several times that any update in its algorithm does not mean changes in crawl rates, yet there was a fuss in the SEO world about significant changes to the crawl behavior from Google prior to the update.
John Mueller from Google then tweeted that the changes in crawling rates is pretty normal!
Nothing specific is happening – fluctuations in crawling are pretty normal. I’ll double-check, but off-hand there’s nothing lined up in that regard.
MAJOR TAKEAWAYS OF THE CORE UPDATE
John Mueller, in a Webmaster Hangout, discussed the core update with context to its relevance and quality updates.
He said, “With a lot of the relevance updates, a lot of the kind of quality updates, the core updates that we make, there is no specific thing where we’d be able to say you did this and you should have done that and therefore we’re showing things differently.”
In the discussion, he also stated that webmasters continue to focus on the “quality” issues and ignore the relevance of fixing the other factors like missing biographies, too much advertising, etc.
As listed by John, following are the major takeaways of the June 2019 Core Update:
- See The Big Picture: According to John, when an SEO witnesses a failure in the content strategy, it happens to miss the big picture, i.e. how users evolve and how it’s a change in user habits that may be reflected in the kinds of pages that Google shows in the search results.
- Algorithms Evolve:Google’s algorithm is all about solving problems of the users. With the new core update, Google is also updating how it understands what users want when they type a query!
According to John, a website that focuses too much on keywords and not enough on providing quick information to users who need it quickly and deep information to users who need depth, may find that Google’s algorithms no longer favor them.
- Third Party Review: He also recommended to get your website diagnosed by experienced person and let him detect the relevant issues.
- E-A-T:Among the changes was a much stronger emphasis on E-A-T (Expertise, Authority and trustworthiness). Several references to “high quality” were updated to refer instead to “high EAT.” Boosting your hypothetical E-A-T score will, in general, improve your chances of ranking well in the search results.
- Google Tests Showing Weekly Site Visits In Automated Ad Extension:It is a new version of the Google’s automated extension that highlights a site’s popularity.
“We’re always testing new ways to improve our experience for our advertisers and users, but don’t have anything specific to announce right now,” said a Google spokesperson.
- A New Menu Look In Search:There are now icons representing news, videos, images and more.
- Google Shopping Bookmarks:It is a great news for users as well as merchants as it allows shoppers to bookmark the product in the Shopping tab and add it to a custom collection. They can save the product pages that interest them with price, pics and text, and find them later with simple search.
GOOGLE SHOPPING: *NEW* Bookmark the products you like on the Shopping tab?
— Steven Johns (@stevenjohns21) June 18, 2019
WHAT DID NOT CHANGE?
Even though we saw a few effects of the update on keyword optimization and other metrics, but there remains a metric which did not change at all! As per the key findings, Google didn’t change the way it evaluates on-page content. Nor did it decides to change it’s preference for freshness.
So, it is clear that this update is not to re-write all your content, nor is it to update the dates.
WHAT DOES NOTHING TO FIX MEANS?
Nothing to fix means do not expect that fixing “quality issues” will solve your Google Update problems. There is nothing wrong with your expertise, authoritativeness or trust. It also means that Google is doing a lot more than “targeting” low quality signals.
One of the reasons why Google said that there is nothing to fix is as a result of core updates might not just concern targeting specific forms of caliber content.
Thus, when attempting to work out why your website is not any longer ranking well, do not approach it from the purpose of finding what to fix. Instead, it should be beneficial to raise yourself why your website may not be viewed by Google as relevant any longer! So, you just have to address it differently.
LEVEL UP YOUR GAME WITH THESE TIPS FROM THE SEO COMMUNITY:
- The E-A-T Concept:Several SEO managers like Arren Wilkinson, the SEO Manager at 52fridays and Marissa Ryan, a Managing Partner at VisualFizz, advised to work solely on improving the E-A-T. They stated that “It’s clear that the June 2019 update heavily penalized sites that are lacking in E-A-T. So, get experts to contribute to your editorial content, get cited from experts in your niche, and be transparent with your users.” The SEO community also said that companies should avoid using one author for all content, and should have multiple writers on their blogs.
- Constantly Evolving Search Algorithm:There is nothing to deny that brands gain and lose traffic based on different algorithm tweaks. So, the major takeaway for online marketers is that lost rankings can be found again as the search algorithm keeps on evolving.
- Links And HTML Title Tags Are Still Important:Google confirmed that links and HTML title tags are just as important as they were ever before! John Mueller confirmed that links are important for ranking and building trust while Gary IIlyes discussed the importance of title tags for SEO.
- Ensure Your Site Supports Strong User Experience for Desktop and Mobile:Since Google focuses to make the information of the world available in one click, it is important for the marketers to address the need to support the user. Michael Zima, Co-Founder of Zima Media, LLC said, “Now more than ever, your website content has to solve the searcher’s intent, visiting your website has to be a pleasure with a modern experience and everything has to be blazing fast since the mass rollout of the Google mobile-first indexing. We know Google is prioritizing the mobile version of your website for both searchers coming from either mobile devices or desktop computers as implied by the mobile-first name.”
Google often updates its algorithms and brings major updates extended annually that will completely or negatively influence a website’s rankings and shake the search business.
To sum it up, June 2019 Core Update is not for any specific niche or type of sites!
Since it is a wide-scope update, website owners experienced both, rise and drop in their rankings. So, if you are facing a sudden drop in your traffic or Google rankings then there is nothing to be worried! Google is giving an opportunity to more websites/blogs and want more fresh content that is the need of its users, and thus, all you need to do is publish more quality content and focus on readers.
John Mueller also suggested asking in web communities, including the Webmaster Help Forums, to see how others see your site, if they could spot problems.
He said, “You can talk with other people who’ve seen a lot of websites and who can look at your websites and say well, I don’t know the layout looks outdated or the authors are people that nobody knows or you have stock photos images of instead of author photos. It’s like, why do you have that?
All of these things are not explicit elements that our algorithms would be trying to pinpoint but rather things that kind of combine to create a bigger picture.”
Danny Sullivan also replied to a few tweets and said “to think broadly” can be one of the solutions to the sudden drop in ranking or traffic!
We tell lots of things to do. Improve site speed. Consider secure. Etc. But that’s not what this update was about. It’s broad. And respectfully, I think telling people there’s no particular thing to “fix” is indeed helpful. It means, hopefully, they think more broadly…
— Danny Sullivan (@dannysullivan) August 1, 2018
Danny Sullivan then mentioned in his tweet that one of the most effective ways to do better in terms of quality updates is to follow the advice in the Quality Raters Guidelines.
Want to do better with a broad change? Have great content. Yeah, the same boring answer. But if you want a better idea of what we consider great content, read our raters guidelines. That’s like almost 200 pages of things to consider: https://t.co/pO3AHxFVrV
— Danny Sullivan (@dannysullivan) August 1, 2018
So, when it comes to recovering from this pre-planned June Core Update, it may be more helpful to expand the set of factors, including a thorough diagnosis of the search results pages, to take into consideration.