The Daily Mail, a very large UK online publisher, has lost half of its organic web site traffic as of June 3. That’s according to a post in the Google Search Console forums by a user claiming to be The Daily Mail’s SEO Director Jesus Mendez.
Hit by Google update. It appears The Daily Mail may have been hit badly by the June 2019 Google core search algorithm update that began rolling out on June 3. Mendez said that dailymail.co.uk lost 50% of its traffic, with a 90% drop in Google Discover feed traffic. We have reached out to Mendez to confirm the authenticity of the post.
“The day after the broad core algorithm update (June 3rd) we saw a massive drop in Search traffic from Google (lost 50% of daily traffic),” Mendez wrote. He added, “This was a drop over the course of 24-hours and we have not made any changes to the site. Further, we saw our Discover traffic drop by 90% and has not improved. This is across all verticals, devices, AMP and Non-AMP.”
He asked, “Further, on June 2nd we saw a blip for a few hours when our Google Bot traffic almost disappeared, before returning again. Could possibly be related?”
Early data on this Google update shows that there were many sites that lost traffic and many that gained. In fact the Mirror, the Sun, the Metro and other UK online publications all gained according to Sistrix’s UK data. But when one site gains, it is possible for others to lose. Sistrix showed the Daily Mail losing 43% visibility in search.
Speculation and theory. There is a lot of speculation floating around this drop in Google visibility for The Daily Mail’s web site. People are speculating it has to do with the ads, the site speed, the content, the political slant, and so forth. Some are even speculating that someone posted using Jesus Mendez’s name in an effort to make the SEO Director of the Daily Mail look bad, along with his publication.
The Google forum thread has SEOs giving advice, and there are a lot of other comments and ideas across the web after I wrote about this on my personal blog.
Why we should care. Many in the SEO community are very transparent with each other about the issues and challenges they face. Many are not afraid to ask questions and ask for help from their peers. However, it is rare to see a large publication and publicly-traded company talk about losing significant traffic in a public forum thread. It is still early to be drawing broad conclusions about the June update, but you should be monitoring your Google Search Console account for changes.