Updated on 9th Aug, 2018
So the news is out and the panic is visible across the SEO world. Some sites have gained and some lost big time. We are also seeing huge fluctuations with some of the sites we manage and on some of them, I have seen impact as bad as -50%.
If you are still wondering what this Google update is, check out this – https://www.searchenginejournal.com/what-is-a-google-broad-core-algorithm-update/264261/.
So this is what Google’s official statements are.
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.
Anyone who has been in SEO for long enough will know that interpreting the official statements by Google is the trickiest thing to do. This is what we currently understand from the websites we are seeing and this is not a fixed list. We will keep updating as we find more things so stay tuned.
- We are seeing both sides of this. Positive as well as negative and both the swings are huge.
- Some sites are totally untouched. So this change is broad or not broad enough. Other reason might be that they are rolling this out selectively.
- Sites with penalties are seeing a greater negative swing. Maybe Google has an algorithm behind how they roll out broad changes.
- Sites with “trying to be viral” content or “over-optimized SEO” content are seeing more negative growth
- The biggest impact has been on YMYL ( Your Money Your Life ) websites.
As per Google’s Search Quality Rating guidelines, these are YMYL pages
Your Money or Your Life (YMYL) Pages
Some types of pages could potentially impact the future happiness, health, financial stability, or safety of users. We call such pages “Your Money or Your Life” pages, or YMYL. The following are examples of YMYL pages:
● Shopping or financial transaction pages: webpages that allow users to make purchases, transfer money, pay bills, etc. online (such as online stores and online banking pages).
● Financial information pages: webpages that provide advice or information about investments, taxes, retirement planning, home purchase, paying for college, buying insurance, etc.
● Medical information pages: webpages that provide advice or information about health, drugs, specific diseases or conditions, mental health, nutrition, etc.
● Legal information pages: webpages that provide legal advice or information on topics such as divorce, child custody, creating a will, becoming a citizen, etc.
● News articles or public/official information pages important for having an informed citizenry: webpages
that include information about local/state/national government processes, policies, people, and laws; disaster response services; government programs and social services; news about important topics such as international events, business, politics, science, and technology; etc. Please use your judgment and knowledge of your locale. Keep in mind that not all news articles are necessarily considered YMYL.
● Other: there are many other topics that you may consider YMYL, such as child adoption, car safety information,etc. Please use your judgment.
We have very high Page Quality rating standards for YMYL pages because low quality YMYL pages could potentially negatively impact users’ happiness, health, financial stability, or safety.
Let us know if you are seeing some traffic swings on your site and we will share our learnings here.