Google Update on the 17th of August 2019

Aug 18, 2019
3 min read
Google Algorithm Update

The SERP tracking tools indicate a relatively modest update is currently rolling out. It is not as large as the previous updates recently rolled out, but the SERP trackers are showing some fluctuation.

Chatter on the SEO forums has also picked up, with some citing holidays and seasonal variation as the cause.

I think it is more than just seasonal variation based on the SERP trackers, as the fluctuations are specific to just a few days.

The SERP Trackers

Let’s take a look at the SERP trackers:

SEMrush Sensor:

The SEMrush Sensor shows a reasonably small increase in volatility on the 18th of August.

SEMrush Sensor 17th of August 2019

Rank Risk Index:

The Rank Risk Index tracker shows an increase in volatility over three days, commencing on the 16th of August.

Rank Ranger Risk Index 17th of August 2019.


The MozCast weather report differs from the other trackers, in that it shows a significant spike in volatility.

Mozcast 17th of August 2019.


The Algoroo report shows higher volatility commencing on the 16th, and peaking on the 18th of August.

Advanced Web Ranking:

Advanced Web Ranking shows a spike in volatility on the 19th of August, although this SERP tracker is typically more volatile than the other trackers.

Advanced Web Ranking 17th of August 2019.


CognitiveSEO SIGNALS shows an increase in volatility on the 17th and 18th of August.

CognitiveSEO SIGNALS 17th of August 2019.


SERPmetrics shows a definite spike in volatility on the 17th and 18th July.

SERPmetrics 17th of August 2019.


Accuranker, like many of the other trackers, shows volatility over three days commencing on the 16th of August.

Accuranker 17th of August 2019

What does the SEO community say?

Let’s take a look at the discussions on WebmasterWorld for this update.

Anyone else in UK seeing yesterday and today being very dead for G Organic. I know yesterday was A level results day but can it have had that much of an effect? Is anything else going on in the UK that I should have thought about? Cricket perhaps :-)(Mark_A)

@Mark_A, can confirm that for germany. Zombies are back, traffic is still at high level. (Martin Ice Web)

yesterday and today I also have had very low levels of traffic, hardly any conversions and very few emails - Im not UK based though and although I get quite a few from the UK my customers base is very much split between US, Europe,UK, Aus/Asia and S America so if something did happen / is happening I would suspect it is not UK specific. (Milchan)

Today I don’t know what happened. But all the traffic is gone including the direct and referral ones. Are you guys facing this too? (seomotionz)

It’s back to school time in the USA, so traffic is all over the map for me. Normally after Labor Day (September 2 this year), all the kids are back in school and traffic patterns become more consistent again. (glakes)

Yes, my traffic drops every year when school is out and increases again as soon as school is in…every year for 17 years (ichthyous)

What to do if this update hits you

The problem with relatively small updates like this is that it can be challenging to understand what it is targeting. The only way to regain traffic lost is to carry out a complete technical and content audit.

There are SEO tools that can help with this. However, it is easy to spend all your time fixing heading lengths and counting the number of times you use a keyword in each article. While technical fixes are essential, I urge you to focus more on the content side.

The best advice I can give you is to read the Google Raters Guidelines in its entirety.

There is some excellent guidance relating to E-A-T and content quality in the guide, and the advice comes straight from Google.