On June 3rd of this month, Google released a Core Update to its algorithm. While these updates are nothing new, happening a couple of times a year, the effects of this one are big. So big, that the leading cryptocurrency news website CCN is shutting down due to traffic changes.
On the day of its release, CCN saw a 71% traffic decrease overnight on mobile devices. According to the publication’s SEO tracker, Sistrix, they dropped from 1.2 to less than 0.6 in terms of visibility. While this isn’t anything the website hasn’t faced before, they’ve obviously expanded much since then. An excerpt from the post made by Director and Founder of CCN Jonas Borchgrevink:
“We do not want to downsize the team, we do not want to break the morale of the team. So yes, this change by Google is directly having a significant impact on us as a small independent news organization that has never received any outside funding. The money we
makemade on advertisements was directly funneled back into growing the team.”
However, the team’s revenue is down over 90%. That’s disgustingly low, and obviously not enough to pay for everyone’s hard work. According to Sistrix, other leading sites like CoinDesk and CoinTelegraph have received drops of 34.6% and 21.1%, respectively.
This isn’t only affecting cryptocurrency websites, either. Instead, spaces like Vimeo, Sparknotes, and HumbleBundle have taken similar hits. Many website heads are posting on Google’s Webmaster forums asking for answers, but as of this writing, any posted solutions are little more than theories.
A call for change
While the first half of the post explains how CCN is being affected, the rest of it details an uncertain future in the world of journalism:
“While we do understand that Google needs to update their search algorithm from time to time, we cannot comprehend why they are allowed to enforce such drastic changes that have such dramatic consequences for so many news sites over the course of a very limited time – 24 hours, without any explanation or warnings to media organizations like ours. While they did announce the update, they did not disclose any information of what the core update would do.”
Head over to the website for a full breakdown of what’s going on, of course. Here is the Twitter thread detailing some of the changes as well:
Here’s an update about updates — updates to our search algorithms. As explained before, each day, Google usually releases one or more changes designed to improve our results. Most have little noticeable change but help us continue to incrementally improve search….
— Google SearchLiaison (@searchliaison) October 11, 2018