05 Jan Google Has Confirmed Recent Algorithm Updates
Google has confirmed recent algorithm updates, implemented mid-December, which have significantly affected search engine rankings. Google representatives have stated that they have completed some minor improvements that are part of their regular and routine efforts to improve relevancy.
After a closer look, industry experts surmise that the updates are directly related to keyword variations and sites that use doorway pages. Doorways are sites or pages created to rank highly for specific search queries. They are bad for users because they can lead to multiple similar pages in user search results, where each result ends up taking the user to essentially the same destination. They can also lead users to intermediate pages that are not as useful as the final destination.
Search Engine Land recently reached out to a few of the SEO tool vendors that do substantial tracking of ranking modifications to see what their thoughts were on where the updates are targeted and Ilya Onskul, the Product Owner of SEMrush Sensor said, “SEMrush Sensor follows all the changes that occur on Google SERPS in 6 countries for both mobile and desktop separately. On top of the general volatility score per country, Sensor tracks scores for various industries and indicates the change in 15 SERP features and % of HTTPS and AMP.” Onskul continued,” Some industries experience more change than the others on a daily basis (for example, due to higher competitiveness). Thus, Sensor introduced Deviation score that analyses which industries had the biggest volatility spikes in relation to their usual score.” Based on the data analyzed, Onskul said that December is normally a calmer month but they saw something happen around December 14 where they spotted the highest SERP volatility on mobile, with desktop close behind. Another spike was seen around December 19. Most affected categories seemed to be Autos & Vehicles, Law & Government, Reference, Hobbies & Leisure, Science, Jobs & Education, Home & Garden, and Internet & Telecom.
Other industry analysts saw many sites lose visibility related to rankings modifications and the advice is to check your rankings on your website (or have your marketing specialist check this for you) and audit it to see if there have been changes and if there have been, where and why, so that your site can meld to the modifications and stay on top.