Major algorithm updates can be negative, but they can also be positive, depending on the site itself and whether they have prepared for the changes Google has implemented.
On June 18th Google confirmed that they made an update to its core search algorithm. As you can see from the following screen grab from Mozcast, on the 16/06 there was particularly high activity – with one of the largest algorithmic shifts seen in the last few months.
The screenshot above is taken from Mozcast. Using the same idea as a weather report, it gives a visual representation of how much activity there has been in Google’s algorithm throughout the month of June 2015. It’s clear that a higher-than-usual amount of activity was occurring on June 16th – which we now know was due to the latest large Google algorithm update.
What is the algorithm update related to?
As of yet, Google have refused to comment further or offer any indication to what the latest algorithm update is in regards to. They have however said that it is not related to Panda, Penguin or any of their more “well-known” algorithm updates, and have also said that it is not HTTPS related, i.e. providing a benefit to website who have implement SSL certificates.
Some experts have since suggested that the changes may be related to Google launching a brand new version of Google Trends. This may mean that the search engine is now better-able to assess sites offering quality, news-worthy content. However, at this stage this is just speculation and has not been confirmed.
What impact has this had?
We analysed a couple of websites to see how the algorithm update has affected them. We are keeping their identities private for obvious reasons.
The screen grab below shows how there has been a bit of a negative impact on this particular website. As you can see, in general the number of visits fluctuates, though the site was seeing greater than normal traffic levels through the first half of June. However, after the latest Google algorithm was rolled out on the 16th June, visitor numbers seemed to drop back down again almost instantly, suggested an impact on their visibility in the search results.
On the other hand, the following image below shows how the Google algorithm update has had a positive impact on this particular website. As you can see from the blue line – which represents visibility percent (a formula developed through number of keyword rankings and their average search volumes), there was a dramatic increase in the site’s visibility in the search engine results.
Whilst this hasn’t necessarily resulted in greater traffic, it means that the site is likely to have gained stronger rankings as a result of the update. Looking at ways to gain higher click-through-rates would then need to be the next step for this particular website.
Should you be concerned?
As with most Google algorithm updates, sites which are offering quality, helpful and informative content to their users are likely to benefit from their changes. Therefore if you keep doing this, then you shouldn’t be concerned.
It’s also important to be aware that the search engine are looking at carrying out a Panda update very soon, and are also looking at making Penguin algorithm refreshes more often, making it more important than ever to ensure that their guidelines are being adhered to.