So this thread was posted by Grindstone in 2019 on Twitter:My hypothesis: This brings me to a theory… perhaps google could be destroying links that provide exact match anchors in hopes to observe the reaction from the mass in some way? And that this isn’t a permanent reaction and an adjustment is near? Just a theory… i got destroyed and certainly got my links naturally in this case - it just happened they were exact matches by coincidence
Haven't been following specifically what is being discussed, but anecdotally, I went viral last year and picked up a TON of ultra HQ links that I would have never usually got. However, once the initial rush was over, traffic actually went down for a period. Now it is back up and higher than ever before.This is kind of the big reason people tell you not to "over-react" when you see down-trends after receiving a link, ie. not removing them.
I got hit hard in October's update but have just noticed an uptick in traffic from around the end of the first week in January. I think i've increased traffic around 10-15% but across some very random keywords. So, something has definitely been cooking in the serps.
I'm yet to see the complete return of all of my rankings.