Major Google Update On 03rd May 2015: What Exactly Happened

Posted On : May 11th, 2015   By : Dillip Kumar Mohanty   To : Google Update

Google Update 3rd May

SEO industry has seen huge fluctuations in Google SERP on 03rd May 2015; many webmasters informed about it on WebmasterWorld.The interesting thing is that the fluctuations can only be seen on Mozcast & SERPmetrics whereas other Google algorithm tracking tools did not show any major fluctuations.

Really surprising! Mozcast reported it as 91 degree whereas SERPmetrics showed less fluctuations in top 100 results but showed major fluctuations (19%) for top 10 results. Mozcast is tracking top 10 results only that’s why it had more fluctuations. So it means that this time Google has done something to top 10 results only.

Top 100 SERPMetrics

Top 10 SERPMetrics

I’ve seen some sites which didn’t have much drop in ranking for keywords with 10+ ranking where as their keywords ranking in first page of Google were severely affected. Added below a graph for site whose first page ranking keywords were affected, dropped from 121 to 62 keywords in top 10 Google visibility.

Site Lost Ranking

Most people in the SEO industry expected that it could be a major algorithm update like Panda or Penguin but Google declined about it as mentioned by Barry Schwartz’s in his post.

As we’ve been tracking lots of keywords here at Suvaance to monitor changes in Google SERP, we’ve also seen major fluctuations on the said date. So keeping Panda & Penguin out of my mind, I preferred to do some deep analysis and tried to find out how exactly sites were affected in this update. And I’ve found some interesting points that I would like to share here.

  • 302 pages lost ranking after this update.
  • For spammy niches, pages those are hacked & added spammy contents shown big drops and it’s a big success for Google search quality team to combat spam.
  • Pages showing advertisements or message like “wait 10/# seconds to read the content” before the original content appears are affected with big drops in ranking. May be it’s a step towards better user experience. It seems that Google doesn’t want its users to go to such pages from its SERP where they have to first go through ads or intermediate pages with messages and wait for the original content.
  • It’s also found that pages which have maximum relevant content shown improvement and pages which have mixed contents shown drops in ranking. For specific example, previously for the query “intrinsic motivation”, two pages in #3 and in #1 from were in top 10. But after this update, the page with content on both intrinsic & extrinsic motivation was out of top 10 whereas the page with content only on intrinsic motivation is still on #1. I’ve seen such trend with other queries also.
  • Sites showing free movies and songs or offering for free downloads show some big drops; & it may be due to DMCA update.
  • Even it’s found that many sites which are showing many advertisements in the above the fold section & with low text to AD ratio have big drops.

Google’s John Mueller recently informed about the doorway updates and that could be the main reason of major Google SERP fluctuations.

I believe that the above points are not new to Google’s algorithm. May be they just added some updates in these categories or just refreshed some existing issues.

Dillip Kumar Mohanty

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