There has been a lot of talk of Google algorithm updates over the past week. Speculation continues to determine the root cause of these ranking fluctuations. Is this side-effect of Fred? Or is this something different?

We have noticed some fluctuation in rankings. Other ranking tools have as well. There are theories these changes are caused by impact to featured snippet listings, however, this drop has been inconsistent. seoClarity hasn't noticed any major drop in featured snippet rankings based on the sites we reviewed.

Looking at the Data

At a deeper view, seoClarity researched keyword rankings across a variety of verticals. Here are some interesting insights.

  1. Category ranking movements
    • Retail: avg. 3 positions down
    • Finance: avg. 1 position down
    • Travel: avg. 2 positions up
    • Automotive: avg. 4 positions down
    • Coupon / Discount: avg. 2 positions up
  2. Most significant drops occur with keywords ranking page 3 and beyond on Google.This should not impact traffic as most organic traffic occurs with listings on page 1
  3. Based on the customer journey, most significant drops occurred with terms in the awareness and consideration stages.

Taking Next Steps

This could be a way for Google to filter-out non-relevant pages within the rankings to allow more appropriate sites to gain proper visibility.

If your site noticed an impact by these recent fluctuations, consider reviewing your site content for relevancy and address any outstanding technical issues. If you are driving paid traffic to these pages, your quality score should improve as you make overall content and technical improvements.