On February 7th, Google seems to have rolled out one of the most far reaching updates of the last few years – with the fascinating fact that nobody really knows what exactly Google changed.
If we analyse the changes on a directory level, we can quickly see that, in many cases, only certain parts of a domain are affected:
This would indicate a granular change at the directory level. If we take a look at the last and the following example we can nicely see how some directories profited from this Google update while the others stayed the same:
The best anyone can do is speculate on which factors play into this update. It seems that Google turned many dials, which resulted in changes for many different industries, sectors and domains – both positive and negative. One thing that shows up over and over again is that domains which were affected by other Google Updates in the past – for example, Panda or even Penguin, but also other Unknown Updates (May 2015, July 2017) – are also showing changes in their Visibility, this time around.
Example for Unknown Updates:
Example for Panda Updates:
Example for Penguin Updates:
In the following example we can clearly see that Visibility changes also show up for different country indexes for the same domain (USA, UK, GER, ES):
We see many examples of both winners and losers being from the same industry. Additionally, it does not seem as if Google only targeted one – or a few – specific topics or industries. Worldwide, some of the domains with the most changes are online dictionaries, digital music services, travel portals, news portals, health portals, receipe sites and more, as we can see in the Top100 for the UK.