For the first time ever, Google has pre-announced an upcoming update to its algorithm. In a June 2 tweet, Google’s search liaison Danny Sullivan wrote,
Tomorrow, we are releasing a broad core algorithm update, as we do several times per year. It is called the June 2019 Core Update. Our guidance about such updates remains as we’ve covered before. Please see this tweet for more about that:https://t.co/tmfQkhdjPL
— Google SearchLiaison (@searchliaison) June 2, 2019
Aptly named the “June 2019 Core Update,” Google gets out in front of those yearning to be the first to name the update. See the crudely named Medic and Florida 2 updates.
This announcement is noteworthy for two reasons. It marks the first time Google has pre-announced an algorithm update and Google is actually talking about it.
Google updates its algorithm hundreds of times annually, but significant updates like this are only made a few times a year. In the past, Google has taken quite a bit of pushback from SEOs for even acknowledging that large-scale updates have occurred. It’s refreshing that Google is more transparent this time.
The most notable recent broad core update to Google’s algorithm occurred in early August 2018. It was quickly called the Medic Update due to the perception that the update primarily impacted websites in the medical field.
While the Medic Update impacted the medical field, it also heavily impacted other websites that Google considers Your Money or Your Life (YMYL), which includes legal websites.
More recently, another broad core algorithm update happened around March 12, 2019. Some in the SEO industry speculated this was a rollback of the Medic Update. However, there isn’t much evidence that supports this theory.
There are a number of ways to decipher if your site was affected by the recent update, including:
At Postali, we track all of our clients’ leads in Google Analytics. Anytime someone calls, submits a contact form, or uses the live chat, we can see it in Google Analytics. (Note: we can’t see personal details). If leads have significantly changed, it may be a sign that the update impacted your law firm’s website.
There are a few ways to check if your traffic from Google is up or down. Google Analytics and Google Search Console will give you insight into how Google views your website. Google Search Console shows how your website shows up in Google’s search results, whereas Google Analytics shows what users do once they get to your website. One thing to keep in mind is that Google Search Console data is delayed by a few days.
Seeing organic traffic go up or down for a few days is common, and not necessarily an indication your law firm’s website has been impacted.
It’s very common for keyword rankings to fluctuate. However, seeing large scale fluctuations right after an update is one of the quickest ways to know if your site has been impacted.
Google rolls out core updates in stages. In an October 2018 tweet, Google said, “With any broad core update, the full rollout time might be over the course of a week or longer.” While the update begins on June 3, 2019, your law firm may not know if it’s been impacted for a week or more.
At Postali, we are always keeping an eye on developments within the SEO industry. If the recent Google algorithm update impacted your website, contact us today so we can help your law firm get back on track and start getting more leads. Call us today at (800) 667-3612 to get started.
Dan Foland is the SEO Director at Postali, a marketing agency that helps law firms find new clients. He is also a Google My Business Silver Product Expert, as well as a Local Search Expert at the Local Search Forum.