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Google: Most Algorithm Updates Have Incremental Changes to Previous Updates

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Google: Most Algorithm Updates Have Incremental Changes to Previous Updates

Google’s John Mueller was recently asked about the March core algorithm update and whether it softened the impact of previous updates.

Many sites that saw a decline in rankings after algorithm updates from last year are seeing positive changes after this month’s core update.

In fact, the data shows that the vast majority of “winners” of this month’s update were “losers” of previous updates.

Is the March core algorithm update actually just a rollback?

The question:

A question was submitted to Mueller during today’s webmaster hangout asking about the relation between the March core update and previous updates.

“With the March 12th core algorithm update there were many sites that saw positive movement that dropped heavily during the previous update.

Was there a softening with whatever rolled out in August?”

The answer:

With each update, Google makes incremental changes to things that were done in previous updates.

Mueller couldn’t speak to the August 2018 core update specifically, but it’s possible that Google made some adjustments.

Google does its best to improve things but sometimes algorithm updates can go too far in one way and not far enough in others.

When Google recognizes those imbalances it will make the necessary tweaks when the next update is rolled out.

It’s not as though Google will change something and keep it that way regardless of the outcome.

Mueller says it’s normal for an algorithm update to build on the changes made by a previous update.

Hear the full question and answer below, starting at the 20-minute mark:

“I don’t know how this would relate to the updates in August.

I mean, in general, when we make algorithm updates, we do try to work with one state and work towards a new state.

And sometimes we improve things where we recognize maybe the algorithm went a little bit too far and sometimes we improve things where we recognize the algorithm didn’t go far enough.

So these kind of incremental changes I think are completely normal with algorithm updates in general.”

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Matt Southern

Lead News Writer at Search Engine Journal

Matt Southern has been the lead news writer at Search Engine Journal since 2013. With a degree in communications, Matt ... [Read full bio]

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