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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:

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Mozcast – although the website is now showing lower numbers:

Semrush:

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Algoroo:

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Advanced Web Rankings:

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Accuranker:

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SERPmetrics:

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Cognitive SEO:

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RankRanger:

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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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January 22nd Another Unconfirmed Google Search Ranking Update

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Google Algorithm Update


Again I am seeing signals, both a lot of chatter from the SEO community and tools lighting up around a possible but yet unconfirmed Google search ranking algorithm update. Yes, there has been a ton of unconfirmed updates in the past couple of weeks and let’s add this one to the list.

Most recently we had unconfirmed Google search updates on January 19th and 20th, January 14th, 15th and 17th, then before that on January 11th and then it was quiet until some tremors in late December. So now I am seeing chatter start up on Friday, January 21st and spike through January 22nd and this morning.

It might be just some sort of update that Google didn’t announce that started a week or two ago and it is still rolling out but it is hard for us to say without a statement from Google.

And like the other unconfirmed updates this month, there is both SEO industry chatter and data from the tracking tools that support this but yes, we do not have a Google confirmation about an update.

SEO Industry Chatter

Like I said above, the chatter started around Friday, January 21st and continued through Saturday January 22nd and today, Sunday January 23rd. Here is what I found at WebmasterWorld throughout this timeframe:

It’s all come to a grinding halt this morning for me so far. The last 4 days have seen seen an average of 133.1% but coming up to 14 hours of my Googleday I’m struggling on 29.7%.

About the same here. I assume the update is still rolling out or twhat we are seeing is the ghost town after an update.

The lost keywords on mobile search have not returned. They do show on desktops. The page experience for mobile is good so not sure what’s really going on. Any ideas would be welcomed.

update: this is only in US by the looks of it. All the ‘lost’ keywords show in UK and other places but have been removed from US.

I see high spikes in traffic on totally irrelevant pages on my site. This morning it looks like quality traffic is starting to pick up. The weird thing is that G drives so much traffic to very unimportant pages. Some adjustment is certainly taking place.

My main site is about weather forecast. This morning I had high traffic spikes on pages from small and irrelevant towns in Tanzania, Colombia, Chile, Kenya and many others. This is unusual. These locations are not having any particular weather events to attract so many users at the same time on the same page.

I keep seeing anomalies with high traffic right now. I don’t know if it’s a fix or an update.

It’s pretty weird after 3 days of drops.

Something major happened because my main website dropped like a rock (25-30% in keywords and traffic) over the night. And my competitors as well. Semrush shows very depressing data and the traffic does confirm it. Looking forward to see what Google cooked this time.

Yesterday ended at 91.7% however just seemed slow all day. and again today it seems sluggish but “is it that time of year” ?!?!

One thing is for certain though, the pub / hotel site today is quiet BUT the restaurant had a great lunch service and the the “new UK norm” bars are very busy at the moment … It’s cold outside so they’re all warrming-up inside 🙂

Some are also suggesting that the tracking tools, like Semrush and others need to readjust for the new high levels of volatility.

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Google Tracking Tools

Here is what the tracking tools are showing right now:

Mozcast:

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SERPMetrics:

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Advanced Web Rankings:

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RankRanger:

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Cognitive SEO:

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Semrush:

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Accuranker:

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Algoroo:

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So most of the tools seem pretty hot…

Are you noticing ranking changes?

Update: Glenn Gabe agrees that it might be a continuation from whatever rolled out earlier, he shared these charts:

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.





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Google New York City Conference Room View

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Google NYC Conference Room View


Here is a recent photo from the New York City Google office and the view this conference room has. It was the first time this Googler has been back at the office in almost two years and it was a nice day for it.

This photo was shared on Instagram.

This post is part of our daily Search Photo of the Day column, where we find fun and interesting photos related to the search industry and share them with our readers.





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Bug With Google Ads Discovery & Performance Max Campaigns & New Placement Reports

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Bug With Google Ads Discovery & Performance Max Campaigns & New Placement Reports


Google Ads confirmed some sort of bug with Discovery and Performance Max campaigns that are a “significant subset of users.” It is unclear what this bug is, but it started last night at around 11pm ET. Also, George Nguyen at Search Engine Land spotted that Google released new placement reports for Performance Max campaigns.

Discovery and Performance Max Campaigns Bug

Google wrote that on January 21, 2022 at 4:07 AM UTC “We’re aware of a problem with Google Ads affecting a significant subset of users. We will provide an update by Jan 21, 2022, 8:00 AM UTC detailing when we expect to resolve the problem. Please note that this resolution time is an estimate and may change. This issue is affecting Discovery and Performance Max campaigns”

Google has issued another update that “We are continuing to investigate this issue” but has no details yet on what the specific issue is.

Any of you seeing the issue?

Update: Here is Google’s statement “our team uncovered a temporary technical issue that affected serving on YouTube inventory between January 18 and January 21 for a subset of Discovery campaigns and a small portion of Performance Max campaigns. We have resolved the issue and everything is now working as intended.”

New placement reports for Performance Max campaigns

George explained that Google Ads has launched placement reports for Performance Max campaigns where these new placement reports can be generated to see where ads have served for Performance Max campaigns as well as how many impressions those ads obtained.

Google sent Search Engine Land this statement, “Placement reports for Performance Max campaigns are a new reporting resource for advertisers to easily see where on Google’s channels ads have served and associated impressions. We created these reports to give advertisers more transparency and assurance around where their ads are showing.”

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Chris Ridley shared this on Twitter on this topic:

Forum discussion at Twitter.





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