Now that the drama over “it must be Penguin!” and “it must be Panda!” has died down, we are finally hearing some more specifics about what people are seeing in regards to the recent core search results fluctuations that have been going on for just over a week.
There were definitely signs that these changes were quality related in someway. But one analysis seems to be pointing to the fact that is is related to brand keywords and how websites that are NOT the brand are ranked for them.
Bartosz Góralewicz has a look at not just the winners and losers – something that is easy to discover – but also what those winners and losers have in common. And the one common denominator seems to be that the keywords gained and lost by the winners and losers are mostly brand keyword specific.
However, this isn’t just a case of “brands ranking higher for their keywords and other sites not ranking for those brand keywords as well.” Interestingly, some of these websites increased some brand keyword terms while dropping in others.
He also notes that there wasn’t a seemingly overall downranking of any of these particular sites. Looking the WashingtonPost.com example, while their visibility dropped, namely due to the power of brand related keywords, they actually gained more organic keywords overall.
So this shows that even though some sites lose some of the big search keywords, overall they have significantly more keywords than previously. But obviously, how this translates into actual traffic remains to be seen.
SEMRush shows a tiny drop in traffic, but nothing significant.
There isn’t quite a full week’s of data yet, and there is definitely some fluctuations continuing, which could either be this core update being tweaked, or Google could be tweaking something else too, to keep us all on our toes. But I am sure SEOs will have a closer look at some of these brand keyword changes and seeing what else can be found on likely reasons why these brand keyword rankings changed so much.
For his full analysis, with many specific examples, you can find it here.
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