Over the last week, there has been a lot of noise about possible Google algorithm updates.
Thanks to the unique trackers we have here at Detailed, we’ve seen substantial average ranking shifts across a number of websites.
Here’s one example that I shared on Twitter:
Spent the last few months playing with SERP visibility for individual sites. Good for spotting when a competitor or client clearly starts gaining (or losing) rankings. I know some tools do this but it’s nice to have lots of sites on one page (and our own methodology). pic.twitter.com/rqWDrJbnaW
— Glen Allsopp (@ViperChill) May 19, 2018
That graphic is from our custom built search rankings tool which essentially tracks “visibility” for any domain that we like.
We track overall rankings for keywords across a site and determine whether their average position has improved or worsened in Google.
In the image above, the bar has gone up, which means that the average ranking position has increased quite suddenly.
It’s believed that sometime around May 18th, a significant change was made to Google’s algorithm that has affected many top sites in a negative way.
Of course, due to their only being up to “10 blue links” on a page, this means a lot of sites have received positive improvements from these updates as well.
Something to keep in mind if you have been affected by these updates is that there are said to be 500 to 600 Google algorithm updates each year.
There’s really no surprise in seeing that “something has changed” and your rankings and traffic can be impacted by that.
Something you should always keep in mind when it comes to overall search results
is whether you are really the best result for a user query?.
Of course, there are things you can do to improve rankings such as on-site SEO, being optimized for answer boxes (rank zero) and building links to your site, but it’s important to keep in mind “What Google might be thinking.”
If your design needs work, your user experience isn’t great and others provide better value to search users, that could be at the core of your problems.
Something people mistakenly think is a Google algorithm update may actually be something else that is negatively impacting a website’s rankings.
For example, one reader reached out to me about a possible negative SEO attack he had received on his health blog.
This turned out to be a manual penalty for schema markup that the webmaster hadn’t noticed.