google algorithm update
Google Algorithm Update

Understanding recent Google algorithm updates

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 Recent Google algorithm updates:

So there is an uproar about the updates that Google has introduced in the September 2018 in the webmasters and SEO community over the internet over the past one month. First of all, it is very important to understand that Google keeps on making updates in its algorithm regularly. Most of the changes are rather minor and do not affect the websites drastically with their rankings and traffic. But some changes may cause a massive drop or gain in the same. Let us have a look at the recent Google algorithm updates:


Google Medic Update:

On August 1st, 2018 Google declared one of its major updates called, Google Medic Update. The reason behind the name ‘Medic’ is that most of the sites which were affected by this update were- medical, fitness, health, healthy lifestyle based websites. There were some more websites such as e-commerce, insurance, finance, B2B, entertainment and many other which were affected by the Google Medic Update. We found a considerable fact among those websites that they were selling products related to health and medical sector. 

This is very contradictory to the declaration Google made about this update as they called it broad, global or a core update. However, with affected I do not necessarily mean that a website has suffered a drop in ranking or the traffic. There are many websites which were benefitted with this update. Moz tabulated the lists of 30 winner and 30 loser websites of the Google Medic Update. 

30 winner websites: MOZ

Medic winners-kito
Websites which were benefited the most due to the new Google Medic Update, courtesy- Moz.

30 loser websites: MOZ

As you can see that the changes on the websites are major. Those who were profited with the Google Medic Update must have found themselves with treasures. However, there is an ugly side of the picture as well as not everyone was as lucky as the names mentioned in the list above. Many websites faced a drastic drop in their rankings as well. Let us a look at them as well:


Medic losers kito
Websites which faced a drop the most due to the new Google Medic Update, courtesy- Moz.

This update has certainly caused a massive ripple over the internet. Google has ceased to make a comment on how to fix the rankings and traffic if a website has been affected by this update. However, Google is advising them to improve their website quality and usefulness for the users.

Has the uproar settled after August?

It has absolutely not settled at all. We all know that Google keeps on making daily updates on Google to improve the user experience and usefulness of the website. But we have witnessed some of the massive changes in the algorithm as Google turned 20 this month.

The changes started to make effects on September 27th and as Google’s birthday was on September 27th. Therefore, this update is being called Google Birthday Update over the internet. The initial rumors were that it is the reversal of Google Medic Update. However, it does not seem to be that way as the websites which are harmed this time were not necessarily affected with the Google Medic Update.


What is Google saying about this new update?

Google is suggesting is that this new update is a ‘Small’ update and is a regular one but it does not seem to be that way at all, as for now at least. Here is what Google’s Danny Sullivan says on the matter, 

Danny Sullivan's tweet on the recent Google algorithm update.
Danny Sullivan’s tweet on the recent Google algorithm update.

Now the reason why Google is calling it a small change is because that the number of websites which were affected with this update is very low as compared to their previous major updates. However, for a website which has lost as much as 40% of its traffic because of this update can not call it a small change at all.

Glenn Gabe, a digital marketing consultant tweeted this on September 30th
Glenn Gabe’s tweet about recent Google update.

Glenn Gabe, a digital marketing consultant tweeted this on September 30th along with three graphs which shows the effect of the recent Google update is not so ‘Small’ after all. There are many tweets and posts around the internet about a drastic drop or rise due to the recent update.

However, not every website has been affected by this updates and some of the changes are not even that drastic at all. Here are some of the automatic tracking tools and you can see that not all shows a drastic change-

Serp Metrics 

Serp Metrics



Advanced Web Ranking:

advanced web rankings





rank ranger



So we can see that the changes that Google has made in its algorithm may not be drastic after all. However, many websites have faced extreme drop or gain from the changes. Google’s John Mueller said on a Reddit thread:

“Things change, that’s kinda normal on an ecosystem as dynamic as the web. There’s no meta-tag or HTML tag that will prevent change, and change isn’t a sign that your site is bad. One idea might be to work on limiting your dependencies on a single source of traffic, work on turning first-time users into repeat-users, so that as you grow traffic through one source, you also grow the regularly revisiting traffic – which is more independent of the initial traffic source.”


So what we can conclude from the whole situation that Google has indeed made some changes. These changes, as Google says, are done in order to improve the site and to make it more useful and relevant for the users. Here is what Glenn Gabe says about the fluctuations when he was asked about it, 


This is why Google officials are keeping on saying that if your website has faced a sharp drop due to these changes then it does not mean that your website has a low or poor quality. However, you should focus on improving the relevance, usefulness and user experience of your website. So what do you think about recent Google algorithm updates? Let us know in the comment section. 

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