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Recent Changes to Search Algorithms Addressed After Speculation, Traffic and Search Impacts

Google updates their search algorithm on an almost daily basis to improve functionality and results, according to a recent announcement by company spokespeople.

Following SEO reports of significant spikes, dips, and outright drops in search traffic over several weeks, Google’s Search Liaison Danny Sullivan set the record straight in a series of tweets on 11 October, 2018.

Updates Made Daily

Sullivan offered insight and specific about Google’s approach to regular updates.

“Each day, Google usually releases one or more changes designed to improve our results. Most have little noticeable change but help us continue to incrementally improve search,” he tweeted.

These updates don’t have much effect on search results, though. As such, Google does not publicly announce them. Most go by unnoticed by the general public, not to mention SEOs.

There are, significant updates (broad core algorithm updates) that are felt, though. These updates warrant public comments by Google.

September Update Confirmed

Close on the heels of the recent August update, sometimes called the “E-A-T update” or “Medic update,” Google confirmed another major change to their algorithm.

Via Twitter, Sullivan commented, “We also had a further update we can confirm, one that began the week of Sept. 24.”

“Sometimes, we make broad changes to our core algorithm,” tweeted Sullivan. “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.”

Sullivan reiterated that Google implemented two broad core algorithm updates in April and August of 2018, and confirmed that a further update had been introduced on September 24.

Check out our analysis of the August update here.

As with all broad core algorithm updates, Google’s recommendations remain the same:

“We suggest focusing on ensuring you’re offering the best content you can. That’s what our algorithms seek to reward.”

Quality Rater Data Does Not Impact Algorithm

Sullivan also tweeted that “a good starting point is to review our search quality rater guidelines.”

Despite this reference, though, Sullivan went on to clarify that though they’re a good guide and way to get feedback, quality rater data does not affect rankings or algorithms.

“Search raters have no control over how pages rank. Ranker data is not used in our algorithms,” clarified Sullivan.

You can find the full list of Search Quality Rater Guidelines here.