May search drops: Is there a new update?

It’s that time again when everyone in search crawls out of their geek caves to proclaim the onslaught of a Google Algorithm Update – and that’s us included.

We’ve seen some tell-tale signs of an upcoming update, which is pretty reminiscent of the November phantom and January core update drops.

UPDATED RESULTS: 17/05/16

We’re keeping an eye on movements in Google at the moment. Currently, we are seeing much of the same – i.e. drops across category pages, facet search and some unusual drops in finance. We will post more as and when we see more data…

May drops - Google algorithm update - Major Sports retailer drops out of Google

May drops - Google algorithm update - Major UK bank drops out of Google May drops - Google algorithm update - Major UK department store drops out of Google

May drops - Google algorithm update - Major Gift retailer drops out of Google

 

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New update? May 2016: Some suspicious drops

Below are some examples we’ve spotted around the SERPs of volatility and substantial drops. We’ve noticed particular movement within high street e-commerce sites across category pages and facet search, as well as the finance industry – but to a lesser extent.

 

Major fashion retailer: Drops in Google UK: Women’s clothing

Google algorithm update May - Pi Datametrics - Fashion retailer drops out of Google for multiple search terms

We looked at this major UK retailer over the course of the last month. The “Y” axis represents positions 1-100, and the “X” shows daily tracking of each search term.
As we can see, there’s a distinct drop around the 12th and 13th of May across women’s clothing. We’ve taken a closer look at some of the related pages and all appear to be subcategories comprising filtered or faceted search, with an apparent lack of content.

 

Major UK telecom provider: Drops in Google UK: May 2016

Google algorithm update May - Pi Datametrics - Telecom provider drops out of Google for multiple search terms

Again, dramatic drops occurred for this major UK telecom provider around the 12th of May.

 

Major UK comparison site: Drops in Google UK: May 2016

Google algorithm update May - Pi Datametrics - Comparison site drops out of Google for multiple search terms

Google algorithm update May - Pi Datametrics - Fashion retailer drops out of Google for key high value cpc search terms

This major comparison site lost many valuable positions across Google, for search terms with high CPC and competition values, across their site. We had a look at the returning pages linked to these search terms and unusually they delivered landing pages with a good amount of relevant copy, which should mean they perform well…

 

New update? May 2016: Twitter’s response

So, what’s Twitter been saying?

You can almost bet your life on a Googler dismissing an algorithm update following mass Twitter hysteria, and this time was no different as John Mueller reassured us there was nothing to report in search…

 

But, as usual, that didn’t do much to put the breaks on the SEO gossip…

 

 

 

 

New update? May 2016: The search forecasts

Accurankers SEO forecast only confirmed our fears that Google had indeed incurred some sort of update…

Google algorithm update May - Accuranker - SEO Weather Forecast

Meanwhile, on Algoroo, everything seemed pretty calm in the world of SEO…

Google algorithm update May - Algoroo - SEO Weather Forecast

New update? May 2016: What’s the cause?

So far we think that the signs across Google (between May 9th and May 12th) are pointing towards an upcoming algorithm update, with drops in multiple industries acting as a pre-cursor of what’s to come.

We have some evidence to suggest that this may be to do with thin content across subcategory pages but we will revisit this next week to see if the negative performance has righted itself across the sites currently suffering.

 

Have you seen any search drops in May?

All the charts above are taken from our enterprise SEO platform Pi Datametrics, which allows our clients to track the visibility of their search terms and competitors on a daily basis.

Tweet us with your thoughts or insights @PiDatametrics and if you have a feeling you’ve been affected, get in contact via info@pi-datametrics.com – we’d be happy to help!

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