June saw a great deal of search volatility with Google pre-announcing a broad core algorithm update for the first time. Here’s our round-up of the past month in search:
June 2019 core update
Announced on 2nd June and rolled out between 3rd-8th June 2019, Google’s broad core update, true to its name, impacted multiple sectors and industries.
The Daily Mail made headlines when its SEO Director reported a 50% drop in search traffic, sending SEOs down a rabbit-hole of analysis to determine the cause when other similar news media, notably The Sun and the Daily Mirror, enjoyed visibility gains.
Whether it is E-A-T related, a result of perceived poor user experience, or some technical aspect given more weight to rankings, Google’s response remains the same—sometimes, “the actionable advice is that there is nothing in particular to ‘fix.’”
As for the reason behind pre-announcement (when, previously, confirmations came after reports of fluctuations), it appears Google is trying a more proactive, transparent approach in communications.
That, and they can determine what the update is called before the internet runs away with code names.
Site diversity update
In direct response to concerns over singular domains dominating organic listings in SERPs for certain queries—particularly transactional ones which would benefit from greater competition—Google launched a “site diversity” update on 6th June 2019.
Now, Google will only display up to two listings per domain in its top results.
Some key notes:
- Subdomains are treated as the same as their root, unless relevant to do otherwise
- Not all queries are affected—where appropriate, such as with navigational keywords (e.g. IKEA desk) Google can still display more than two listings for a domain.
- This update only applies to main search listings, i.e. the blue organic links.
New GMB features
To help businesses “capture their identity,” Google introduced these new features to Google My Business on 20th June 2019.
- Offers: users can follow a business to reveal special discounts
- Short names:to help find businesses quicker, these short names are unique and soon searchable in Maps
- Cover photos & photo displays: taking control over how your business looks
- Prominent logos: extra branding making listings more recognisable
- Offline materials: custom assets for further promotions*
If you would like further advice or guidance on any of the updates outlined above, please get in touch.