It has recently been confirmed that Google made a small change to it’s search algorithm during the week September 22-29 2018.
What is an algorithm?
Basically an algorithm is a piece of computer code that is created to do a particular job. In Google’s case, it’s job is to return pages in a search that are relevant to the search term you used to find what you are looking for. So if you search for ‘Mercedes Coupes’, it will return pages showing Mercedes Coupes.
What are algorithm updates?
Google algorithm updates are when Google releases new changes to how it ranks websites in the search results. As explained above, sometimes these updates can impact more or fewer sites. We have covered a lot of algorithm updates. These updates happen often and frequently, usually without a set timetable on release dates.
Google has confirmed today that it made a “small” algorithm update to its search ranking system this past week.
Danny Sullivan from Google said on Twitter “We haven’t had a major update of that nature, but we did have a smaller one this week.”
Here is the tweet:
There was some chatter and rumors of an update that touched down on September 27th. So if you saw your rankings and Google traffic change this week, it might be related to this “smaller” update.
What happened? Google routinely updates its search ranking algorithms to provide the most relevant and useful search results. Sometimes those updates impact a larger percentage of sites and sometimes they impact a smaller percent of sites. This algorithmic update was on the smaller scale, according to Google.
Who was impacted? That is still unclear. Google did not say who or what types of sites were impacted. Google just said it did a smaller update this week and did not provide additional clarity.
What should I do? If your rankings didn’t change and you traffic is stable, then do nothing. Just keep doing what you are doing. If you took a hit and your rankings suffered, then previous Google advice has been to just keep working on making your site better. Google’s previous advice was:
Each day, Google usually releases one or more changes designed to improve our results. Some are focused around specific improvements. Some are broad changes. Last week, we released a broad core algorithm update. We do these routinely several times per year.
As with any update, some sites may note drops or gains. There’s nothing wrong with pages that may now perform less well. Instead, it’s that changes to our systems are benefiting pages that were previously under-rewarded.
There’s no “fix” for pages that may perform less well other than to remain focused on building great content. Over time, it may be that your content may rise relative to other pages.