What’s this about a Google Update on 17th May?

This is an extract from The Week In Search SEO Update for w/e 19th May 2017.

There have been rumours of a Google Update since May 17th, as the SERPs tracking tools have gone a bit haywire. Google is staying silent.

#SEO, #GoogleUpdates #OrganicSERPs

Rumours of a Google Update


  • Most of the major tracking tools reported volatile shifts in the Google SERPs mid last week, as can be seen in the MozCast Weather Report.
  • Google (obviously) ignored all thoughts of there being an update to the algorithm.
  • Some sites reported, or showed, significant traffic and visibility drops or wins.
  • There is very little substantiated fact about this rumoured update.

TWIS 19 May 2017 Rumoured Google Update

How to check for a Google Update:

  1. As with every update, check your rankings, check your visibility, check your traffic, and check your conversions.
  2. If not affected, carry on as normal, but pay attention to what may have caused this.
  3. If affected, start to identify if if affects certain terms, pages, or if it is wholesale.
  4. Once pages or terms are isolated, start to identify the reasons for those shifts, especially if you have been over-concentrating on one particular SEO element.
  5. Generally, optimise everything equally and reasonably well, but don’t overoptimise anything, if at all possible – use our Basic SEO Guide to help.
  6. Contact me to discuss this or for help with implementation.

Google Update Discussion:

It seems like *something* happened last week, but no one is quite sure what. There was likely an update to a portion of the algorithm or a correction/adjustment to a small part. This is why the rankings were volatile, but only a few sites appear to have been affected.

Naturally, webmasters operate on suspicion and rumours – even confirmed Google updates often still leave a lingering thought of “what happened there.”

Usually, Google will ignore update rumours until it announces there may have been an update, but they “update the algorithm over 500 times a year,” so it is business as usual.

More info:

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