Google Search Update (Algorithm) for August & September 2018

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Google Search Update (Algorithm) for August & September 2018

Google Medic Update - Google Algorithm Update August 2018

Google has had a core update in August 2018, as well as additional Google search updates in early September 2018. This Google update was named the Medic Update, as it impacted many medical websites in regards to rankings and organic traffic. Although it wasn’t targeted at Your Money or Your Life (YMYL), other non-YMYL sites have seen heavy fluctuations in search rankings as well, such as entertainment sites, e-commerce, and gaming sites.  Many of these recent Google updates look to be quality focused which is important to consider when evaluating the reasoning behind why your site has gained or lost organic traffic & rankings on Google. A few areas to review on your site would be content quality, navigation, website backlink profile, desktop and mobile user experience (UX). There may not be one singular issue with the site, but more of a collection of issues that have now become a significant factor after recent Google updates.

Google Algorithm Update Screenshots

Here’s a screenshot of the SEMrush Sensor for July to August, 2018.

google update august 2018

Google SERP Volatility for July 2018 – August 2018 (SEMrush Sensor)

Here’s another screenshot of the SEMrush Sensor looking at September, 2018.

google update september 2018

Google SERP Volatility for the past 30 days, September 2018 – (SEMrush Sensor)

Historically, this level of volatility in Google search results has indicated the rollout of a major algorithm update. If you have seen high fluctuation in ranking and organic search traffic for your website (IE: + or – >20%), then this could be a potential red flag that is worth looking into. A few sites on our radar have had large ranking and traffic changes in organic search, and each of them is a solid performing company in their competitive areas for SEO.

Example Site 1

medic update example 1 website

Traffic decrease after Google algorithm update for August 2018

Example Site 2

medic update example 2 website

Traffic increase after Google algorithm update for August 2018

These are a few areas we have made recent website changes to help alleviate and improve some of these SEO issues:

  • Content Quality
  • Navigation
  • Website Backlink Profile Review
  • Desktop and Mobile User-Experience (UX)
  • Internal Linking (contextual linking)
  • Google Search Console Errors
  • Internal Links Broken
  • Internal Link Redirects

With the recent Google core algorithm update, it’s hard for some teams to make immediate SEO decisions and execute them for continued, positive results. As time goes on: more data can be gathered from Analytics, better conclusions can be drawn, and decisive action can be taken. As September of 2018 comes to a close, make sure your teams review August and September data for your website. Review which pages lost organic search traffic, which keywords were impacted, and where can you improve in the future. Mark the significant data points and take action on improving those areas.

Ty Carson
Ty Carson
Ty has been working with businesses since 2001, helping companies grow their online business with proven digital marketing strategies that deliver positive results.

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