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Access the data by sector and by date of the Google Update you want to review.
Below you can read the conclusions and lessons learned from each of the Updates that Google is launching.
Reflections on the Google Core Update “AUGUST 2023”.
The sites that increase the most in absolute terms are well-known, high authority sites in Spain such as casadellibro.com, apple.com, wiktionary.org, instagram.com, mediamarkt.es, pinterest.es, elcorteingles.es or kidshealth.org. If we look at those that lose the most points of absolute visibility on this occasion, we find sites such as wikipedia.org, amazon.es, google.es, tripadvisor.es or youtube.com.
In percentage terms, the picture changes a bit:
However, when using SISTRIX visibility data, you know that at all times we are talking about visibility, understood as positions occupied in more or less competitive SERPs, with more or less click zero results and other details, as in the case of Media, that this metric does not represent the full reality of traffic acquisition.
And what aspects can be highlighted in this update regarding the websites that have had a negative impact on their visibility?
- Small fluctuations. In many cases small fluctuations are observed that have a big impact on visibility and potential traffic. In many SERPs, moving from position 1 to 2 or 1 to 3, or similar, means thousands of potentially lost visits.
In some cases, it is a big site or a Google block that takes the lead and in others, if you are a non sector-specific website, you have been passed by sector-specific websites. What does this give you to think about?
- Brand searches. There is a growing war of grabbing visibility in terms of other brands, usually when your site features those brands in its content, products, or whatever.
What’s happening is that in the SERPs you boost the digital assets of that brand first, so you see uploads from youtube, twitter, instagram, facebook, and even wikipedia.
And then comes the war for the second half of the first page, where there is still a lot of potential traffic to capture, there is a question to be asked, who will have more relevance to position for a brand in a particular sector: websites in that sector or general websites?
A search such as “oakley” will have specific results for opticians and other more generalist ones such as sports shops, cycling shops, etc.
- The marketplace effect. There are websites that now offer third-party products, even in areas in which they have not usually offered or been experts. But if they accumulate a greater authority and size than niche websites, it can unbalance the balance.
I’ll give you 2 examples to see it better: “mountain electric bikes” offers more product and filtering possibilities the web of that specific sector, than other more generalists such as decathlon, el corte inglés or amazon.
On the other hand, that a sports website that sells footballs and has had to face in the SERPs to decathlon, for example, and now, with this effect, we see new “competitors” as Fnac, which I think no one would think of Fnac as a leader or expert in sport, but in leisure, entertainment, books or music.
- The weight of authority. As a summary of the 3 previous points, domain authority can be a differentiating factor when all other SEO conditions are equal, i.e. when the approach is more or less equal in terms of content, performance, etc.
- The umpteenth refinement of search intentions. This is nothing new, but with 3 examples of what has happened in this update, we can use them:
Example 1: “sprockets” vs “bicycle sprockets”. If you are a bike website and you have positioned yourself by a very generic term whose intention is very broad and includes rather food and food topics, these adjustments can make us assume that part of the visibility you had was undeserved. A similar example would be “fjords” which does not have to be positioned by a cruise website, as there will be other travel websites that talk about fjords in general.
The second example has to do with the classic SEO dilemma between ranking with a post or with a transaction page. For “bike lock”, what was ranking with a “best of” post with the entire top 10 100% transactional, now will not be able to maintain visibility with the article.
And finally, example 3, if the website of a brand that offers only products of its brand, and even sometimes has only one product, would this website deserve to rank for the generic term, such as “eyelash curler”, when other sites can offer a superior variety to curb the search intent? Lots of food for thought :)
- Nuances in YMYL sectors. It is increasingly important not only WHAT is said, but HOW it is said, WHO says it and in short, whether you meet the need by being the best and most credible option.
Not only the need to promote and work the authors, but to provide clear evidence of the knowledge you have and the data sources on which it is based.
Remember, authors, bibliographies and other useful resources for EEAT strategies should be used WHERE IT MATTERS.
On a purely analytical level, if you have been affected by this update, it can be a good idea to segment by subject area, and then by type of keyword, to identify what is happening in each vertical.
And in general, you may simply have been affected by this update and there is nothing serious on your site, analyse and check what improvements you can make to better cover the search intentions.
Reflections on the Google Core Update “September 2022”
After these two weeks of update it is time to review the data and see what readings can be made.
Looking at the absolute variation data, we can see big sites such as Tik Tok, Pinterest, Facebook, Wikipedia, Spotify and also a remarkable increase of image blocks in Google SERPs.
For those losing the most visibility points, we have Youtube, Milanuncios, El Pais, or dictionaries such as The Free Dictionary, Significados and Reverso. Also noteworthy is the decrease in the number of Video blocks reported by SISTRIX (in principle, SISTRIX has not changed the way it monitors any of the results).
At the sector level, without this list of sites being a panel that represents the sectors well, what the SISTRIX data shows is that the media have received a visibility correction to a greater degree than other sectors.
Adjustments are again seen in navigational searches, favouring social networks and sites such as Wikipedia, again an update reaffirms authority criteria.
Something curious is the growth of a training site in which out of an improvement of 100,000 keywords, 50% are positioned with PDF urls.
In general, sites that are growing, which are more common sectors, I don’t see sites that have made great improvements, but with the same urls that have dropped in previous updates and in this one, they are going up. Obviously it is complex to analyse many types of sites (large, small) and so many sectors, but I have done an exercise looking at previous updates, in case it can help to understand the evolution of recent years.
Reflections on the Google Core Update “May 2022”
In the first week, taking the reference data from SISTRIX between 23 and 30 May, I extract the following readings, always based on the panel of more than 1000 sites on which this tool is based:
- The ones that rise the most are leaders or authority websites. This can lead us to think about aspects related to authority and relevance.
- In navigational searches, reputable urls (e.g. social profiles) improve. This can lead us to think about aspects related to entities and reputation beyond digital assets that a brand can control.
- Video and image blocks in the SERPs increase their presence. This may lead us to think about aspects related to saturation of the SERPs with Universal Search formats, in this case with videos that may appear in specific blocks, but also results with embedded videos.
Reviewing the second week, from 30/05 to 6/06, I have observed the following aspects:
- A refinement is observed in the positioned urls, when these were not the most relevant to the search intention, for example, product cards are positioned in keywords in which a listing should really do it and vice versa.
- The keywords related to brands continue to see changes and mostly benefit official sites and popular sites (with links).
- In the sector of affiliates or niches, without going into assessing the nature of the web (automatic, manual, or whatever), large drops are observed and more numerous than in other sectors, although the samples included in this app, are not representative enough, I could see similar trends to this one.
Following a tweet from Brodie Clark referring to a major change in the SERPs with more FAQs than before, I have reviewed in several sectors and dozens of sites what impact this circumstance has generated. Although I have seen sites with up to a 15,000% increase in results with FAQs in the SERPs, I do not see any correlation with the update itself, since the growth of this feature happens both in websites that go up and those that go down, although it is true that those that did not already have results with FAQs, in most cases, do not have them now either.
REFERENCES AND RESOURCES
Some resources that may be useful:
- Analysis of winners and losers from the Update usually covered on the SISTRIX blog https://www.sistrix.es/blog/ and on the Amsive Digital blog https://www.amsivedigital.com/insights/seo/
- Google’s general advice on Core Updates https://developers.google.com/search/blog/2019/08/core-updates
- Recovering after an Update https://www.amsivedigital.com/insights/seo/core-algorithm-recovery-tactics-content-consolidation-part-1/
- Profiles to follow: