Woo. March sure was fun for a lot of SEOs.
With Googles March 2019 core update the landscape of search engine optimization changed once again.
Those who got ahead of the curve by going mobile first, increasing site speed, and focusing on high-quality links probably loved March. We know our clients sure have.
Overall visibility has gone up and impressions keep growing on high-value keywords across the board.
But what exactly was the update all about? And why did organic search traffic increase?
Must Be A Google Core Update!
However, It wasn't all smiles, many webmasters reported huge drops in traffic.
My thoughts? Shitty link building tactics have come to bite and burn them once again.
March 2019 Search Update Analysis.
We scout many resources when any update occurs by using all of our tools and reviewing dozens of personal and client website analytics.
Official Rollout Date: March 12th, 2019
Google Official Update Name: March 2019 Core Update
After reviewing a TON of data we have found several similarities that suggest what the update was all about. Just keep in mind that no one truly knows the exact details of the updates but google. SEOs have to derive insight from sources anytime and update happens and test new strategies to confirm.
Does the change hit entire websites or single pages?
Our client's had rank changes occur across their entire sites. Some good some bad but more traffic either way.
After reviewing the analytics I believe the change hits the entire domain.
- Rank Brain / Topical Relevance shows little to no interpretation change.
- March Update seems to be related to the medic update.
- Over optimization was present across all sites showing a drop during August update. However, domains with a decrease in March showed both to be over optimized and not over optimized.
- User Experience: sites with excellent UX seem to be the survivors. With direct relation to higher ctrs and low bounce rates on ranking increases.
- Some sites with over optimization & on-site issues still show rank increases when quality user experience is shown in analytics.
- Stop Stuffing Sites With Ads: sites showing decreases all contained a high amount of in content ads. A few ads were fine but serving ads from multiple networks seems to be a factor. This aligns with the poor UX thought.
- Commercial pages masquerading as info pages were hit and noticed rank decreases. Time to stop trying to trick people copywriters!
- Shit content created for the sake of content is NO BUENO. Some sites that saw decreases were able to recover by removing shitty content written for machines rather than humans.
- Sites with government links prevalent on rank increases.
- Exact match keyword driven pages less relevant. Sites focusing on quality content have shown increases.
- Load Times: once again sites with increases load faster and more consistently than sites with decreases.
Closing Thoughts On March Update
Quality of a sites content and beautiful user experiences continue to be a focus. Which makes sense, the best search engines should deliver the best sites.
Sites that are slow, have a ton of keyword stuffing and are overly commercial and that abuse ad placements continue to rank lower and lower.
Not directly related, however, the trend of acquiring fewer high-quality links rather than mass amounts of low quality links to increase ranks still holds true.
We will continue to research and update this page as new discovery's surface.