SEO expert Barry Schwartz released a video this morning stating that he sees “lots of signals” that the recent October 16 Google algorithm update was a “big one.” Barry also talked about a Webmaster Hangout this morning with Google’s John Mueller and a popular site owner who lost 60 percent of his traffic overnight. John and his team actually looked into this one in detail but offered no advice except to keep improving the site.
Barry Schwartz on the Google October 16 algorithm update:
Although Google won’t confirm it yet, I asked them, there seems to be a Google search algorithm update on October 16th and it looks like a big one. We have lots of signals from both the SEO community as well as the different tracking tools that there was some sort of big algorithm update. It probably was related to tweaking what they have done over the last couple of months.
John Mueller said that all Google updates impact every single website in the Google index. Obviously, if your site didn’t see an impact, it was still impacted by the algorithm but just had zero impact change. It’s not like specific sites were impacted, it’s just the overall algorithm.
This morning, John Mueller did a Hangout which he does weekly (roughly) and a guy came in who runs a popular website that lost 60 percent of his organic traffic. He came to John before and John asked for detailed examples which he gave him.
The interesting thing about this is that John actually explained that he went to the Google engineer team, went over the examples with them, and came back with the answer that the algorithm is working as expected, things change over time, and to keep making your website better.
Of course, understanding and seeing somebody whose traffic dropped and who also has payroll because he has a big staff is a big impact on a website and a business owner. Listening to that conversation, to John and the site owner who lost half of his business or more because of the Google algorithm is somewhat heartbreaking.
Hopefully, he will be able to figure out what to do. John’s not giving any specific advice outside of just make your site better, read the quality rating guidelines and look for things there.