Google makes a number of changes to its algorithm every year and some have a bigger impact than others. Here is a quick recap of the algorithm changes that have been made in 2019 so far.
Shortly after the holiday period in December and January, a number of website tracking tools started showing ranking changes. There was no confirmed update during this period but something definitely changed.
In March, there was another unknown updated that resulted in some odd fluctuations and changes in organic search results. Again, a number of marketers reported major dips in traffic. Something else that occurred was that there was a significant spike in the search results on the first page, which had more than 10 organic results (apart from Ads). For some reason, in-depth articles found their way onto the first page of the SERP results for both informative and buyer intent keywords, which is very difficult to achieve.
In mid-March, Google confirmed that they would be making another major core update. These core updates are performed several times a year and there’s no real way to tell what changed or which sites are most impacted. As usual, Google advised that any drops didn’t necessarily mean there was anything wrong with a site and there are no particular fixes that need to be performed.
In April of this year, Google picked up on a bug that was dropping pages from the search index. The issue was fixed and most sites were recovered.
In May, another bug was identified. This time, it was preventing content from being indexed correctly. The issue was resolved.
Google preannounced another core update in June but provided very few details. It turned out that any sites that were affected during the March core updated were affected again and reported some heavy losses.
The most recent update that Google made was the site diversity update. The aim was to make sure that sites didn’t have more than two organic listings for any given search terms unless Google deemed it to be of value to searchers. Most marketers have reported that it didn’t have a major impact on search results and traffic.