Many websites have experienced massive drops in Google search traffic following recent core updates - some even losing all search traffic overnight.
The updates were meant to improve overall search results, not to specifically help or hurt individual sites, so ongoing fluctuations are expected.
Though Google is investigating extreme traffic declines on some sites, there's no guarantee visits will recover. Publishers are feeling significant impact and uncertainty.
A lot of publishers have seen huge decreases in how many visitors are coming to their websites from Google. Some have even lost all their Google search traffic overnight.
This is happening after Google did some major updates recently to how its search engine works.
Website owners say traffic started dropping fast over the last three months. Statistics show the plunges began around August when Google did core updates. These are big changes meant to improve search results overall.
The traffic declines are not just in Google Discover feeds or news sections. The drops are hitting websites across all of Google's systems that send users to sites.
Some site owners say they worked for years to build an audience and get visits through Google News and Discover. Now almost no one is finding them through search anymore. It's like all their hard work disappeared overnight.
Understandably, publishers feel upset and shocked at how fast and drastically their Google traffic vanished. Some saw millions of visits per month plunge to zero in days.
The unpredictability shows the shaky nature of relying too much on Google search for website views.
Google admits there was a bug in Discover that was making some sites less visible. Engineers fixed that problem. But Google says even with that bug gone, they make no guarantees about bringing sites back to their old levels of traffic.
That's because the updates causing these fluctuations are meant to improve the whole search ecosystem. They aren't custom fixes for helping individual sites get more visits.
Still, due to so many complaints, Google says it is actively investigating why some sites got hit so hard. The company is willing to look into specific situations that site owners bring forward.
However, Google's statements make it clear these kinds of shake-ups will keep happening. The company frequently rolls out broad changes to connect users with better search results overall.
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