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Google Search Ranking Algorithm Jolt On December 27th & 28th?

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Google Search Ranking Algorithm Jolt On December 27th & 28th?

Around December 27th and 28th we may have a Google search ranking algorithm jolt or quick tremor. I highly doubt Google pushed out something over the holidays, this last week of December. But it might just be some weird change that jolted the search results (like that even happens as I am describing).

There was a spike in SEO chatter in the WebmasterWorld forums starting late December 26th through December 28th and some, but not all, of the automated Google tracking tools showed blips around December 27th and 28th. It is not unusual for Google’s search results to fluctuation without Google to manually push an algorithm update, but this jolt seems stronger than normal fluctuations. Maybe it was some sort of weird bottleneck or something, I have no idea.

SEO Chatter

Here is some of the chatter from the forums and social:

Our Google traffic and overall numbers have increased noticeably in the past couple of days, which frankly comes as a surprise for an international travel-planning site. The growth is in line with our standard pre-COVID traffic pattern: a low for the year before Christmas, followed by a slow but steady climb toward our annual summer peak starting around Christmas or New Year’s.

I’m pleasantly surprised too, Xmas / New Year has always been our websites’ quietest time of year but the last 3 days have been 37.0%, 54.7% and 63.3% yesterday.

I spoke too soon…traffic was normal until noon, at which point it dropped off a cliff for the rest of the day…UK ended up -40% by end of the day. I am seeing these precipitous drops almost every day now. Traffic will seem normal until it just drops to 0-1 per hour for hours on end. This is what my UK traffic looks like this month:

I’m getting a very huge amount of traffic coming in from all over the world right now. It’s been happening since morning.

I don’t know if my G Real-Time has gone crazy or if it’s actually happening.

I’m having an increase of over 5,000%.

Is anyone else seeing something bizarre today?

Not me…a 79% drop in home page traffic today…search is down 51%. Both USA and UK down 45-48% at 1pm, Canada down 67%, Australia not one visit yet, Western Europe almost nothing. I have never seen anything like it before in my 17 years. All I can think is it must be a penalty of some sort as my ranking has been dropping and dropping this month…soon nothing left.

I’m seeing some increase in organic traffic today as well, and expect about a 10% total increase compared to yesterday by the end of the day. Traffic seems regular. Since the majority of this site is informational, there aren’t any direct conversions, but we’ll see what affiliates have to say in the next few days or weeks.

Legitimate traffic. AdSense with high conversion. USA and Europe is the majority. This started this morning. As usual, it never lasts longer than 1 hour. Today it’s been going on for the whole day. I hope it stays that way.

Yes, I won top positions on several terms. This usually appears for 1 hour when it happens. Today it spans all day. I hope this is permanent. If it wasn’t an update, my site finally surpassed my competitors…

Today I see so much junk traffic it feels like buyers forgot Google exits all started they shopping at Amazon or something!

Google Tracking Tools

Like I said, some but not all of the tracking tools are showing blips around December 27th and 28th. Here are screenshots of those tools:

Mozcast – although the website is now showing lower numbers:

Semrush:

click for full size

Algoroo:

click for full size

Advanced Web Rankings:

click for full size

Accuranker:

click for full size

SERPmetrics:

click for full size

Cognitive SEO:

click for full size

RankRanger:

click for full size

Things seem to be calming down again, so I am not sure what that jolt was – did you feel something?

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.




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Microsoft Bing’s New BingBot Now Fully Live Today

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Bingbot

As a reminder, since April, Bing has been slowly testing a new BingBot user agent, slowly rolling it out to more percentages of crawls over the year. It should have rolled out to 100% of all crawls last month. But now Fabrice Canel said this week that it is near 100%, and an announcement is coming sometime today from Microsoft.

Fabrice Canel from Microsoft Bing wrote on Twitter, “We are near 100% and are proactively monitoring and rolling back any website having issues. Stay tuned for more communication Friday.”

Initially, Bing said it would be rolled out by Fall 2022, then January 2023. Maybe today is the day?

Here has been the rollout so far:

  • April 2022: Less than 5% of crawls
  • July 2022: 5% of all crawls
  • September 2022: 20% of all crawls
  • October 2022: 50% of all crawls
  • February 2023: New 100% of all crawls

Let’s see what Fabrice announces today.

Forum discussion at Twitter.

Update: Confirmed, it is fully live according to Fabrice on LinkedIn.



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Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai Confirms New Chat Based Search Feature

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Google mobile phone texting

Last night I reported on Search Engine Land, based on the Google earnings report and earnings call, that Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai has confirmed the search company will release a chat based search feature based on its own AI, LaMDA, in the coming weeks and months. Plus, there is a big new search event this Wednesday – so maybe we will hear about it there?

Yes, the other day we reported about Apprentice Bard, the reports of Google’s ChatGPT answer to OpenAI and Microsoft Bing.

Here is what Sundar said on the call:

Sundar Pichai said, “In the coming weeks and months, we’ll make these language models available, starting with LaMDA, so that people can engage directly with them. This will help us continue to get feedback, test, and safely improve them. These models are particularly amazing for composing, constructing, and summarizing. They will become even more useful for people as they provide up-to-date more factual information.”

Sundar Pichai said that he “first spoke about Google being an AI-first company” more than “six years ago.” “We have been preparing for this moment since early last year, and you’re going to see a lot from us in the coming few months across three big areas of opportunity; first, large models. We published extensively about LaMDA and PoN, the industry’s largest, most sophisticated model plus extensive work at DeepMind,” he continued to say.

During the question and answer period, Sundar added “We’ll be launching — we’ll — more as labs products in certain cases, beta features in certain cases and just slowly scaling up from there. Obviously, we need to make sure we’re iterating in public, these models will keep getting better, so the field is fast changing. The serving costs will need to be improved.”

“So I view it as very, very early days, but we are committed to putting our experiences, both in terms of new products and experiences, actually bringing direct LLM experiences in Search, making APIs available for developers and enterprises and learn from there and iterate like we’ve always done. So I’m looking forward to it,” he added.

Sundar goes on to add, “In terms of Search too, now that we can integrate more direct LLM type experiences in Search, I think it will help us expand and serve new types of use cases, generative use cases. And so I think I see this as a chance to rethink and re-imagine and drive Search to solve more use cases for our users as well. So again, early days, you will see us be bold, put things out, get feedback and iterate and make things better.”

Here is the event live stream on Wednesday:

Everyone is so ChatGPT crazed!

Forum discussion at Twitter.



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Google Algorithm Update, Yandex Search Factors Leaked, ChatGPT Craze (Bing/Google), Bing Lastmod & More Yahoo Search

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Google Algorithm Update, Yandex Search Factors Leaked, ChatGPT Craze (Bing/Google), Bing Lastmod & More Yahoo Search

In this week’s recap, I covered the unconfirmed Google update that seemed to impact product review sites but maybe more on January 26th. Yandex had a huge leak, and SEOs and marketers dug through the search engine’s source code. Google’s answer to ChatGPT might be Apprentice Bard using LAMDA Sundar Pichai of Google basically confirmed this. Google’s John Mueller blasted some links sellers. Google Search Console updated the video indexing report. Google said to try to nofollow site credit links in your footer. Google said spammy links from porn sites should not be a priority. Google said if you redesign your site, the rankings make go “nuts.” Google Search Console verification does not impact your rankings. Google said firewalls and CDNs are the biggest reason for why your site is blocking crawling. Google updated its canonicalization docs in a big way. Google said don’t use relative paths in your canonicals. I posted the big Google webmaster report for Friday. Microsoft Bing said the lastmod field in your sitemap file is critical. The new BingBot might go 100% today. Google Ads announcements and news seemed to have slowed since late last year. Google reported earnings that showed their ad revenue was down 3.6% year over year. Yahoo Search is really going to be making a comeback, I have more evidence. And if you want to help sponsor those vlogs, go to patreon.com/barryschwartz. That was the search news this week at the Search Engine Roundtable.

Sponsored by BruceClay, who has been doing search marketing optimization since 1996 and also has an amazing SEO training platform.

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