On Friday we reported on a possible Google update that touched down on September 27th. Google’s Danny Sullivan confirmed on Saturday on August 1st, aka the Medic Update. I posted this news last night at SEL.
Here is Danny’s confirmation for us:

Our core algorithm is updated all the time. For major updates, we’ll continue to share about those on @searchliaison, as we have been. We haven’t had a major update of that nature, but we did have a smaller one this week.
— Danny Sullivan (@dannysullivan) September 29, 2018
Since Google’s birthday is on September 27th, this one is simple to name – we can call it the Google Birthday Update.
Danny said “We haven’t had a major update of that nature, but we did have a smaller one this week.”
Smaller Update?
I keep seeing people say that this didn’t feel small. Well, no. If you were impacted by the update, I am sure it felt big. But when Google says “smaller” they mean it didn’t impact as many web sites as previous updates. So if a site was impacted, yes, it felt big. But like I even said on Friday before Google confirmed the update, the update seemed much smaller in terms of the chatter and those impacted than the August 1st update. And here is Google saying that is true – this impact did not impact as many sites as previous updates.
Some are still feeling this was a tweak, maybe a big tweak, to the Medic Update. But only Google knows that for sure.
Here are some graph with people commenting on the “small” comment:

More examples of the “small update” we saw starting on 9/26. 🙂 Not so small for the sites impacted. Again, seeing impact across verticals, including health/medical (some big swings there), ecommerce, games, how-to, entertainment, coupons, and more. pic.twitter.com/wc41FjxqFW
— Glenn Gabe (@glenngabe) September 30, 2018

Up early analyzing the 9/27 update (which looks like it started rolling out on 9/26 actually). Sistrix’s daily visibility reporting now shows the past several days. Again, this looks like a significant update so far. My spreadsheet of sites impacted is growing. pic.twitter.com/ccrFgsukQy
— Glenn Gabe (@glenngabe) September 29, 2018

Also worth noting, I’m seeing some sites reverse from the August 1 update (Medic), but others either surge more or drop more during this update. So it’s definitely not some type of straight reversal from 8/1. pic.twitter.com/Uq7wtq0COn
— Glenn Gabe (@glenngabe) September 28, 2018

Small? pic.twitter.com/w5DwaCs4MW
— Naman Nepal (@bloggermonk) September 29, 2018

All these “major” and “smaller” algorithm updates have sent my site on a bigger Google rollercoaster ride over the last month or so 🤷‍♂️
— Marko Saric (@MarkoSaric) September 30, 2018

I have almost 20 client sites that have been on that roller coaster. Roughly 35 others are holding steady not impacted with any changes, and 10 that saw growth/corrections after the Aug 1 rollout. It’s been a whirlwind few months :/
— Rob May (@robinlmay) September 30, 2018

I know G likes to say small is like 2% of queries affected but when sites gain or lose 35+% of organic traffic, I’m not sure small is the correct adjective. Out of curiosity, do you have any content anywhere about how your views have changed since you went behind the curtain?
— Kurt Leitinger (@KurtLeitinger) September 30, 2018

“Small” 😂
— SEOwner (@tehseowner) September 29, 2018

Looks like our traffic took a dive again.And we are still getting beat by people stealing our articles.
— How-To Geek (@howtogeek) September 30, 2018
Tracking Tools
So Mozcast and many others still show very little to no fluctuations, and even the ones showing fluctuations don’t show crazy activity. Here are some of the ones that show activity and fluctuations:




Community Chatter
In any event – the weekend chatter is ongoing on – but it is the weekend still. The WebmasterWorld and Black Hat World threads are saying this:

I’ve been hit also on 27. Lost 30% of my usual traffic.

We detected a 15% drop on our organic traffic since 27th, September. And we didn’t benefit much in August. Going to cry. : (

from September 27th the decrease is 30%, it’s not finished, there’s still movement on accuranker, for me, accuranker is the most accurate for my website.

new update come ? i lost every day 500-600 visitor

I have literally hundreds of changes everytime I am updating Serpbook. From #40 to #2 from 3# to 15# etc. it is constantly changing. I am really wondering when things are going to settle down. This is only for a specific niche tho. Some other niches ranking are steady af.

Anyone seeing massive flux today as well? Health niche. Another keyword that was #1 on 1st of august took a dive to page2 today. Additional 9 tracked keywords today dropped out of top100 completely. Some other keywords are still “holding on to” the first page so not all is lost… If this trends continue it’s going to be a disaster. Fluxing from page 1 to page 10? Dropping keywords out of top 100? It seems like a penalty, not a rank change. How wrong can the algo be to have the site in page 1 for 1 year and then drop it out of top100 (seems like a permanent deranking too, as the keywords did not reappear in top100 ever since)?? We all know what kind of sites sit on page 10. So it is a penalty, it seems, and I don’t take google statement “it’s not a penalty, it’s that now we rank sites that were under-ranked before better”. Really, results on page 10 are better? What a joke.

One of my main money sites, which lost about 50% traffic with the Aug 1 update, got a nice bump yesterday and today. Let´s see, how it pans out…

Medic Update Tweaks & Reversals?
Again, I am seeing a lot of chatter on social media and in the SEO communities suggesting this was a reversal or tweak to the Medic Update. It is possible, but I see people complaining that sites that were not impacted by the Medic Update was impacted by this one. I am seeing sites complain that they were hurt by both the Medic Update and this September 27th (Google Birthday Update). I am seeing some say their sites recovered from the Medic Update with the Google Birthday Update.
So anything is possible.
Ongoing coverage
So I am going offline tonight and will be back online Tuesday night. I decided to post this story on Sunday and I’ll let it sit out there for a couple days. If there is enough interest, I can do another survey on Wednesday and then collect the data, do an analysis and let you know what I found. But like I said above, it does seem like a smaller update, as Google said. It impacted fewer sites, but the sites it did impact, it impacted hard.
So let me know in the comments what you’d like me to do here.
Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld and Black Hat World.

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