Google Releases 2 Major Search Updates in June

June has been a big month for changes to the search engine results page. Google has announced not one, but two major updates to the search engine algorithm and ranking methodology.

June 2019 Core Algorithm Update (June 3 – June 8)

The June Core Algorithm Update is the first algorithm update that Google has announced before rolling out–hopefully setting a precedent for more open communication in the future.

  • June 2: Google announces a broad core algorithm update will be released the following day.
  • June 3: Google releases broad core algorithm update.
  • June 8: Danny Sullivan, Google’s Official Search Liaison, announces that the algorithm has fully rolled out.

What It Means

According to Google, unlike other algorithm updates like Panda or Penguin, broad core algorithm updates do not impact one particular ranking factor or punish a particular technique. Instead, these techniques are a broad, all-encompassing update in order to improve search engine rankings. There is no one single “fix” for this broad core algorithm change.

Who Was Impacted?

While SEOs have not been able to pinpoint one particular industry or type of content that was impacted by this update, there have been some obvious winners and losers. Many sites hit by this update saw between 20-90% drops in traffic, according to Search Engine Roundtable. The Daily Mail, for example, lost nearly 50% of its search traffic in the days following the release.

What to Do if You Lost Traffic and Ranking

Despite a lot of speculation around what this algorithm focused on, there is no clear reason why some sites were impacted and others remained relatively stable. Keep an eye on your traffic and rankings over the next few weeks to determine the true impact of the change. Oftentimes, ranking fluctuations take weeks or even months to fully stabilize after a substantial algorithm update. If you believe you were severely impacted, Google recommends familiarizing yourself with the Google Quality Rater’s Guide to find ways to improve your content.

Domain Diversity Update

(June 4-6)

Unlike the core algorithm update, the Domain Diversity update was announced after it was released. This update focuses on ensuring that there are a wide range of domains populating on all searches. This update began several days before the official announcement, according to Danny Sullivan at Google.

What It Means

Google is focusing on offering a more diverse search engine result page by limiting the number of listings a domain (and related sub-domains) have on a single search result. With this update, Google is hoping to offer more varied results and information, rather than allowing some brands to monopolize a single query.

It should be noted that the search results still depend wholly on the search term itself. Search engine result pages for a particular brand, product or website will still likely be dominated by the relevant brand’s domain. Subdomains, in some cases, will be treated as separate domains when it makes sense to do so.

Who Was Impacted?

There have not been reports of this update impacting any one industry in particular. In fact, many SEOs are still reporting that many search results still feature upwards of 3 or 4 results from the same brands. This appears to be especially prevalent in local and brand searches. It is still likely that this shift in focus to diversify results will continue to impact most, if not all, queries and rankings moving forward.

What to Do if You Lost Traffic and Ranking

Since this update is not a matter of quality, it will be hard to determine the best course of action to move forward when pages drop from shared search results. Continue to track your keywords and rankings over the next few weeks and months to determine the true impact of this change. If your brand relies heavily on traffic from a small number of SERPs or keywords with multiple listings, now is a good time to consider diversifying your content and target keywords. Any upcoming plans to create subdomains for SEO purposes may need to be reexamined, as well.

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