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How Much Does a Core Update Affect Web Traffic?

Every SEO specialist, SEO company and digital marketer already knows about core updates that kicked off twice in the middle of last year. Danny Sullivan from Google had just confirmed to Search Engine Land’s editor. The June Google core update already took effect.

Two Google Updates in June 

In June 2019, Google rolled out two updates – a core update and a diversity update – that overlapped with one another. The core update began June 3 and ended on June 8. The diversity update was carried out between June 4 and 6.

The updates took several days to complete because Google had to replicate these algorithm changes on various servers and data centres around the world. The core update is relatively quick, unlike previous updates that took weeks, months or years to completely roll out (i.e. mobile-first index).

How Serious were the June Updates?

It may be too soon to conclude but to say that the updates were run-of-the-mill and did not affect site rankings would be incorrect. Popular publications in the United Kingdom and the United States - Daily Mail and CCN respectively – lost a great chunk of web traffic and SERP rankings. The updates apparently hit them hard.

More data may be needed to see just how much the updates have affected websites. Search Engine Land promised to supply fresh data in the coming days. Note that this article only provides a slight glimpse of the new Google indexing system. Moreover, what you read here does not offer any conclusive statement with regard to the updates.

Google is silent about their recent activities. In their previous algorithm updates, they always informed the public about what really went on. The core updates are “noticeable” so the tech giant may want users “to figure it out themselves.”

Why is this News Important?

Every time Google updates their algorithms, there are changes to your traffic and analytics data. By keeping up with Google updates – whether core or minor – you can monitor your traffic. You also get to see how many clicks you gained or lost.

If you are an SEO company handling several business sites, you would be able to explain to your clients why there were traffic losses. Through timestamps, you can pin-point possible causes of traffic fluctuations. These caused could be in the form of algorithm updates, internal glitches or external factors. They may have nothing to do with Google.

These overlapping updates can be difficult to digest at times. Only experienced SEO specialists are able to identify which update affects what aspect of their optimisation campaigns at a specific time frame.

Photo credits: Unsplash 


Arthur Choi

Arthur Choi

SEO Strategist

70% technical SEO, 30% offsite optimisation. Loves to strategise and build organic SEO campaigns for plumbers, excavators and e-commerce clients.

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