Google Confirms Mid-December Algorithm Updates

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Google Confirms Mid-December Algorithm Updates

Google has confirmed that earlier this month  there were updates to their algorithm that have been significantly shifting rankings in SERPs. What the updates seem to be focused on are keyword permutations and websites that are utilizing doorway pages.
 

Keyword Permutations

The websites that got hit by the algorithm update were ones that had many landing pages that are implemented to target many different keyword permutations. For example, say you have a travel website, you would target all the destinations that you service and add landing pages for [destination sub name] + [activity name] as well as adding other thing you would want to target. If you had a service business, you would target [city name] + [service A] and then [city name] + [service B] and so on. If this is something that appears on your website, then you may have been affected by this latest Google update.
 

Mobile & Schema

According to Ilya Onskul, Product Owner of SEMrush Sensor:

“SEMrush Sensor follows all the changes that occur on Google SERPs in 6 countries for both mobile and desktop separately. On top of the general volatility score per country, Sensor tracks scores for various industries and indicates the change in 15 SERP features and % of HTTPS and AMP.”

Onskul mentions that some industries experience changes on a daily basis. Currently there are spikes in volatility in several industries including Hobbies & Leisure, Science, Jobs & Education, Home & Garden and Internet & Telecom. There have also been some major changes on mobile.
 
While it’s difficult to say exactly what is going on, there have definitely been changes in the U.S. as of Dec. 19. A domino effect occurred in several other countries including the UK, Germany, France, Australia, and Spain.
 
Searchmetrics Founder Marcus Tober explains, “…many sites have lost visibility that have no Schema.org integration, but we can’t determine based on such a short time what are the overall systematic changes.”
 
It’s currently a slow week in terms of traffic for many websites, so now is a good time to begin auditing.

Steven Kunevich
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