We heard many rumblings of a Google Algorithm Update in mid December 2019 and now we are seeing the data. It looks like the algorithm update happened on or around December 19th, 2019. Here is a smaller site in which the number of total keywords dropped is quite noticeable
There have been numerous articles about the drop in traffic for Medium.com. The drop in total keywords isn’t as noticeable due to sheer volume, but you can definitely see it on December 19th:
There has been an ongoing discussion on Twitter related to the technical SEO mistakes Medium.com is making. That said, it obviously did not hurt them for the last five years. The experts have this to say:
Medium lost 40% of their SEO visibility 🤯 this is interesting as a few months back I was using @Medium ‘s example to show a massive technical SEO issue with Medium’s (and other website’s) content not being indexed in Google. https://t.co/MnMNfMa6Se :O CC: @TomekRudzki pic.twitter.com/P9aJSDhJKg
— Bartosz Góralewicz (@bart_goralewicz) January 3, 2020
Nice catch. BTW looks like it started to surge after the 11/8 update, then began to crash on 12/19. Maybe a combo of things going on there (tech SEO included), but also looks like a relevance adjustment. It was ranking for some insane head terms (w/articles that shouldn’t.)
— Glenn Gabe (@glenngabe) January 3, 2020
When we dig deeper into the websites that lost traffic; it looks like it is the aftershock of the YMYL algorithm updates from 2018 and 2019. Interestingly, it does not look like most of the websites that saw a drop in traffic with previous YMYL algorithm updates saw a further drop in traffic with the December 19th, 2019 update.
The following is a chart of a medical website that saw a huge drop in traffic and recovered in November 2019 and continued to recovery through the December 19th, 2019 update.
If a website has any type of medical related content, it is going to eventually see a drop in traffic. We have not seen a single website that has been able to avoid it. You can learn more about the Google Algorithm Updates in 2018 and 2019, you can go here.
An interesting observation is that many Australian, UK and International websites are showing up on the front page of Google.com for medical related keywords. It is possible that Google isn’t hitting International websites and they are reaping the rewards of traffic for medical keywords?
Some of the industries and professionals that have been hit the hardest are orthodontics or orthodontists, legal or lawyers, dental or dentists and anything medical. We are seeing more and more personal injury lawyers getting hit; especially those that have medical related pages on their website. If you are a personal injury lawyer that assists those that have been injured due to a head or neck industry and you used to rank for the medical keywords related to that type of injury, you likely do not anymore.
Can You Recover?
Absolutely! If you would like to know more about how you can recover your lost traffic and eventually rank even better, contact us at email@example.com. Ultimately, businesses want more leads or patients from their website. With all the algorithm updates it can be difficult but we have found our clients are getting more leads or patients than ever in 2020.
Here are a few examples of websites that have been hit, recovered or both in the last two years due to the YMYL Google Algorithm Update.