Analyzing Google Halloween Algorithm Update 2018!
If you’ve been working hard on growing your website traffic, algorithm updates from Google can sometimes, feel like a big shock. On the morning of November 1st, 2018, SEO experts and digital marketers started seeing a change in the behavior of Google’s search engine. In a little while, Webmaster World was abuzz with numerous SEO professionals and digital marketing experts. Many were claiming that the change in the behavior is indeed due to an algorithm update by Google. This update was called as the Google Halloween update since it started rolling out on Halloween and continued for the whole week.
Google Algorithm Updates:
You might be intrigued to know that Google updates its search engine quite regularly to improve the user experience. In fact, these updates are done on a daily basis, and they seldom affect the ranking of the websites. However, Google sometimes rolls out algorithm updates that are aimed to focus on a specific niche that can affect the rankings of various websites. These updates are known as Broad Core Algorithm updates, and they are rolled out once or twice a year.
Earlier this August, Google rolled out a major Broad Core Algorithm Update, which was popularly called as the Google Medic update by people. The Medic update targeted the health care websites, medical websites, and the YMYL (Your Money Your Life) websites. This caused a huge stir among SEO experts and website owners as many websites were badly hit by the update. The update caused many websites to lose their search engine rankings as well.
Also, there were reports of another algorithm update from Google on its birthday. Google celebrated its 20th birthday on 27th September and on the same day, people started reporting about an update. Since, the update rolled out during its anniversary, it led to being called as the Google Birthday Update. It was not a big update that came with major changes. Instead, it was a small update that didn’t affect as many websites as it did during the previous Medic Update. However, it did affect few YMYL websites to recover from the medic update. Because of this, SEO professionals also called referred it as the reversal of Google medic update.
Google Halloween Algorithm Update 2018
Unlike the Medic update, where Google officially accepted the rolling out of the update, there is no official statement from the search engine giant to confirm whether there has indeed been an update. This has sent many experts into a frenzy since they have noticed the signs of an algorithm update. This has been backed by various analytical tools, like SERPMetrics, Advanced Web Rankings, Mozcast, Algoroo, and SEMRush that confirm a major algorithm update from Google.
According to these tools, Google rolled out the Halloween update on November 1, 2018. And it can be traced by looking at the screenshots of the metrics perceived on these tools.
Advanced Web Ranking:
To get a thorough understanding of SEO tools, check out this list on 18 SEO tools.
Who has been hit by the Google Halloween Algorithm Update?
There are numerous discussions about the algorithm update across various platforms. But, there isn’t any specific mention of any niche the update might have targeted. It’s being reported widely that the Halloween update has primarily targeted websites that leverage black-hat SEO techniques, like click-baits to redirect the users to other sales pages.
As you might know, it’s that time of the year where Black Friday and Cyber Monday are just around the corner. This is the ideal time for many e-commerce websites to use black hat SEO techniques, like click-baits to bait users to visit their website and redirect them to the sales pages. It’s believed that the Google Halloween update targets these websites by bringing their rankings down in the search pages.
Is the Halloween update the reversal of Medic update?
You might come across various forums in which people are arguing over the fact that whether the Halloween update is the reversal of the Medic update. In most places, it’s seen that people are generally divided in their opinion; some think it is, while others think it isn’t. Also, there is some evidence that websites that were targeted by the Medic update had also been hit by the Halloween update. So, there is no concrete evidence that could prove the Halloween update is the reversal of the Medic update.
While there is much gossip about Google’s latest Halloween update, especially on various forums, it seems to be a smaller update.Unlike during the medic update, there is no official statement from Google regarding this update. Also, there are no drastic changes in the behavior of the search engine.
However, as per the reports of various SEO experts, some websites have been hit badly by the update, which has caused confusion among the website owners. So, it can be said that the Halloween update wasn’t a core algorithm update. Instead, it was a smaller update that had an impact on some of the websites.
This post has been written on eSocMedia by our guest blogger, Jafar Sadhik.