There were several significant changes in Google’s search engine results in July 2018, including a mid-sized algorithm update. Both the algorithm change and other tweaks to the Google algorithm positively impacted some sites and negatively impacted even more.

Tweaks to the algorithm

Almost every time someone contacts me to diagnose a loss of traffic, the cause is surprising. Many webmasters assume that since their traffic is down, they were hit by an algorithm change. While there were indeed changes in July, and almost every month this year, sites also lose traffic from things such as a new video carousel in search results, a loss of rich snippets, loss of a featured snippet, or even a competitor getting a new featured snippet.

I’ll cover the latest algorithm update below and then the many significant other changes which Google rolled out in July below.

The July 2018 Google Algorithm Update

I personally name Google Algorithm updates by the date. In July there was a nice sized tweak to the algo and I am calling it another tweak to the quality algorithms. In this case, many of the clients I have had no significant changes. I know that is disappointing, especially if you’ve seen my past coverage which can be fairly detailed, especially when it comes to ‘quality’. However, aside from my charts and speculation, I do have a lot to cover below, so bear with me.

The big dates the algorithm was tweaked are:

  • July 20, 2018
  • July 22, 2018
  • July 26, 2018

Here’s a screenshot from RankRankger showing the ‘hot’ dates:

Other changes which are impacting traffic:

  • June 14, 2018 – Google rolled out the new video carousel feature. I will explain why another time, but in a nutshell, if your page displays in the video search result instead of organically, you could experience a significant decrease in inbound traffic.
  • July 1, 2018 – Many websites were switched to mobile-first indexing. The sites which were switched received a notice from Google Search Console which read: Mobile-First Indexing Enabled.
  • July 9, 2018 – The Google Speed Update was released. It didn’t necessarily have any immediate impact on rankings but very slow sites are indeed losing rankings and traffic.
  • Featured Snippets – New Featured Snippets are appearing all the time. A high ranking site can lose traffic to an under-performing site when it obtains the Featured Snippet.

Did you suffer a loss of traffic?

I have been assisting many people troubleshoot thin content, content quality and other quality issues which are negatively impacting website quality. If you experienced an increase or a decrease in traffic please feel free to comment below or contact me directly.


Leave a Reply