Each time Google rolls out a core update to its search algorithm, the world holds its collective breath. What follows is a steady stream of reports from worried webmasters watching their SERP rankings and traffic for signs of movement.
Some see their prominence on page one take a hit while others unexpectedly experience a welcome boost, elsewhere you have those who see absolutely nothing at all. Even if all hell is breaking loose for thousands of webmasters worldwide, it is smooth sailing for some.
As for why this is the case, Google’s very own John Muller has gone on record to clarify how it works. Or at least, to such an extent as to confirm that each core update rolled out by Google is unique, and subsequently has a unique impact on its core rankings.
What this basically means is that while one core update could have a major impact on your site’s performance, a separate update could have no impact at all.
Google also confirmed that each of its core updates can target entirely different areas of its ranking system, for example one core update could focus heavily on backlinks, whereas another could be more about content quality.
All of which has been the assumption all along, but confirmation straight from the boss’s mouth is never a bad thing.
Here is the full quote from John Mueller, along with the full video embedded below (his comments on this subject come at 30:25):
“As far as I know, these were essentially separate and unique updates that we did. So we call them both core updates because they affect the core of our ranking systems. But that doesn’t mean that they affect the same core parts of the ranking system. So from that point of view it’s not the case that if you see a change in during one of these core updates, you will always see a change during the other one as well. So from there I wouldn’t assume that they have to be related.”