Google says that it rolled out a “smaller” algorithm update late last week after webmasters noticed significant spikes and drops in traffic.
The update appears to have taken effect from Friday 28 September, with the general feedback from those in the know suggesting that it rebalances changes made following the core algorithm update in August. Sites that were hit just over a month ago now appear to be on the road to recovery.
New algorithm updates are never a huge surprise as Google says that it is changing “all the time” to ensure that search results always serve up the most relevant content for end users. Sometimes, the changes can have a bigger impact on site performance, though Google noted that the latest one was on the smaller end of the scale. Larger updates generally only occur several times a year.
“Our core algorithm is updated all the time,” Google’s Danny Sullivan said at the weekend. “For major updates, we’ll continue to share about those on @searchliaison, as we have been. We haven’t had a major update of that nature, but we did have a smaller one this week.”
It is unclear what types of sites have been affected by the latest update, so brands that are still seeing steady traffic should just carry on as normal. For those that have seen a drop, Google says that there is not a quick fix and that focusing on “building great content” is the best method for performing better in SERPs in the long term.