It's that time again! Google has released a relatively large algorithm update widely accepted as a June 18th - June 23rd release date.

There seems to have been multiple noticeable updates within a short space of time; as Glenn kindly mentioned via Twitter, these updates may be one single update or multiple different ones. It's pretty hard to say for sure.

Now it has been 1 - 2 weeks since the update(s), and the dust has started to settle; I thought I'd release some data showing the types of sites impacted most.

Law + government sites have been impacted the most.

One key finding is that the algorithm update impacted government sites more than any other site.

june 2020 serp flux

Like medic had a significant impact on medical websites, this update seems to have had the most substantial effect on law + government sites.

Here are the top winners in the law + government category.

Domain % visibility change
www.newham.gov.uk 144.00
www.birmingham.gov.uk 87.00
www.health.gov.au 84.00
www.surreycc.gov.uk 74.00
ico.org.uk 62.00
www.imf.org 48.00
www.towerhamlets.gov.uk 36.00
www.manchester.gov.uk 33.00
opencorporates.com 31.00
www.southwark.gov.uk 30.00
www.equalityhumanrights.com 30.00

The largest winners since the update

Across the entire dataset, here are the sites that saw the most significant % increase in visibility.

Domain % visibility change
londonreal.tv 333
www.pinterest.com 278
islamqa.org 167
www.newham.gov.uk 144
www.friv.com 131
www.leovegas.com 108
www.theyeshivaworld.com 94
www.birmingham.gov.uk 87
rmunify.com 84
www.health.gov.au 84
www.wikitree.com 79
www.surreycc.gov.uk 74
www.elimarpigeons.com 66
www.islamweb.net 66
ico.org.uk 62
www.reezocar.com 61
www.best-jobs-online.com 60
www.netflixparty.com 60
getdrawings.com 55
www.islamicity.org 55
publicholidays.co.uk 50
www.imf.org 48
starsports.bet 47
www.galacasino.com 47
www.openingtimesin.uk 47

What is quite interesting about many of these sites is that many of them seem to have a rocky history with algorithm updates.

It seems Google can't quite figure out where they should be ranking them.

image 36
newham.gov.uk visibility history
leovegas gov sistrix visibility
leovegas.com visibility history
birmingham gov sistrix visibility
birmingham.gov visibility history

And here are the ones who saw the largest overall traffic increases.

Domain Absolute visibility change
www.pinterest.com 226
www.ebay.co.uk 98
www.amazon.co.uk 42
www.nhs.uk 41
www.etsy.com 33
www.gov.uk 33
www.facebook.com 31
www.fandom.com 30
www.imdb.com 25
www.thefreedictionary.com 23
www.cdc.gov 18
www.collinsdictionary.com 16
www.discogs.com 14
www.gumtree.com 13
aws.amazon.com 12
www.amazon.com 12
www.urbandictionary.com 11
genius.com 11
www.azlyrics.com 11
www.ebay.com 9
www.who.int 9
www.mayoclinic.org 9
www.nih.gov 9
www.quora.com 8
dictionary.cambridge.org 8

One huge improvement is the change Pinterest has since for this update.

image 37
Pinterest's visibility change from the update

I did tweet about this when I first spotted it.

But from further investigation, this seems like the .com site has started ranking in place of the .co.uk site.

pinterest visibility change scaled 1
pinterest.co.uk vs pinterest.com Sistrix visibility

The primary gov.uk site is one significant change in visibility that I wanted to investigate further.

gov uk sistrix visibility
gov.uk visibility change

By looking at the SERP change for 'adopt a child', we can gain some insight into what Google is trying to do with this update.

adopt a child serp compared scaled 1
Sistrix SERP compare for 'adopt a child'

Barnardos is a children's support charity, and One Adoption is an adoption agency.

Searching 'adopt a child' is an early research search query. To me, this looks like a positive change. The first thing you should be reading, in this case, is laws, legalities and the process of adoption.

The government site will always be the most authoritative source of information on that topic.

The most significant declines since the update

A variety of sites are dropping from this update. Here are the top 25 drops.

Domain Absolute visibility change
www.youtube.com -249.96
www.pinterest.co.uk -216.92
www.theguardian.com -60.62
www.bbc.co.uk -26.05
www.telegraph.co.uk -22.42
www.healthline.com -17.85
www.nytimes.com -17.81
www.wikipedia.org -17.76
www.webmd.com -16.91
www.independent.co.uk -14.51

One thing that stands out from this is that quite a few news and media sites are seeing significant decreases in visibility.

When you look at the average percentage change across each industry, news and media sites are being seen less in search than any other type of site.

june 2020 avg change by industry

So, who is replacing these news and media sites?

I investigated a lot of SERPs and spotted a trend with Google seeming to favour specialist sites over non-specialist sites providing reviews on a topic.

For example, see the below comparison for the 'best scooter' SERP before and after the update.

In blue, I've highlighted generic sites providing reviews; in orange are sites that specialise in content on that topic.

best scooter serp compare
Sistrix SERP compare for 'best scooters'

For 'birthday poems', Google is just dropping the position of the generic news site and leaving behind sites that have more topical authority in that area.

birthday poems serp compare
Sistrix SERP compare for 'birthday poems'

And the same trend again for 'best campgrounds'

best campgrounds serp compare
Sistrix SERP compare for 'best campgrounds'

To me, this all seems like a positive move. They all look like improvements from performing a manual analysis on a wide variety of SERPs that have seen significant changes.

A move from Google to begin better ranking specialist sites within a topic area shouldn't come as a surprise. The EAT principles Google uses to evaluate the quality of SERPs and algorithms look to better show authoritative sites in search results.

Even looking way back before EAT principles were public knowledge, concepts such as topic-sensitive PageRank were well known as something Google could be doing to better highlight sites that are authorities within a specific topic area.

Summary

We're still in the early days of this update, and it'll be interesting to see what others find from their analysis.

If you want to see what other SEO's are saying, make sure to check the Search Engine Roundtable post here.

I'm planning on turning the process used to gather the data within this piece for ongoing analysis into algorithm updates in the future, so make sure to subscribe below if you'd like to be kept in the loop for future articles.