Earlier this month, Google deployed the “June 2019 Core Update” (June 3-8 rollout), as well as the “Diversity” update (June 4-6 rollout). As a digital marketing company with SEO services, we pay close attention to how these updates affect client websites and others.
June 2019 Core Update
Our analysis, and that of other search industry leaders, shows that the June 2019 core update had a larger impact, causing serious ranking and visibility changes within the first 24 hours of its release. Sistrix compiled a table of “winners” and “losers” in the first week, and you can see the corresponding changes in visibility index:
The first takeaway is that this core update added to an already tumultuous 2019 for a lot of site owners. It follows a March update, and continues Google’s trend towards higher quality and relevance by:
- Improving SERPs based on E-A-T signals – If you haven’t been paying attention, that refers to sites that exhibit “Expertise”, “Authoritativeness”, and “Trust.”
- “YMYL” – You’ve probably gone down many sketchy rabbit holes searching for info about health concerns, investments, and other topics related to “Your Money, Your Life.” Google is trying to ensure that trusted sites are more likely to rank well than less-qualified sites and bloggers posting on these essential topics.
The “Diversity update” is going to anger a lot of site owners and SEOs who have been able to dominate the SERPs for a specific search query. I’m talking about multiple organic listings going back to the same domain, and extra points for a Google Ad, Shopping, and/or Map Pack listing. You’ll see this a lot less often now, so the positive is that those sites sitting just outside of the top 10 for a key search phrase now have a shot at getting on Page 1.
In conclusion, YOU WILL SEE CHANGES this month. These will start with ranking visibility and should carry over into traffic performance. Fluctuations may translate into increases or losses, no matter what kind of SEO effort you’ve had going in. The primary action that all site owners should consider is going to be centered around content. This doesn’t necessarily mean “more of the same”, even if you though you were doing a good job previously. You must:
- Write the best possible content – Think about visitors to your site and the actions they took to get there. They had a specific query and intent. The query was a keyword or a question that a page on your site was deemed relevant enough to display on. Their intent is somewhere on the spectrum between “I’m curious about…” and “I’m ready to engage/hire/purchase”. In order to rank well, your content has to respond to these search opportunities effectively.
- Strengthen E-A-T – You may not have a PhD or represent a Fortune 500 company, but there are a few smart ways to build E-A-T rating over time. Some of these are:
- Use a byline showing author name, and link to a high-quality bio.
- Build your personal brand as a way to build audience wider presence.
- Fix weak content. Delete it outright or update it to higher standards. You can remove dated material and repurpose the topic into a more strategic set of posts.
- Want a higher Trust rating? Maybe it’s time you encrypt your website with an SSL certificate.
- Moderate comments. Don’t overlook the need for moderation when that content can affect your site’s performance, especially in YMYL segments.
If your site’s performance has taken a nosedive, contact us for a site audit.