Why Google Can’t Tell You About Every Ranking Drop

16 May, 2024 Google Possible Update

In an up-to-the-minute Twitter interaction, Danny Sullivan, Google’s Search Liaison, elucidated the intricacies involved in disclosing alterations in algorithmic ranking and conducting manual evaluations.

The conversation was ignited by a website proprietor expressing discontent over a substantial decline in traffic and the incapacity to solicit a manual evaluation.

Sullivan elucidated that a website could encounter ramifications from an algorithmic spam action or merely not rank favourably due to assorted factors.

He underscored that numerous websites facing declines in ranking erroneously attribute it to an algorithmic spam action, when that might not be the actual scenario.

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Sullivan’s comprehensive statement provides insight into the hurdles Google faces regarding transparency.

Moreover, he delves into the rationale behind questioning the efficacy of manual reviews superseding automated rankings.

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Transparency & Manual Intervention Dilemmas

Sullivan recognised the concept of enhancing transparency within Search Console, perhaps alerting website owners about algorithmic actions akin to manual ones.

Nevertheless, he underscored two primary dilemmas:

  1. Disclosing algorithmic spam cues might enable malicious individuals to exploit the system.
  2. Algorithmic actions lack site specificity and cannot be manually revoked. Sullivan empathised with the frustration of grappling with a traffic decline’s cause and the incapacity to engage in dialogue regarding it.

Yet, he cautioned against the inclination for manual interventions to supersede the automated systems’ rankings.

Sullivan states:

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Assessing Content Utility & Credibility

Transitioning from the realm of spam, Sullivan explored diverse frameworks evaluating the usefulness, efficacy, and credibility of specific content and websites.

He conceded the inherent imperfections within these frameworks, noting that certain top-tier sites may not receive the recognition they deserve.

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Sullivan unveiled ongoing dialogues regarding the expansion of indicators within Search Console to assist creators in comprehending the performance of their content.

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Support for Small Publishers & Encouraging Developments

Reacting to a proposal from Brandon Saltalamacchia, the brains behind RetroDodo, concerning the manual assessment of “good” sites and dispensing guidance, Sullivan offered insights into prospective remedies.

He broached the idea of investigating concepts like self-declaration via structured data for small publishers and leveraging that data to enact beneficial adjustments.

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Sullivan emphasised that he couldn’t guarantee immediate changes or instant implementation, but he conveyed optimism about discovering avenues for constructive progression.