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June 26, 2019

How to respond to Google's June 2019 core algorithm update

Written by Billy Adams

On June 2, Google announced they were rolling out an algorithm update. Titled the June 2019 Core Update, roll-out wrapped up on June 8, and the team here at Investis Digital has been keeping close track of what Google is saying about it — as well as how our own clients have been affected.

What is Google saying about the June 2019 algorithm update?

Google SearchLiaison Tweet

Within this announcement, it is widely speculated they referenced a 2018 tweet in which they discussed how to handle future algorithm updates:

Google SearchLiaison

In that 2018 tweet, Google went on to say, “Sometimes, we make broad changes to our core algorithm. We inform about those because the actionable advice is that there is nothing in particular to “fix,” and we don’t want content owners to mistakenly try to change things that aren’t issues....”

Wait a minute— there’s nothing to “fix?”

In the case of the most recent core update, Google senior webmaster trends analyst John Mueller intimated that there may not be — but our data found differently. 

Mueller expands on the ‘nothing to fix’ comment

Mueller addresses the point further in a June 14 Webmaster Hangout. Here’s what he said regarding these statements:

“I think it’s a bit tricky, because we’re not focusing on something very specific where we’d say, for example, when we rolled out the speed update. That was something where we could talk about specifically, this is how we’re using mobile speed and this is how it affects your website, therefore you should focus on speed as well.

“With a lot of relevance updates, a lot of the kind of quality updates, the core updates that we make, there is no specific thing where we’d be able to say, you did this and you should have done that, and therefore we’re showing things differently.

So what’s driving this update? In Mueller’s words, “Sometimes, the web just evolved. Sometimes, what users expect evolves and similarly, sometimes our algorithms are, the way that we try to determine relevance, they evolve as well.”

In other words, it appears that the recent core update is more about users and the web changing and evolving, and Google keeping up with that. 

Advice from Google regarding the June 2019 Core Update

Build and maintain a high-quality site

Mueller recommends reading this 2011 blog post from Amit Singhal, a former Google senior vice president. “What we do have is an older blog post from Amit Singhal, which covers a lot of questions that you can ask yourself, about the quality of your website,” Mueller says. “That’s something I always recommend going through.”

Get a third-party critique

Mueller suggests asking those who’ve “seen a lot of websites” but who are not associated with yours to provide feedback on your site. He says:

“As a site owner, you have an intimate relationship with your website — you know exactly that it’s perfect. But someone who is not associated with your website might look at [it] and... say, well, I don’t know if I could really trust your website, because it looks outdated or because I don’t know who these people are who are writing about things… I don’t know if this is as relevant as it used to be. Get people who are un-associated with your website to give you feedback on that…” 

Soliciting feedback on your site from people in web communities is a great idea. You may know your site so intimately that it’s preventing you from spotting problems with it.

More guidance may be on its way

Mueller wrapped up by saying that the powers at Google may put out additional guidance for webmasters. “I know a lot people have been asking for more advice, more specific advice, so maybe there’s something that we can put together,” he says. “We’ll see what we can do internally to put out a newer version of a blog post or kind of provide some more general information about some of the changes we’ve been thinking about there.”

What is Investis Digital seeing as a result of the broad core algorithm update?

In the medical industry

One area in which our clients have experienced significant keyword movement as a result of this update is the medical industry. For this industry, our data shows Google is now favoring websites that focus less on transactional content and more on informational content that is written by authors who are professionals in their respective fields.

Chris Humphrey, SEO strategist at Investis Digital, has seen this trend across multiple clients he manages over the past month:

"Early data is indicating that there may be benefits of linking to practitioners that are "medically reviewing" content. These internal links can be a trust signal to search engine bots, as the practitioner pages typically highlight both academic and professional experience. These pages are also helpful to any users that would like to validate or learn more about the authors" 

WebMD.com, Healthline.com and EverydayHealth.com are all examples of medical websites that produce long-form, useful content that is bylined by medical professionals, and the data shows they have all been rewarded by this most recent update after initial drops with the March 2019 Core Update.

Domain

May Pg. 1 Keywords

June Pg. 1 Keywords

Growth

WebMD.com

3,492,693

3,788,543

8.5%

Healthline.com

2,179,491

2,731,305

25.3%

EverydayHealth.com

249,317

376,279

50.9%

 

WebMD.com


Healthline.com

   

EverydayHealth.com

In online education

Our team also identified positive trends with clients in the online education industry.

Lead aggregation sites that once owned the SERP for many of the following terms are now being overtaken by educational institutions that have more credibility and authority.

In online education

For content that has seen significant ranking improvements, these are the factors that our team has identified as having a positive impact:

  1. Content meets a searcher's intent
  2. Content is in-depth
  3. Optimized metadata
  4. Useful internal links
  5. Quality, relevant backlinks from authoritative websites

Advice from Investis Digital regarding the June 2019 Core Update

Pay close attention to EAT and YMYL

Most of what we are seeing across all our clients is that EAT and YMYL are having an impact in multiple industries. It is important to note that these are terms that Google created and are likely aiming to improve the overall algorithm with taking those factors into consideration. We highly recommend having content written and/or approved by industry professionals to better cater to these new guidelines.

E.A.T. and Y.M.Y.L.

Listen to Google

Follow Mueller’s two pieces of advice regarding the most recent update. While Google doesn’t always give specific, actionable advice, these are two areas that we believe will help site owners improve their organic presence.

Read and understand the Amit Singhal post. While this post is now eight years old, John Mueller pointed back to it for specific reasons, and we believe that it contains questions that all site owners should take into consideration. Again, here’s the post: More guidance on building high-quality sites.

Get a third party to review your website. If you are having trouble pinpointing the issue for a drop in organic visibility on your website, seek out opinions from someone who isn’t currently affiliated with your website. Sometimes having a third party, such as a digital marketing agency, can be great for identifying website improvements.

Create useful content

If we can offer a single piece of advice, it is to focus on creating the very best content on all relevant subjects in your industry. Every piece of content should:

  • Have a clear purpose
  • Provide value to the reader 
  • Meet the searcher’s intent

We recommend starting with a digital marketing strategy to determine which types of content provide the most value to your audience.

Meet the challenges of the June 2019 Core Update with Investis Digital

Investis Digital has a talented team of experts with specialties in technical SEO, link development, content creation and much more. We’re here to help get your website’s organic visibility back to where it needs to be. Contact us today to get started.

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