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Google Search Algorithm Update Tremors & Instability All Week

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So last Monday, we reported about a Google search ranking algorithm update that touched down on May 16th – the 6 month or so anniversary of the last confirmed Google broad core update. Well, that unconfirmed Google update continued on throughout the rest of the week through today, I updated that story a bit to reflect that.

That story now has over 150 comments with complaints about the ongoing tremors and instability of the search rankings in Google Search. The ongoing WebmasterWorld thread, despite the site going through a migration and having some connectivity issues, also has a lot of chatter throughout the week.

Honestly, whatever was pushed out last Monday, May 16th, certainly felt like a broad core update. But of course, it was not a broad core update – Google would have confirmed if it pushed out a broad core update – right? We are due, very due, a broad core update from Google. The last broad core update we had was on November 17, 2021 – which was 6 months and one week ago. We expect these broad core updates every 3-6 months and today is the 6 month mark.

There is a higher than normal number of complaints from affiliate sites about ranking drops. But again, hard to say if this is just impacting affiliate sites, I highly doubt it.

As a reminder, we had many more core-like unconfirmed updates including that May 16th and ongoing update and the Mother’s Day update, the May 1st update, April 20 and 21st update, April 18th update, April 13th and 14th and another update on March 18th both did not get confirmed by Google. Also one on March 11th and March 4th and so on. The last confirmed update was March 2022 Product Reviews Update and that ended on April 11th.

SEO Chatter

He is the recent (past day or so) chatter I am seeing in the WebmasterWorld forums over the past 24-hours or so:

Last week was solid for me showing gains across my platform. Saturday was the lowest day which is normal. Ive kept an eye on Semrush sensor and over the last week with higher volatility things performed better.

Today the sensor shows a 5.2 and the last day we had a rating this close was on April 27. There have been no announced core updates as of late and we all know there is something that should happen soon. We’ve all been expecting it. I cannot help but feel like we are seeing the calm before the storm.

I have noticed G playing with a lot of alternative keywords over the last few weeks. Things I normally have never rated for now showing a lot of various alternates. It has been pulling from every category I have testing. This is different from running the more tried and true given query and pages I am used to seeing.

Impression volumes have been higher this week as well due to this exploratory push G has put the platform through. Actual traffic has not changed much despite this. I shall wait and see what comes of it all.

Unusually low traffic for me at the moment, more precisely since UK time 20.00 Sunday night until about 09.00 today, current traffic, 13.30 UK time, seems to be back to normal.

Anyone else have12-13 hours of much lower than usual traffic?

I’ve had more like 96,360 hours of much lower than usual traffic.

Yes, USA traffic is -53% today at 12:30pm. Home page is -63%. Total search -13% so of course it’s all coming from lower USA results, with traffic from India, Bangladesh, Russia, Nigeria, Pakistan, all zooming along.

I have had roughly a 20% increase in traffic on Sunday and today will also be about the same. Impression increase as well to match. This though comes after three or so weeks of near identical stats.

Traffic has been hammered since 28th of march! Worst part is google also limited my AdSense ads since March since working on facebook and Youtube traffic, which is 20% of my traffic! You get hit for working social it seems. Not sure why SEOS say social signals, my social facebook/youtube (24k followers facebook, 3k subs on youtube) is awesome but I haven’t seen it help the site SEO ranking wise, ever!

Also, the comments on this site, in the May 16th post, are off the charts – so scan through those.

Google Tracking Tools

The tracking tools, all of them, are showing spikes throughout May 16th through this week. Some tools picked it up more than others and some are showing a bigger lift today. Here are screenshots from those tools:

Semrush:

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SERPmetrics:

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Advanced Web Rankings:

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Accuranker:

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SERPstat:

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RankRanger is mostly calm now:

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Mozcast – also is calm:

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So while this may not be a broad core update – there were some signs of a Google update that felt like a broad core update rollout.

Did you notice a lot of volatility the past week and maybe something up-ticking today?

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

Source: www.seroundtable.com

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Google Ad Revenues Down 3.6% Year Over Year

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Google Earnings Stock

Google reported earnings last night and their ad revenue not only slowed but was technically lower year over year. Google’s ad revenue was down about 3.6%, while total revenue was up just around 1%.

Here is the snippet from the earnings report showing that:

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Remember, Microsoft reported earnings the week prior and showed slowed growth but still growth. Microsoft Bing Ads grew 10% last quarter.

Here is a look at Google’s earnings numbers for the past 3 years:

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You can see that Q4 2021 was higher than Q4 2022!

Ruth Porat, CFO of Alphabet and Google, said: “Our Q4 consolidated revenues were $76 billion, up 1% year over year, or up 7% in constant currency, and $283 billion for the full year 2022, up 10%, or up 14% in constant currency. We have significant work underway to improve all aspects of our cost structure, in support of our investments in our highest growth priorities to deliver long-term, profitable growth.”

Hence the mass Google layoffs to cut costs and increase profit. Keep in mind, Google’s profit was insane – $18 billion, that is $1 billion in profit per week! Sure, Google’s net income was down 34% year over year, so I get Wall Street.

Forum discussion at Twitter.



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Microsoft Bing ChatGPT Search Interface Screenshots?

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Bing Chat

Owen Yin shared some screenshots of what he said he saw on the Microsoft Bing website. It looks like the beta version of the upcoming ChatGPT features that we are all expecting Bing to announce in the coming weeks (maybe even this coming Tuesday).

Owen shared these screenshots on Twitter and then posted more details on Medium.

Here is the home page screenshot that widens and enlarges the search box and says “Ask me anything”:

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Here is his screenshot of the results, the answers being returned:

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And here is the GIF he made of this:

Bing Search Chat Interface

It would not surprise me if this is being tested in the wild by Microsoft Bing, as all the evidence leads to a big announcement about this type of feature being released sometime in the next week or so.

Forum discussion at Twitter.



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Google Revamps The Canonicalization Search Help Documentation

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Google Cluster Grapes

Google has updated its search help documentation around canonicalization this morning. The Google Search Relations team split in three distinct sections and updated a lot of the content to provide clearer details around how Google Search and canonicalization works.

The three sections include:

All of this use to be on a single help page, which you can review on the Wayback Machine over here to compare.

With this, Gary Illyes from Google dropped another LinkedIn tip on the topic of canonicalization, he wrote:

Friday ramble: you can stack canonicalization signals to strengthen that hint.

You have a rel=canonical pointing from A to B, but A is HTTPS, it’s in your hreflang clusters, all your links are pointing to A, and A is included in your sitemaps instead of B. Which one should search engines pick as canonical, A or B?

If you just change the URLs from A to B in your sitemaps and hreflang clusters, combined with that rel=canonical it might already be enough to tip over canonicalization to B. Change the links also, and you have an even greater chance to convince search engines about your canonical preference.

Recently, Gary also mentioned to use absoluate URLs for rel-canonical.

So check out these new docs and learn a bit more on canonicalization and Google Search.

Forum discussion at LinkedIn.

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