Google’s July 2019 “Maverick” Update: What We Know
While Google has to this point remained silent, other SEO experts took note of significant volatility in search results this past July, specifically on July 11, 12, 16 and 18, 2019, suggesting a sizable algorithm shift. This seems to fly in the face of Google’s recent statement that they would be announcing larger algorithm changes in advance.
Coinciding with the release of the trailer for 2020’s Top Gun: Maverick, the update was so named by Brett Tabke of WebmasterWorld on July 19 in response to large fluctuations in search results and traffic reported the day before. Maverick seems to be like the many smaller (relatively speaking) updates Google routinely performs each year, and it remains unclear whether it signals certain verticals or website elements will be looked upon more favorably by Google moving forward.
Some have posited that Maverick is an attempt by Google to even-out the results of their June 2019 core update which saw many sites lose massive amounts of traffic, likely in part due to the core update coinciding with the Diversity Update of June 4-6. Search volatility appears to be consistent across different devices and product categories according to SEMRush:
Rank Ranger confirms that fluctuations were fairly even across major niches:
You can see from this screenshot of July 21, just after the peak in search disruptions related to this update, that nearly all of the first-page results for a term tied to one of The Search Agency’s own clients were not there only a week earlier:
The particular keyword has a monthly search volume of over 64,000 queries, highlighting the concern felt by countless website owners and marketers in the wake of Maverick.
Google Search Algorithm Updates: SEO Takeaways Post-Maverick
In the end, Searchmetrics’ Marcus Tober posited that while Google augmented its algorithm beyond the average minor alterations regularly seen during the year, the update is not worthy of calling it a core update.
However one chooses to identify it, Maverick has resulted in noticeable volatility in search engine results and traffic with no particular industry or niche being affected, leading some to speculate the above-mentioned June core update did not go as planned and Maverick represents a correction of sorts.
With Google remaining mum as far as confirming or denying the update, marketers are left with the only recourse ever offered by Google—churning out high-caliber content that is rich in valuable content and useful to your audience.
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