In a webmaster hangout on YouTube, Google’s John Mueller explained why they confirm some ranking algorithm update but not others:
“One aspect that from my side plays a strong role here is whether or not there is something really actionable from the site owner point of view, with regards to this change.
So things like page speeds or the mobile friendliness update, the mobile indexing changes. Those are all things where we do make changes in ranking and it’s something that a webmaster can explicitly influence. […]
Then they can take that and say ok I can work on this and I can make changes to my website to make sure it matches these expectations. That’s something from our point of view that definitely makes sense to announce.
If there’s nothing that webmasters can do, Google usually won’t confirm the update:
“For a large part these are just small shifts that happen in search and it’s not something where we’d be able to tell people ‘Hey, we think your site is less relevant for this query. Therefore you should make it more relevant.’ because that’s that’s not really that useful of feedback.
So it’s something where we tend not to announce those too broadly. And sometimes when a lot of people start talking about these kind of updates, and we see that people are really confused and sometimes I’ll say ok fine we we said we wouldn’t talk about this but maybe we just want to confirm that actually we did make some changes here, it’s not that you’re seeing ghosts. And there’s nothing explicit that you can kind of work on directly with regards to these changes.
Later in the webmaster hangout, John Mueller said that it’s usually best to focus on building a good website:
“Focus on what can I do to provide a really high quality product in a way that users look at that and say ‘Well, this is really relevant, this is fantastic content.’ And when Google doesn’t show it in the search results for these queries, then Google has a bug. And if that’s how users think about your website […] you’re on the right track.”
You can view the full video here:
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