From a data standpoint, I have access to a number of sites that saw movement on 5/17, and I’ve also had a number of companies reach out to me after seeing drops or gains starting on the 17th. Below, I’ll describe what I’ve uncovered during my research, provide some interesting cases, along with some observations about how Google is rolling out quality updates.
I’ll also cover what you can do now if you have been impacted (which shouldn’t be a surprise if you’ve read my previous posts about major core updates focused on quality).
After reading about updates like this, they decided to change how sponsored links were handled across the site, and refined how advertising was displayed in general (although it doesn’t appear that their ads were overly aggressive from a UX standpoint.) Then they waited…
We’ve seen our fair share of major core ranking updates this year with an update in early January, then the February 7 update, then Fred on March 7, and then more movement in late April and early May.
And just a few weeks from the last update, we witnessed another big core update that rolled out on May 17, 2017.
I can’t cover everything I’ve seen or this post would be fifty pages long.
So I’ve surfaced some of the more intriguing examples.
That includes c-level executives, monetization teams, marketing teams, and content teams.
So read the Quality Rater Guidelines, share the pdf with everyone on your team, have meetings to cover the guidelines, and internalize what Google deems low versus high quality.
Every year I present to eighth graders at a local school about SEO, digital marketing, Google, etc.
And every year I ask them if they’ve experienced any sites where it’s hard to find the content (due to ads, popups, and other aggressive monetization tactics).
Well, this year they all raised their hands and groaned in agreement at the same time. And Google is trying to make them (and others like them) happy.
So if eighth graders know the difference between what’s acceptable usability-wise, shouldn’t we all?
Since Phantom 2 in May of 2015, I’ve been saying, “hell hath no fury like a user scorned”. For example, check out this page on a site that was negatively impacted by the 5/17 update: And on the flip side, there are sites that surged during the update that have been working hard to enhance the user experience, cut down on aggressive advertising, and boost content quality.