Google’s November “Bedlam” Update

Those of us in the SEO business began noticing that our website metrics were changing in mid- to early- November, and it wasn’t until November 12 that Google confirmed that they had rolled out an unannounced update, by that point coined as the Bedlam update (no relation to BEDLAM 2020, our awesome conference.) From there, it wasn’t until early December that Google revealed why there had been such drastic changes.

 

Neural Matching

The reason for the upset has been pinned down to Google’s update implementing neural learning, a form of AI that aims to prioritize user intent. This is designed to provide users with more relevant search results. This means that some website might be receiving less traffic but higher leads, some websites might be lower across the board, and some might be higher across the board.

 

The Local Impact

Local businesses have seen some of the more significant impacts, with rankings changing drastically to reflect relevance over proximity. Spam listings and keyword-stuffed posting seem to have benefitted from the update. They are likely to be taken care of as Google smooths out the kinks of neural matching. The best way to fight this is through local optimizations and spam fighting.

 

Stabilizing Post-Bedlam

While most of the initial upheaval and “bedlam” of the update has worn off, the full impact and time frame until it’s considered the new normal is still unclear. The best way to carry on after such an event is to make sure your website is following Google’s best practices, provide relevant content, and regularly check in with your marketing team to ensure nothing’s on fire.

 

What Our Clients Should Expect

Our team here at Mockingbird has led our clients through years of Google updates. We have consistently helped them back onto their upward trends. We expect Bedlam to be no different. Still, we have been taking every step to keep our clients on the right track.

 

If you have any questions about how the update may have impacted your site, contact your account executive.

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