Oct 30, 2019 - 02:32 PM
It's early to fully understand the ramifications of this new improvement that is said to affect 10% of all search queries. From the examples I've seen, it looks like Google has improved the understanding of questions and the results it serves up. This is good news as I've found the organic search result set relevance (outside of direct answers and people also ask) to be in decline over the past 5 years.
This type of improvement generally means that Google has improved it's result set, which is why you don't see a lot of posts about sites that were hurt because they are generally sites that weren't serving up the right answer in the first place.
Anyone who has had access to their site traffic via Google Search Console, has seen plenty of examples of queries they rank for that they don't necessarily deserve. An example might be an Apple-focused technology blog getting traffic for things like "Where do Washington Apples Get Shipped To?"
Having performed this search, I was hoping to find out where our state's apple's are being sold out of state, but even today the results are not great (no technology sites, but also a leaning towards selling me apples rather than giving me export information).
One notable site that was negatively affected by the algorithm change is the New York Times, but most are chalking this up to their authority causing them to show up for queries that they weren't providing answers to.
For me, until I see new data telling me otherwise, I am continuing to focus on delivering excellent content to searcher's queries, but am expecting that it has an even better chance of showing up for the queries it deserves to. It may be time to invest further into SEO efforts.