A detailed look at the early impact from the latest Google core update.


The Google September 2019 core update should be just about done rolling out by now, and we wanted to share some early analysis on this latest update. We have data from a number of SEO tool providers, community reaction and Google’s advice on this update.

What is a Google core update? A Google core update is when Google adjusts its core search ranking algorithm with the goal of returning more relevant and useful search results to the searcher. Google does these updates every quarter or so, and for the past few updates, Google has confirmed them.

Rankings change. With any Google update, a core update, quality update or even some user interface updates, the search results change. Some result in sites ranking higher for their prime keywords, others may see a drop in their positions, while others may see no change. Also, click-through rates may be impacted by updates, and you may notice more or less traffic after any of these updates. Google made over 3,200 changes last year alone, but core search algorithm changes happen only several times per year, with big core updates happening around once a quarter.

Data on the Sept. 2019 Core Update. We have data from various SEO toolset providers. In aggregate, the data show that this September update was not as strong or impactful as the June core update, which we had data on as well. Overall, the September core update appears to have had a stronger impact on the YMYL, your money – your life, category.

RankRanger: Let’s start with RankRanger, where the company told us: “as is typical with these core update, the Health and Finance niches took the brunt of it.”

“The volatility of increases seen at positions 1 – 3 during the June update were substantially higher than what I saw with this [September] update,” the company added.

Here is a chart showing the volatility by sector:



Here is a chart comparing June to September core updates:

Sistrix: Next, here is Sistrix.com which published data around this update Friday morning. The company told us its “initial impressions are that medical, media and travel domains are included (from a global perspective.)”

“In the USA there are some clear winners. As for losers, there are no significant examples to share at this time,” it added. Looking at the data, the September core update shows less of an impact compared to the June core update.

The DailyMail, which got hit hard in the June core update, saw a nice recovery, according to Sistrix:

Other winners, according to Sistrix, were biologydictionary.net, autoguide.com and additioncenter.com. Those are currently the four biggest winners of this update according to its data.

SEMRush: Finally, SEMRush told us, “at the moment SEMrush Sensor shows the average level of volatility for September 25, 2019, the overall level of volatility is 4.7.”

“Volatility in some categories is higher, e.g. News and Sports, but these categories are likely to have higher changes throughout the day,” the company added. The company said it did not see a strong pattern for winners and losers with this update.

Here is the volatility broken down by category or section, notice news, sports and arts/entertainment were the most impacted. But that isn’t uncommon, as SEMRush said above:

The biggest winners, according to SEMRush, were the DailyMail, eBackPage.com, lasd.org and marionschool.net. The biggest losers were TheFourMusic.com, Monks.org, BraidingClub.com, PascoLibraries.org and RoyalCaribbean.com.au.