Kaylee Pope

Significant ranking and traffic shifts were noted between the dates of July 11 and July 18 earlier this month. These shifts, across several search markets, point to an algorithm shift. While Google has yet to make a statement on these changes, several dates of fluctuations point to significant updates in the algorithm. This volatility can be seen from the SEMRush chart below that outlines SERP fluctuations from the last 30 days.

Key Fluctuation Dates

  • July 11
  • July 12
  • July 16
  • July 18: Highest Level of Fluctuations

This algorithm change comes shortly after Google announced that it would begin to pre-announce big changes to the Google Search Algorithm. There was no initial warning or mention of this update and Google has yet to confirm the update. Search marketers have unofficially named this update the “Maverick” update. This nickname came from the fact that the algorithm changes coincided with the release of the new Top Gun trailer.

What It Means

Much like other, smaller updates to the algorithm, this change does not point to any changes in the overall search landscape. Impacting several industries and types of queries, it does not appear to point to a ranking shift that favors one type of brand or content over another. Google makes nearly three thousand edits to the algorithm yearly. This change may have simply been a higher impact release than others.

Who Was Impacted?

As of right now, there do not appear to be any clear winners or losers from this algorithm change. Instead, this routine update likely impacted a wide range of sites and search results. Look out below to determine whether or not your site was impacted.

What to Do if You Lost Traffic & Ranking

Unlike other algorithms, such as the Penguin update that depreciated sites with spammy linking practices, the “Maverick” update does not focus on any one tactic. Because of this, there is no set advice on how to recover from this particular algorithm. Be sure to monitor and track your rankings over the next few weeks in order to determine the true impact of the change as algorithms often take nearly a month to fully roll out. Continue to create high-quality content that serves your users and follows Google’s best practices. 

It is important to note that Amazon’s annual Amazon Prime Day took place on July 15-16. In order to determine whether or not you were impacted by Maverick, make sure to check both traffic and ranking statistics. There is a distinct possibility that this popular promotion had an impact on traffic during those few days, especially for retail websites.

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