The Google update started rolling out on Monday 4th May, and all the early signs are that it’s a big one! Just like any other update, Google has stated that it will take two weeks to fully roll out across its data centers.
Pretty much all of the online tools have recorded this tremor, confirming that this is a core update. The impact has been felt across most, if not all topicalities and categories.
As per usual Google has not (and probably will not) divulge information about what has changed in the search algorithm or which industries and practices are most likely to be impacted.
On the other hand, SEO forums have seen significant chatter speculating that the change was due to how users have changed their search habits because of COVID. Hypothesizing that Google has updated its algorithm to present more local information to the users.
As per usual, Google is being hit hard with criticism from industry professionals on Forums & Social Media like Twitter. It’s clear from this chatter that this update has impacted multiple industries like Health, Tech, Finance, and Dating.
At GainChanger we have quite a large dataset taken from multiple sites, targetting multiple industries, with multiple approaches.
As a very early stage evaluation, we have noticed the following:
- Some sites have seen a huge increment in impressions and clicks, literally from one day to the next, doubling in numbers. Particularly on new sites that are consistently releasing quality content and have a weak backlink profile.
- Aged sites are losing positions and impression on keywords ranking at lower positions, that had very few to no clicks, to begin with, in the previous months.
- In many cases, larger sites that have lost impressions have not lost a proportional amount of clicks.
We’re monitoring and digging into multiple data points as this progresses, to determine the right correlations.
That said, from an initial & light review we can speculate that the update is related to the freshness of content on the site. Possibly driven by low CTR performance on results that are not matching user intent, in those edge cases where searchers go past the top 20 positions on Google.
Whether you are seeing similar results on not, don’t rush. Google is software, and software is never perfect. As the rollout continues, bugs will be fixed and pushing on the initial data you are seeing today, may change needs to be done tomorrow.
And let’s not forget that Google needs a lot of data over time to evaluate its next steps. If you take a similar approach, you will eventually come out on top.
So wait for the dust to settle, keep your thumb on the pulse of all the data points and Forums you follow, and plan to take action when things stabilize.
In the meantime follow our guide to determine possible issues and fixes you have to apply to your site to recover from a Google rank drop.
At Gainchanger we automate the tedious part of SEO to allow you to scale your results exponentially and focus on what really matters.