Google has had a core update in August 2018, as well as additional Google search updates in early September 2018. This Google update was named the Medic Update, as it impacted many medical websites in regards to rankings and organic traffic. Although it wasn’t targeted at Your Money or Your Life (YMYL), other non-YMYL sites have seen heavy fluctuations in search rankings as well, such as entertainment sites, e-commerce, and gaming sites. Many of these recent Google updates look to be quality focused which is important to consider when evaluating the reasoning behind why your site has gained or lost organic traffic & rankings on Google. A few areas to review on your site would be content quality, navigation, website backlink profile, desktop and mobile user experience (UX). There may not be one singular issue with the site, but more of a collection of issues that have now become a significant factor after recent Google updates.
Google Algorithm Update Screenshots
Here’s a screenshot of the SEMrush Sensor for July to August, 2018.
Here’s another screenshot of the SEMrush Sensor looking at September, 2018.
Historically, this level of volatility in Google search results has indicated the rollout of a major algorithm update. If you have seen high fluctuation in ranking and organic search traffic for your website (IE: + or – >20%), then this could be a potential red flag that is worth looking into. A few sites on our radar have had large ranking and traffic changes in organic search, and each of them is a solid performing company in their competitive areas for SEO.
Example Site 1
Example Site 2
These are a few areas we have made recent website changes to help alleviate and improve some of these SEO issues:
- Content Quality
- Website Backlink Profile Review
- Desktop and Mobile User-Experience (UX)
- Internal Linking (contextual linking)
- Google Search Console Errors
- Internal Links Broken
- Internal Link Redirects
With the recent Google core algorithm update, it’s hard for some teams to make immediate SEO decisions and execute them for continued, positive results. As time goes on: more data can be gathered from Analytics, better conclusions can be drawn, and decisive action can be taken. As September of 2018 comes to a close, make sure your teams review August and September data for your website. Review which pages lost organic search traffic, which keywords were impacted, and where can you improve in the future. Mark the significant data points and take action on improving those areas.