Google Search Ranking Algorithm Tremors Continue In A Big Way

Are you dizzy yet? The Google search results are still super volatile and we are seeing high levels of chatter spike back up over the past 24 to 48 hours and the tracking tools are also running incredibly hot. There is just so much going on right now in Google Search for an SEO that taking off for Christmas might not be an option for many.

Just when you thought we had enough, we didn’t. As I mentioned just before, we had tons of updates this past year, both confirmed and unconfirmed Google search algorithm updates. It seems like this is ongoing volatility from earlier this week and it is hard to say if it is all directly related to the ongoing product reviews update or not.

SEO Chatter

The ongoing chatter at WebmasterWorld is spiking like said. Many SEOs are talking about the results bouncing all around, like you’d see with a big update. Here is some of that chatter:

Feels like something big happened today. I was having minor improvements the past couple of days and then today we had a fairly significant drop. This update seems to be much bigger than the most recent “core update” they released. This “product reviews” update seems to go way beyond products because the losses we took today have nothing to do with products whatsoever.

Traffic went up 20+% on Dec 10, but dropped down 35% on Dec 15. Definitely some big thing happened today. I saw several people reporting big drop the same day.

Looks like something new is being rolled out. What I learned about these updates is that even when your site or sites benefit from a certain update it will not last for a long time. If you happened to receive a huge boost make sure to capitalize it in any way you can because it will end soon. It can be a day, a week or a few months down the road.

Huge drop this morning…

I was having higher and more stable traffic for a month, until December 3rd. It dropped off and seems to remain at around -15% USA traffic since then, mostly concentrated on traffic to my home page. Both search and direct traffic are down and USA can start the day down 65-70% these days and struggles to recover all day. This coincides again with major swings on a daily basis in ranking…I can lose 10 top ten terms in one shot and recover them the next day. All of this has resulted in very few new inquiries and of course zero new sales. The only sales I have had are from return customers.

One company that I work with is also experiencing major ranking swings on a daily basis. It is most noticeable in Search Console when you only select rankings. This seemed to start in April around the time of the Product Review Update. It isn’t an affiliate site, but it does have a lot of in-depth informative content around their products and the situations in which they are used.

“The Grinch” update continues, as does zero traffic and sales. This looks like the last year for the site.

I was also hit, pretty hard. I managed to attain global reach, initially google ranked me mostly in the US. The problem that I came with it is a huge drop in keywords. Now these keywords are coming back very slowly but ranked very poorly. If for example a keyword was ranked in 4 now it is at 94. And it’s not improving. The new update they started rolling out today will hit me tomorrow so I am really hoping for some improvements.

If you are on the wrong end of the stick with the current core update (Im not buying the product review label) this will hurt.

Traffic down 35% today…both search and direct. USA, UK, Germany, Canada, Australia…all way down. I’ve never seen such a large single day drop in my 17 years of doing this so hopefully it’s not some new and permanent terror Google is unleashing on us. One way or another Google is making sure to make all the traffic from organic search go bye bye at an accelerating pace.

For the past 12 months, I have been hit by each algorithm update. Today once again 15% down and now overall down 70% YoY

It goes on but I don’t want to just copy and paste all the chatter there.

Tracking Tools

The tracking tools are also really hot right now, virtually all of them are showing significant volatility over the past couple weeks and it spiked again over the past 48 hours. Here are some screenshots from these tools.


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Advanced Web Rankings:

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Cognitive SEO:

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So yes, a lot of signs point at a big update but what exactly is this update is hard to say for sure, there is a lot going on. It can be core update corrections, it can be the product reviews update, can be some unannounced spam effort or algorithmic shift or something else.

Recent Confirmed Google Updates

So let’s summarize the confirmed updates we had recently:

And actually more confirmed ones and plenty of unconfirmed updates.

I do hope your stress levels are manageable before the the upcoming holiday season.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

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