Earlier this month, Google updated its algorithms to drop featured snippet results from core Web results. This means that if your site bags the top spot as a featured snippet, it would no longer show in the regular organic listing on Page 1 (or occasionally, Page 2). Naturally, this has some impact on the overall traffic and rankings. What needs to be studied is the magnitude of that impact, so you can determine if you have a reason for concern.
How tracking tools are reacting
Automated tracking tools have been lighting up at the recent developments at Google – AccuRanker, Rank Risk Index, SERPmetrics and Algoroo have been reported to be showing high level of SERP fluctuations. But the chatter among webmasters and SEOs is mostly subdued. There have been some complaints about sites getting hit, but nothing at the scale of Penguin, Panda, or the most recent, Fred.
What webmasters are saying
On the WebmasterWorld thread, a user called Cralamarre reported losing 30% of the traffic post May 17. “What I can’t figure out is that when I do a search for my most popular keywords, my articles still seem to be ranking very high, often in the first or second spot on Google, just as they were before. Yet many of these articles have shown a 20-30% drop in traffic. How can they still be ranking in the top spots and yet losing traffic? Is Google throttling my traffic somehow?” the user questioned.
Another member of the thread, MrBlack, shared that his price comparison site got wiped out from Page 1 for all keywords. “It is basically dead. It’s a 12 year old website and it’s a good one, even if I do say so myself. Visitors love it and it generates lots of conversions (well it used to). Never bought a link or engaged in any dodgy SEO techniques,” he complained.
On Black Hat SEO Forum also, sporadic reports of changes are coming in. User saurabhunde posted: “Certainly something is happening. One of the website jumped to 3rd page from nowhere and other dropped by 30 positions for multiple keywords.”
Snippet results to blame?
Now, is it possible that if your site gets featured in snippet results, people just skim over it thinking it’s a part of sponsored results, and you lose out on traffic? Or is it something entirely different? A senior member on WebmasterWorld, reseller, believes that the current Algorithm Update of May 17 – May 18 is still in progress. “Accordingly we see posts of affected sites still coming. I think we are dealing with a Panda related Algorithm Update.”
What are your views? Have you noticed a change in rankings? Let us know in comments below!