Revealing The Google March 2019 Core Update Survey Results
About ten days ago we began collecting data from you all around the Google March 2019 core update that touched down on March 12th. We collected over 500 responses and I wanted to share the results with you all.
To be clear, this is just a tiny slice of sites that were impacted by this update. The data is obviously not fully representative of the whole Google index. We also covered a lot of the speculation around the update, shared links to other data providers around this update, covered some myth busting and more.
In summary, the data isn’t as bold in terms of when I named the August 1st update the Medic update. There was a 100% more health sites reporting issues and changes than other categories in this new survey but the data might be skewed because I did email those who took the August 1st survey to take this survey. That being said, even with that, we saw less health related sites, overall, impacted by the update.
Let’s get to the results…
More negatively impacted than positively impacted
Most of those who took our survey reported that they were impacted in a negative way, i.e. their rankings went down. Obviously that makes sense, people who are upset are likely to say so more than those who are happy. Here is the pie chart:
Many saw recoveries but not all.
Despite most of those reporting a negative outcome, when we asked if they saw recoveries from previous core updates, 56% said they say a recovery while 44% said they did not. Here is the pie chart:
What did they do to recover?
If they did see recoveries, what did they do to try to recover from the update? Many said they did absolutely nothing, while others tried a huge array of things. Here were the most popular answers (click to enlarge):
Categories of sites impacted most
Again, a bit skewed towards the health space but 10 points less so than the Medic survey results from August 1st. So I would say overall a similar landscape of sites felt this but it was more broad than that August 1st update. So much so, I wouldn’t even consider naming it as a target towards medical/health related sites. It was more of a mix than before. Here is the chart (click to enlarge):
I personally went through each site submitted and I honestly didn’t see any pattern in terms of only really low quality sites were impacted. Or low quality content, or spammy links or technical SEO issues. I did NOT do deep dives on each of the 500+ sites to run link analysis on each and every one or go through thousands of the pages on each of the sites. I did a quick scan of each site submitted to see quick obvious patterns and did not see anything obvious. Glenn Gabe did that with some of his data – but this survey is not set up in a way to dig deeper into 500+ sites. I didn’t see obvious patterns of issues.
So when Google says core update – yea, I’d recommend the overall guidance of making sites overall better, similar to Glenn’s advice in his post and the advice SEOs and Googlers have given around these core updates.
I am sorry the results were not conclusive on any specific area, even in terms of the category or types of sites hit by category, types of content, links, tactics, etc. But I wanted to share that with you all so you can review this yourself and see if it helps you in any way.