Google's latest update cuts traffic for crypto sites - is it blacklisting?

11 Jun, 2019
by David Robb
Google's latest update cuts traffic for crypto sites - is it blacklisting?

A number of cryptocurrency news websites have seen drops in traffic in the wake of a recent update to Google's search algorithm. Many in the community have suggested that the company may effectively be 'blacklisting' sites.

Google's latest Core Update was implemented on June 3. Since then, the performance of some websites has changed dramatically. Crypto news site CCN, which has been operating since 2013, has shut down in the wake of the changes made by Google. 

"Our search traffic dropped by more than 71% overnight," CCN founder Jonas Borchgrevink explained to Bloomberg. "With that, we saw a drastic decline in ad revenues...more than 90%". After suggestions that some sort of blacklisting may be going on, a representative for Google claimed that these changes were to be expected, as its improved algorithm was allowing more relevant but previously overlooked sites to gain better exposure. A Tweet from back in 2018 outlined the situation.

The Block also reported a slight fall in visitors since Google changed its algorithm, although CoinDesk claimed that the effect had been negligible on its own traffic. Influential crypto podcaster Peter McCormack has weighed in on the situation, claiming that CCN likely had other issues pre-dating the Core Update, which led to its eventual closure.

Many observers agreed, and suggested that its previous level of popularity may have been linked to some of the more negative factors in the crypto space. Others responded by warning against the centralization of the web, and the excessive influence that Google can now wield over what type of content and information users can be exposed to, an issue that is increasingly relevant to the crypto community.

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