As we near the halfway point of 2019, I thought it would be a good idea to talk about SEO in 2019.
Since the beginning of the year, there have been quite a few changes to the landscape of SEO that I think are worth talking about. So let’s kick it off with one of the biggest events to occur so far.
Google’s Indexing Bug
Over the last 20 years, Google has become the go-to search engine for a multitude of reasons. They constantly innovate their own technologies to make search results as relevant as possible, they help share small insights to marketers that help improve how SEO as an industry works, and possibly most importantly, they have been pretty reliable to both webmasters and searchers, with very few bugs.
Which is why it came as a huge surprise this April when it was revealed that Google suffered a deindexing bug.
This bug caused some websites to have issues whereby pages began to become deindexed in the search engine. As you can imagine, this caused a huge shake-up to the world of SEO.
Some websites lost rankings overnight for seemingly no reason, other websites benefitted from this and went up in the rankings.
While it is believed that around 4% of Google was affected by this bug, it is near enough impossible to know if your website was affected without doing some digging around and checking the number of your pages indexed.
Google has said that the issue is now fixed, but at what cost? How much effect did the bug actually have on websites? Have the affected websites managed to recover to their rankings to a similar position before?
Google announces core update June 2019
For what is most likely the first time in history, Google announced that they would be launching a core algorithm update on June 3rd, with the update itself launched on June 4th.
While they didn’t give much away in terms of what the update would involve, it did mark the first time that Google gave prior notification of an upcoming update.
Could this be a change in the way that Google communicates with its SEO community?
The announcement itself garnered a lot of attention in the SEO world, but with little known about what the update will involve, there isn’t much that can be said about it for the time being.
It remains to be seen if Google will repeat this process with any future updates and also if any more information will be given away if they do continue.
The Medic Update Reversal?
The medic update was one of the biggest updates to take place in 2018 and caused quite a stir in the community.
Aptly named due to its effect on websites within the healthcare sector, the medic update actually targeted websites that fall into the YMYL (Your Money Your Life) category. A website falls into this category if it is believed that the content within the website can involve any topics that could affect your money or your life. This can include medical websites, money advice websites and shopping/financial transactions pages, to name a few.
After a lot of websites within these categories suffered major search ranking losses towards the end of last year, Google seemingly released an update that reversed some of these changes.
Released in March 2019, Google named the update “March 2019 Core Update.”
While there are mixed messages about how this affected individual websites, we actually saw from some of our own clients that this update helped boost rankings within the YMYL sector.
I would just like to point out, however, that we did also make updates to these websites after the initial medic update, in line with the updated Google quality rater guidelines.
If you believe that your website fell victim to any of these updates and you haven’t yet recovered, our advice would be to look into the E-A-T score guidelines and also to get in touch with our team to discuss how we can help you.
Link Building As A Whole
Link building has always been a hot talking point in SEO, so much so that we recently wrote a blog article on the future of link building.
For this reason, we aren’t going to go into huge detail on this section of the post, as you can read throughout the previous post to find out more on our opinions.
It does seem, however, that link building is now beginning to cause a bigger divide in the SEO community than previously before.
While there have always been some people against link building or people who doubt it’s effectiveness, generally, most SEO’s have believed that it plays a hugely important role in rankings.
Recently, however, more and more SEO’s seem to be coming to the opinion that link building is becoming increasingly less important. Which is something that we agree with here at Circulate.
It’s most definitely worth pointing out though, that all websites are treated on a near individual basis by search engines and, as such, no two strategies will work the same for every website.
Updates To The SERPs
Google are constantly running tests on how they display search results, and rightly so. We won’t go into detail on every test they ran this year so far but there are definitely a few tests that we think are more interesting.
Google have recently rolled out an update to the appearance of SERP results. They have released a new favicon for Ads that are displayed, now showing a black ad icon next to these, while also including each website’s favicon next to their search results.
We find this particular test very intriguing, in regards to the organic side of things, due to the potential impact it will have on CTR’s.
We believe that by displaying these favicons next to search results, websites that have more interesting and eye-catching icons may see an increase in their CTR’s. This is due to people taking more interest in the icon they see and clicking the results based on that, as opposed to some of the other elements in the SERPs. This also correlates with certain CTRO tests we’ve run for clients in the past that signify this update may cause this.
So there you have it, our top picks on what has happened in SEO so far in 2019. We believe that there will be a few more major updates to SEO throughout the remainder of the year and we’re excited to see what happens.