June’s core update and new GMB features: the past month in search

By Jaywing

June saw a great deal of search volatility with Google pre-announcing a broad core algorithm update for the first time. Here’s our round-up of the past month in search:

June 2019 core update

Announced on 2nd June and rolled out between 3rd-8th June 2019, Google’s broad core update, true to its name, impacted multiple sectors and industries.

The Daily Mail made headlines when its SEO Director reported a 50% drop in search traffic, sending SEOs down a rabbit-hole of analysis to determine the cause.

Whether it is E-A-T related, a result of perceived poor user experience or some technical aspect given more weight to rankings, Google’s response remains the same—sometimes, “the actionable advice is that there is nothing, in particular, to ‘fix.’”

June search updates 1

June search updates 2

As for the reason behind pre-announcement (when, previously, confirmations came after reports of fluctuations), it appears Google is trying a more proactive, transparent approach in communications.

That, and they can determine what the update is called before the internet runs away with code names.

Site diversity update

In direct response to concerns over singular domains dominating organic listings in SERPs for certain queries—particularly transactional ones which would benefit from greater competition—Google launched a “site diversity” update on 6th June 2019.

Now, Google will only display up to two listings per domain in its top results.

Some keynotes:

  • Subdomains are treated as the same as their root, unless relevant to do otherwise
  • Not all queries are affected—where appropriate, such as with navigational keywords (e.g. IKEA desk) Google can still display more than two listings for a domain.
  • This update only applies to main search listings, i.e. the blue organic links.

New GMB features

To help businesses “capture their identity,” Google introduced these new features to Google My Business on 20th June 2019.

  • Offers: users can follow a business to reveal special discounts
  • Short names: to help find businesses quicker, these short names are unique and soon searchable in Maps
  • Cover photos & photo displays: taking control over how your business looks
  • Prominent logos: extra branding making listings more recognisable
  • Offline materials: custom assets for further promotions*

Google

If you would like further advice or guidance on any of the updates outlined above, please get in touch.

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Jaywing