Google Algorithm Update: March 2019 (Did Your Rankings Drop?)

Last Updated: March 15th, 2019

“20 of the most important SEO blogs online”


“complete with handy guides explaining how you, too, can get in on the gold”

Over the last week there has been a lot of noise about possible Google algorithm updates.

While the updates have certainly been substantial, something you need to keep in mind is that Google update their algorithm every single day. Often multiple times per day.

Search results are also different around the world, and in different languages, and changing search results is a staple of Google, rather than something that has suddenly just happened.

However, what has happened in recent months has certainly been substantial, and the daily updates that typically occur certainly don’t compare to this in any way.

Thanks to the unique trackers we have here at Detailed, we’ve seen substantial average ranking shifts across a number of websites.

Google literally just named this update 13 minutes ago, calling it the “March 2019 Core Update”.

Here’s their original tweet confirming a broad algorithm update on March 12th, 2019:



That graphic is from our custom built search rankings tool which essentially tracks “visibility” for any domain that we like.

We track overall rankings for keywords across a site, and determine whether their average position has improved or worsened in Google.

In the image above, the bar has gone up, which means that average ranking position has increased quite suddenly.

Other trackers, such as Moz’s Mozcast, show similar events happening recently:

Of course, due to their only being up to “10 blue links” on a page, this means a lot of sites have received positive improvements from these updates as well.

Want us to look into your site specifically to see if we can help? Send me an email to glen@detailed.com.

Something you should always keep in mind when it comes to overall search results is whether you are really the best result for a user query?.

Of course, there are things you can do to improve rankings such as on-site SEO, being optimised for answer boxes (rank zero) and building links to your site, but it’s important to keep in mind “What Google might be thinking.”

If your design needs work, your user experience isn’t great and others provide better value to search users, that could be at the core of your problems.

Something people mistakenly think is a Google algorithm update may actually be something else that is negatively impacting a websites rankings.

For example, one reader reached out to me about a possible negative SEO attack he had received on his health blog.

This turned out to be a manual penalty for schema markup that the webmaster hadn’t noticed.

Update: November 9th, 2018.

A new client came to us around four months ago after a constant downward trend in search traffic.

I can take little credit for the result below as they’ve been working incredibly hard but they are starting to come out of the traffic dip now:

They’ve implemented a lot of the basics and are continuing to improve their site, so hopefully this continues.

We have a few other clients who are recovering nicely as well, but this one is certainly the most sudden spike.

Update March 15th, 2019: Google have recently announced the name for this latest update:


Some sites we monitor have been hit particularly hard. Here’s one:

While others, such as Dr. Axe, which was hurt badly in the August update, has seen a very strong comeback:

We’re so busy with client work that we don’t have much time to focus on our own site (this one) but Detailed.com is still being rewarded after this update which we are very grateful for:

One thing to keep in mind during broad, core updates like this is not to be too reactive. Google make changes all of the time and your site may actually be technically perfect and bounce back as the update rolls out further.

Try to take a break of a week or two before you make changes trying to counteract any drops you may have experienced. That said, it’s always good to be proactive about potential technical issues or others that you can control.

If you have a specific site that has been negatively affected and you would like me to look into for you, please don’t hesitate to send me an email: glen@detailed.com.

Alternatively, you can also use our contact form.

190 comments
  1. My website where it was sitting at 1st and 2nd places for all main keywords now going to the hell. Ranking dropped. Don’t know what to do 🙁

    1. Gayan, work on your site authority more than anything else. Do you notice that now Google shows some crap results from these keywords, but these crap results are from high authority sites?

  2. Hi Glen,
    Thank you so much for the article. I had been really scratching my head since last 1 week to get to the core of the issue behind our ranking drops. Seems, that this explains. Our site lost its rankings for major keywords, and traffic went down by 40%. I had also sent you an email. I would highly appreciate if you can take a look and provide some insight on how to fix things. We were using Ezoic ads on the site, and that made most of the site heavy.

    Looking forward to getting your reply on my mail soon.

  3. Hi my site SERP decreased from 1st position to 12 position for many keywords. Can you please check it. This happen due to latest Google update my site is Isportsleague

    1. You didn’t make the link clickable so please do send us an email. We’re finding a lot of commonalities in sites that have lost traffic 🙂

  4. Seems like I improved on long tail keywords. Our main keywords: kids party entertainment, magicians near me, and birthday party magician have just dropped. Trying to figure out why.

  5. The most recent update is even more confusing. I have a few cases where a few websites with pretty much the same approach have suffered either a loss in traffic or a huge gain. Some of these websites were not as badly hit as this time in the previously announced Google algorithm updates but this time around things are different. I hope you will do a post of August updates too.

    1. It appears there’s a big correlation in the *type* of websites that have been hit. For example, health and finance sites appear to have been very negatively affected.

  6. Personally, we had improved KWs positions on some website and some drops on others. The interesting thing is that we used almost the same SEO strategy in many of them (of course, content and backlinks are different) which make me think that the update also treats different niches in different ways

  7. Hi Glen,
    Thank you for this information. In the last week our website ranking went down every day. Not much changed on the website. We are a small two man band business and had some “help” from SEO guys but paying them without results stops us doing business with them. No idea how to get the ranking back up. We do have Yoast plugin installed and fine tuned the website in the last year and that went okay till last week more or less. Funny thing is that non of them wanted a no cure no pay deal-;)

  8. Hey Glenn. My site is in the health and fitness affiliate niche and it was badly hit by this update. I was on page 2 but have tumbled down to page 6 now.

    I understand that google is focusing on EAT for sites in such niches.

    How do i start to improve on my EAT given that I have no credentials (degree, certification, etc)

    1. Hey Geoff,

      That’s one way to look at it. But if there are things you can do to improve rankings (and improve your site), then I think they’re worth doing 🙂

  9. My website where it was sitting at 1st and 2nd places for all main keywords now going to the hell. Ranking dropped. Don’t know what to do 🙁
    I thought it affected only health niche

  10. What do you do if you know when you know you really are the best search result for a user query but Google doesn’t even show you in the search results??
    I would understand if it would only show up in the first 50 search results but not showing it at all…..
    People have a problem and if offer a fast and easy solution but Google doesn’t want me to help people….beyond my understanding….

    1. This is the worst update from Google where the quality content has no meaning. The main remedy is to work on your site authority by whatever means possible, by getting good quality backlinks to your site.

  11. This update from Google is the most silly update I have ever seen for the following reasons.
    1) The quality of search results has dropped really bad. The first 10 results are being taken up by pages from a few high authority sites, regardless of whether the page has good content or not.

    2) Smaller sites that had much better content are wiped off. These were the sites that were mostly relying on generating their income through Google Ads etc. So now this means that Google Ads will also start seeing a dip very soon!

    So, on two counts, this is a very silly update.
    1) Degraded the user experience
    2) Going to hurt itself

  12. Hello,

    My blog is in android programming niche.
    Traditionally I am a developer and I am new to SEO field,

    Does programming niche satisfies EAT standards?
    By the way, my rankings are dropping and till now it has dropped by 40% overall.

    I am giving content on android programming on which I am expert, so I can say that my content has quite well quality. I am sure beginners are receiving much help from my blog posts.

    Currently, I am just giving content and backlinks. Should I keep doing these two things or should I think about other techniques?

    What do you suggest according to my niche?

    1. Hey Shehryar,

      We had to update this page and remove the link to our contact form as we are just totally overloaded. Google have also started to do a slight rollback it seems for a lot of sites so we want to see who gets their rankings back.

      We did say in the email we can’t promise a personal response, but we have looked into every site. Thanks for understanding 🙂

      1. Thank you for the response! My site is still not rolled back. However, I think I have found the reason in Marie’s blog on how we can rescue the site. The only thing I should be doing now is creating great articles/blogs/PR’s/ High-quality backlinks. Marie told me that very fewer people are talking about my site Wowbix and if we can work that out, we can get the rankings back. Thank You, Glen, I will still be very happy if you can review it for me.

  13. Hello,

    My website on consultant information related like a business directory.
    Traditionally I am a designer and I am new to SEO field,
    By the way, my rankings are dropping and till now it has dropped by 60% overall.

    I am giving content on business consultant, small business consultant, advisor etc, so I can say that my content is quality content. I am sure startup, small business owners are receiving much help from my website & blog posts.

    Currently, I am putting content on the website blog and other web2.0 sites to create backlinks. Should I keep doing these two things or should I think about other techniques?

    What do you suggest according to my niche?

  14. hi, My website was new (about 4-5 months) I was able to get ranks till 2nd and 3rd page.
    But suddenly in august firs week – it started disappearing from google, sometimes it come to 4th – 5th page and some times dont show it.
    Even when i click on google cache – its says its not cached and gives me 404 error.
    I took good content and very good quality of guest blogging too and able to reach 200 good back links in 4 months.

    I am not able to understand the cause behind it which made my website disappear. Can I contact you for more help into this.

  15. We sell helth products like humidifier and electrical blancket and these sort of products.in lots of our keywords we were in the top four or three.
    But after the google update. We fell down.and in that priod,we had a redesign.and now we are completely disepered.
    We have rigisterd our site as health concept.has it caused us this problem.
    Because our content isn,t good enough as acadamic contents.because it is only a shop.
    Thank you so much.

  16. My website many keywords drop and lost every day, and our website impression drop 50% after Aug.10.
    we changed web serve Aug.9 and change some image to small image+words at Aug.10

    Then bad things.
    keywords drop no end…

    Can you give me an professional advice?

  17. Thanks for putting together this information, I like the slant that you put on this story, it’s one of the better perspectives that I have seen so far! Have you seen any new traffic trends since the initial story?

  18. Hey Glen,
    I lost my main keywords which ranked in top ten, can you please help me how to recover my keywords as its previous position?

  19. Hi GLEN ALLSOPP,
    I am having the same issue when I try to “Fetch as Google” I get this error “Temporarily unreachable(404. That’s an error.)” but when I try to fetch any inner page I get normal response “Complete”. Kindly help me out to solve this problem. My homepage is still uncached and still, I have no idea to bring back out of this problem. My username has my website URL kindly check it why it’s still not cached.
    Thanks in advance.

  20. I have been operating websites for over 13 years in one way or another, but found this year to be the most yo yo year in respect to organic site rankings. Many of my sites are on page 1 & 2 google, but this year it has been very noticeable that sites are one day on page 1 google, then I blink and they are now on page 4 or 5. In time these have all bounced back to their high positions, but its frustrating with the constant drastic movements.

  21. One of my sites got hit on recent August algo update by Google. Interesting fact is that; I didn’t do anything. I didn’t publish any articles, didn’t get any new link or nothing.

    I got hit.

    Its pretty weird what Google doing these days. :/

  22. Hi Glen, since 1st week of August my Site rank has dropped significantly some from 1st page to 2nd and 8th page. Tried disavowing some toxic links but till now it’s still losing it’s rank day by day. Please help me have a look on the site attached on my name

  23. Our website has been devastated with the most recent Google Aug ’18 update. We are a retail collectible site and have consistently dominated search rankings since we’ve been online in 2001. That is all organic with no see tricks. Our site us huge ( several thousand pages) with massive quality content and tons of links to our content. Through the last 17 years of algorithm changes, we never were affected. Now, our traffic is down at least 50% and plunging further. We’ve gone from page 1 to several pages deep in nearly all formerly top rank keywords.

    The most frustrating thing is sites are ranking above us that are WITHOUT an SSL, NOT mobile friendly, new sites, and pathetic content. Our website supports many families so the drop is truly crushing our way to make livings. Can anyone help? The domain is in my email.

  24. Remember why Google is where it is now?

    That is because they have an improved algorithm that calculates search results.

    Google will never use Facebook data. We talk about social shares when we talk about Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Tumblr. Unless Google buys Tumblr and starts integrating that data,

    Now obviously, it is still an algorithm. It can make mistakes and it can be gamed once you know what it is and which parts to input, bits to avoid and accept. Google will not be having any interdependence on social platforms like Twitter, or Tumblr, they are not going to run.

    Links are going to change. So the way you would in 2018, it might take even longer. But with the introduction of AI and how Google wants to evolve in the future. Essentially, their goal is to have the algorithm only. Eventually not having to employ thousands of staff that need to keep an eye on the algorithm and hand out manual penalties. If they can automate that, then they are gonna save millions and millions. As a result, they are gonna increase profitability.

  25. Even my sites have been steadily losing traffic since the last 1 month, glad that I came across your post. Perhaps, I shouldn’t do anything drastic to the site and wait for this thing to settle down.

  26. Hi I can see that you are taking no more submissions but it doesnt hurt to ask. We have been knocked around this year and are a florist – i see sites above us now and other local florists that are coming from articles that take up x2 of the serps for local florists and it is very frustrating, as thats 2 florists who rely on google for income that are knocked out of the front page.
    If you have any feedback it would be appreciated as always keen to learn thank you.
    Kind regards Jo

  27. Hi Glenn,
    On September 25th my website ranking for some keyword has dropped from number 2 and 3 to number 8 and 10 for some. I have sent an email , if you can identify what has caused this issue will help me to recover.

  28. I just hate it when SEO’s say that bloggers/website owners should “build links to their site.” So please tell me how I can convince all the big guns to put a link to my site on THEIR main page.

    And registering with various forums and making a “presence” there so I can then put my site’s URL for my signature? Come on, that might get me 32 extra visits a month — after I’ve registered with 10 different online community forums.

    1. How would someone convince you to talk about them, Kristtyne?

      I guess because they create something that solves a problem / is remarkable / is so good you had to share it?

      The answer is boring, but that’s how you’ll have to do the same.

  29. I am a blogger and i know what google want, i always follow the google guideline
    In-spite of this, my website ranking has dropped little bit, but i will recover it soon..

  30. Hey Glen,
    just found your great page. My rankings dropped since end of August. Haven’t got a clue why. Can you please check?
    Greetings from Germany:-)
    Jochen
    (website is attached to my name)

    1. I’m not entirely sure what you mean I’m afraid. You mean links that you don’t want to have pointing to your site?

  31. Hi all.. I got the same problem with you, traffic down. But some of my website get recovered easy. I just redirect 301 to another domain and get recovered in weeks, in this case I have 3 domain for one site. Once a domain got troubled in SERP, I redirected to the second domain, when it happened again, I redirected to the third. If the third domain got the same problem, I redirected back to the first, I did this almost in every month. The result is great index and get various rank with those domains and the traffic still good from them. Make sure you redirect all of these domains using different hosting with different IP. This is works to me.

  32. A lot has been changed in the past 2 months. One of my main keywords have lost its position from page 1 to page 11 while other keywords are just ranking at page 1, 2. Don’t know what is happening.

  33. I’m starting to think Google hates EMD’s like us. Ha.
    ( BeardProducts.com )
    Any advice on what we can do to get back on top? We were in the top 10 now not even in the top 100. Any help is greatly appreciated. Contact us through our website. Thanks

  34. My website traffic is down by 80% after the October 2018, Core update. I searched on google for the latest update but i didn’t get the actual answer. I have change my some of page but it doesn’t work.
    Before update i was ranking on 150+ Keywords on Google first page.

  35. No matter how good you follow google quality guideline, trust me it won’t works any longer. I believe the 16 giant internet corporation has bought google rank. You can research by yourself in any keyword or any niche, the top SERP will always belong to these corporations, they have every niche with various domain. This is not fair to us but this is happening, and this is why google so secretive to his algo’s. Overall this is only a big business to them, I can see how many blog or web with superb quality content still drop while the spammy get ranked better.

    The AI algo just an illusion, this was started last year in a big match called FRED UPDATE that outranked so many web and blog to the trash. I am sure 100% this is the beginning, google will collapse in next 5 years.

  36. Strange that Amazon, Ebay and Gumtree are now occupying a range of our niche keyword, not only that, Google is now selling four ad positions at the top, plus the Google shopping row and are therefore only displaying 6 non paying sites. Google the keyword ‘hoverboard’ in the UK. One of my sites is http://www.hoverboarduk.co.uk

  37. Can I ask if anyone noticed a significant drop in their website search results on 27 October 2018? A few of my sites saw a drop on this day. One such site is https://scubadivingearth.com. The traffic on this one seems to recover the following day but other sites of mine haven’t. One site saw no difference. Thank you for your content and article by the way.

  38. We were ranking for various keywords in our niche in top 10 but now the search results are down for almost every keyword. Look forward to more news from you. This is somewhat frustrating.

  39. Most of our clients loose their position by 40%. We also noticed some spammy sites increase their position400%. How it is possible ?Also we observed Question answer sites like Quora are in top positions for most of the keywords. Does Google preferred QA sites rather than genuine websites?

  40. My blog traffic constantly dropping since August, is there any bigger algorithm update happened …
    Kindly suggest some tips to recover dropped traffic.

  41. Hello,
    Very Nice article. Google continuously updating their algorithm and because of this most of sites loosing their ranking in search results. I also loose rankings on few of my websites because of Google Algorithm update.
    Regards, Shubham

  42. Hi, Glen Allsopp My website,s traffic also Goes Down Up to 90 Percent I don’t Know what Todo My All Keywords Which Are On Top On First Number Goes To 6th Page or Lost All My Keyword Which are on number 3 Or 4 Also Goes To 69 And 79 My traffic Decrease Up to 90 Percent Can You Please Check My Website Its https://games201.com/ And My Gmail Is Guri3807@gmail.com
    Please Check My website And Send Me some Helpful Answers Why It drops Down Like This.

    1. I think it’s the niche you’re in.

      It’s incredibly volatile I’m sure based on the kind of things you promote.

      Sorry but I can really only help more stable businesses. I wouldn’t expect to build a business of the back of just game download files.

      Build a brand. Get some real content in there. And then look who is currently ranking.

      Do they have more links than you?

      More authority?

      Better on-site SEO?

      Have they built a brand?

  43. Hay .. , The search results on Google was totally different since August 2018.. There are so many articles on my blog becomes bad position on Google ,, i hate this update .. i am from Indonesia

  44. Hi

    I came to the office and I saw a sudden drop in my website’s traffic. From 2nd page to 6th page.. It was there yesterday night and now it’s gone. What can be the issue here? Did google release some new update?

  45. The question is, after the update algorithm is complete, will everything return to normal? or is there a special way to restore everything to normal? And how about indexing and crawling status? Will everything is normal?

  46. Dropped about 35%, and more like 45% on a second site. Have you seen any correlation related to low traffic websites being generally downgraded? I wonder if solo entrepreneur types are targeted generally. Would love your feedback!

  47. Thanks for sharing on google Algo update…
    I am a blogger and always follow the google webmaster guide line despite this, my site ranking has dropped after google new update.. Nobody know what exactly google want.

  48. Hi, I read your blog and also check comments, I think you are a valuable guy.

    So I would like to get some impact on my site. I sent you information to contact us page.

  49. Hi Glen,

    I have just loosing traffic from my best quality keywords. Please let me know how to improve it. I have sent you a mail also regarding this. Kindly have a look and replay with a solution.

  50. Hi Glen,
    I lost my ranking in the last 4-5 months from top keywords and consequently dropped the traffic by 80% in the main season of my small business. Help me please. I will be very grateful to you. I have also e-mailed the detail.
    Regards
    Shashank

  51. Hi Glen,

    Since August 1 algorithm update, my blog organic traffic has been dropping. I’ve lost over 80% traffic already. Kindly look into my site and every suggestion/recommendation would be appreciated.

  52. Hi Glen,

    I’ve stumbled upon your article while looking for help, because my fitness and nutrition blog has lost 60% (if not more) since September the 27th.

    As I enjoyed reading the information in your post, I’ve sent an email to you as recommended. I hope I’ll hear from you soon!

    Have a good day,
    Stéphane

  53. Hi Glen,
    Was searching from Ranking Drop after Google algorithm update and found your Article,
    We have Faced the same issue since November 26. Our Traffic Dropped almost 90+% on Since 26 November. Not Sure what was the Issue,
    Site: https://www.theasia.com
    I Have Sent You an Email as Well.

    Thanks

  54. Hi Glenn,
    I cant agree more, updates for google algorithm affected lots of small business industries.
    Indeed, some medical organisations’s websites we manage were affected and saw their rankings drop very quickly. This is simply an observation we saw in our agency.
    The medical field was one of the most affected after recent updates..

    From Al Safran Design
    (www.alsafrandesign.com) a web design company in saudi arabia

    Keep up the Great work admin !

  55. I have lost my ranking a few days ago and I got some beneficial algorithm resources from this bog and I have fixed this and I got my ranking. thanks, for this great idea

  56. Google algorithm update knowledge is really important for SEO. I have got more problem about this issue for my website and I have fixed this and got ranking on the Google 1st page. thanks for this good resources.

  57. Well, I dont know what happened to my website which had a drop of 75% suddenly in a day.

    I have sent an email to Glen( which eventually is also a brand I sell :P). Hope to fix it with his help.

  58. Hello Glen,

    I have read your article about the traffic drop, I am facing a similar issue on my website after 10 December 2018. I don’t what’s going wrong and I did not change anything on the website. My site https://www.feelthewords.com

    Please help and give suggestion how I can check issue.

    Thank you

  59. Hi my site SERP decreased from 1st position to 10 position for many top ranking keywords. Can you please check it. Suddenly down rank main keywords on desktop & mobile…
    Please guide me about new updates

  60. Saw a huge drop in all my rankings on 1 specific page. Went back to the drawing board and updated my on page SEO. Within 24 hours saw almost a full recovery. I am thinking I may have been a bit over optimized.

  61. Hey… nice write up… It’s awesome
    Recently, my site was ranking for 20 high volume keywords on top 10. But in December and January, I lost almost all my rankings from the first page to 3rd or 4th page.

    I am curious to know: –

    how much it will take to recover. Or would I even get my ranking back?

    Please give me some insights… I never tried black hat SEO, I create quality content.

  62. Hi Glen,

    I am seeing some drops as of date. Can you take a look at our website? Also, will try to email you, seems you aren’t responding lately, hope your plate isn’t the full. 🙂

  63. Great post. I recently saw one of my sites start to drop after the beginning of the month, so I need to go back to the drawing board and see what might have happened since its after the assumed algo update. No manual penalties in GSC, so that’s a good sign for now.

  64. I am curious to know: –

    how much it will take to recover. Or would I even get my ranking back?

    Please give me some insights… I never tried black hat SEO, I create quality content.

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