How Google and Apple’s latest updates in September 2019 will affect your analytics, data collection and visibility.

This is the first major update since June earlier this year. There are a lot of different things that will affect your analytics and data collection. There are two major updates in September that may have affected you negatively, so you need to know what to do about it. However, even if you catch the warnings early, it may take months to recover. Sometimes it’s trial and error. You make some adjustments, monitor your analytics and look for any changes. Then repeat.


Google rarely confirms its updates, but for some reason, they did release an early warning on this one.  Which means that this update would be bigger than usual. It was announced on September 24th, 2019. Google makes significant, broad changes to their search algorithms, several times a year referred to as “core updates.” This particular update applies globally, which means it covers all markets and search indexes.


Did you “feel” it? We have seen reports of up to 40% drop in traffic after the update, but hopefully, you are not one of them. Some sites will rank higher for their top keywords, others may see a drop in their positions, while others may see no change. Click-through rates may be impacted as well, and you may notice more or less traffic after any of these updates. So, what do you do if your site has been affected negatively? We know that the goal of Google’s core update is to return more relevant and useful search results to the searcher. Therefore, we suggest focusing on the content. Quality, relevant content. That’s at least what Google’s algorithms seem to reward. Focusing on improving the content, working with an agency and a writer who knows how to write optimized copy for the web, is key to success.


Then we have Apple and their update. As of September 2019, Apple changed the user agent for the iPad so that it appears as desktop traffic when visiting websites. This change will cause a decrease in iPad tablet traffic and an increase in Safari desktop traffic in your analytics. Since iPad users will now be receiving desktop sites by default, this change in reporting matches the user experience. Since on iPadOS User Agent in Safari is same as on MacOS Catalina, it will be more difficult to distinguish where the traffic comes from.

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