By Jonathan Griffin. Editor, SEO Consultant, & Developer.
It seems to be a busy few weeks for Google, with yet another Google Algorithm Update. Volatility started on the 5th of March and continued on the 6th of March, 2019. It is too early to say if the update is ongoing, as the SERP trackers have not yet updated for today.
The SERP Trackers
Let’s take a look at the SERP trackers for the 5th of March, 2019:
The SEMrush Sensor shows “high” volatility on the 5th and 6th of March 2019 in both the US and UK locations.
Rank Risk Index:
The Rank Risk Index tracker shows some relatively modest volatility on the 5th and 6th March. It seems the update settles down on the 7th.
The MozCast weather report shows increased volatility on the 4th and 5th March. It hasn’t yet updated for the 6th.
The Algoroo report shows a small rise in volatility, indicating a much smaller algorithm update than the other trackers.
Chatter in the SEO community indicates a Google Update took place
Let’s take a look at the discussions on WebmasterWorld for this update.
** The 5th of March**
More shuffling going on today in my industry… (glakes)
@glakes - same - lots of flux in Finance in the UK.
Seems to be a continuing trend from the update on the 27th, with further updates on the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 5th.
** The 6th of March**
Slight uptick in referrals from goog. But the number of pages people even looking at is in a gutter on our ecom site (blend27)
Much better day today than it’s been for the past week or so. Traffic seems to have recovered from the drop last week. (Cralamarre)
I am seeing a lot more fluctuations again this morning. Mostly down for us as we had made some gains in the last week or two. Happens every single time though, so I’m not terribly surprised. (lostshootingstar)
I am new to webmasterworld. I really need your help! My rankings are dropped yesterday (5th) (Almost all my web pages). (michaelslack)
Who does the Update Effect?
Looking at the SEMrush Sensor Deviation (from the average volatility) for both the 5th and 6th March 2019:
While it is useful to look at categories, you should bear in mind that Google Algorithm Updates targets types of queries, not categories per se. That being said, John Mueller has said that types of queries and specific categories often go hand-in-hand.
YMYL (Your Money or Your Life) queries are more likely to be affected by E-A-T (queries that require the author to have more Experience, Authority, and Trust). If these YMYL queries are affected, it is indicative (but not conclusive)of an E-A-T related update.
This Google Search Algorithm Update mainly hits Finance, Autos & Vehicles, Law & Government, Sports, and Jobs & Educations. In this case, I cannot be sure whether it is an E-A-T related update, or whether it is merely a content-quality update. The best approach is to review your site with both aspects in mind.
What to do if this update hits you
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.