Weeks ago, around mid-December, it was evident to a lot of webpage owners that the level of visitors on their site had massively declined. Ultimately, this was due to one of Google’s famous search algorithm updates. The update came to be known as ‘Maccabees’, coined by Barry Schwartz of Search Engine Roundtable.

Google Maccabees is very much related to the Fred algorithm update that occurred back in March, in that the sites affected contained similar traits to those affected back in March.

Improving the relevance of the results from a search query is Google’s ultimate goal every time they implement an update, but sometimes little ‘mishaps’ occur for websites. Unbeknownst to the creator, a site may contain tactics that don’t warrant a solid ranking with the new update, and therefore it’s important to thoroughly understand these updates so the correct measures can be taken.

The Maccabees update primarily affected sites with an abundance of pages that targeted multiple keyword variations. This sort of behaviour generally lead to quite thin content and Google was easily able to detect such content. Sites with a low-quality presence due to excessive ads and so forth were also heavily affected in their rankings, as was the case with Fred.

Strangely, there was also a pattern involving companies targeting a market in an area in which they do not operate. For example, the businesses not situated in Castle Hill but who target the Castle Hill market seem to have been affected the most.

It’s quite unclear currently if Google has any plans to update its systems further, and a lot of the data on the topic is inconclusive. In any case, it’s imperative you adjust your websites content regularly in conjunction with the updates to ensure your ranking stays strong.

As there is little information on the subject it’s difficult to make an educated proposition on what to do if you were affected. Regardless, it’s important you understand and employ smart SEO tactics on your webpage so you’re hardly affected by any algorithm update, if at all.

Keep an eye out – there’ll be more to come on the Maccabees update.

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