LinkedIn Hit by 2017 Google Update

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( — May 31, 2019) — Eun-Ji Noh, data scientist at LinkedIn, broke industry norms and told attendees at SMX London that LinkedIn was the victim of Google’s February 2017 update. LinkedIn admitted to the issue, but Noh also explained how the company was able to overcome the drop in the search rankings.

LinkedIn used its massive resources to implement machine learning techniques to determine content quality on the site.

The update, which every top SEO company claims was a phantom update, revolved around content quality. Through machine learning, the company was able to determine which content was low quality and implement improvements to pages which lost search rankings.

Google released the update, which is believed to be a core update, on February 7, 2017 and many analysts reported about it. Massive changes in the SERPS were noted, as sites with low quality content saw their search rankings drop.

The update did not seem to be related to links or spam.

Google would not comment on the matter, and the change was unrelated to a link algorithm change that occurred a few days before the update. Automated ranking tools across the board tracked changes in search rankings with enough movement to indicate that an algorithm update was made.

Google updates are common, but some updates have more of an impact than others.

Search Engine Roundtable is reporting that an algorithm update is likely to have started last night. Rankings at several data centers started to fluctuate last night, with many website owners flocking to forums to see if there had been an update. The reports are too early to determine if this is a test from Google or just a brief issue.

Some website owners are claiming that they have seen their organic traffic shift by as much as 60% up and 60% down in the matter of a day. The idea that the update is a test comes from ranking changes that last for 24 hours and then fall off. The same is seen for short periods of time for many website owners over the last few days.

Google reaffirmed in May that there were no core updates or changes that led to de-indexing issues that happened in April. Google does make updates often, and most of these small updates go unreported by Google. When core updates occur, the company posts on their official Twitter account at @searchliaison. The current potential update occurring is not related to issues that website owners experienced in April or in early May.