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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:

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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:

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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Daily Search Forum Recap: June 19, 2024

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Here is a recap of what happened in the search forums today, through the eyes of the Search Engine Roundtable and other search forums on the web.


Google posted its FAQs on AI Overviews, asking why you can’t disable then. Google may be showing fewer Reddit links. Google explains when it is not a good thing when Googlebot is crawling you more. Google is testing 6 people also ask by default. Google launched menu buttons in the Google Maps results. Google AdSense has a new privacy and messaging feature for privacy rules.


Search Engine Roundtable Stories:


  • Google AI Overviews FAQs Including Why You Can’t Disable AI Overviews


    Google has posted a new document in its forums named frequently asked questions about AI Overviews. In this document it has a section named “why can’t I disable AI Overviews?” The answer is that Google’s “goal is to help people find the information they’re looking for quickly and reliably.”

  • Report On If Google Showing Fewer Reddit Links In Search?


    Some in the SEO industry have been asking if Google has been showing fewer links in its search results to Reddit over the past several weeks. So Mordy Obserstein pulled some Semrush data that showed a slight downtick in Reddit results in Google’s Discussion and Forums section.

  • Google: Two Common Reasons When A Spike In Crawling Is Bad


    Google’s Gary Illyes posted on LinkedIn with two common examples of when a spike in Googlebot activity, crawling, is a bad thing. The short answer is when Googlebot gets to crawling an infinite section of your site (like calendar pages that goes on forever) and when your site is hacked with a ton of new hacked pages.

  • Google Tests Two More People Also Ask Results (6 PPA)


    Google is testing showing two more people also ask results, by default, which is a total of six people also ask, instead of the typical four people also ask that Google would show in its search results.



  • Google Local Panels Gains Menu Button


    Google seems to be adding a “menu” button to the Google Business Profiles, the local panels, in the web search results. I think Google has tested this one and off over the years, but as Marcin Karwowski noted, it seems to be rolling out now to some businesses.



  • New Google AdSense Privacy & Messaging For Users To Opt Out


    Google has begun rolling out a new privacy and messaging feature for AdSense ads in some US states. This is to comply with California, Colorado, Connecticut, Virginia, and Utah privacy laws. The feature allows the site to communicate to the user about opting out of the sale or sharing of their personal information.



  • Google Japanese Circular Keyboard


    Here is a photo from Daniel Waisberg’s trip to the Google Japan office, and it shows these circular Japanese keyboards on display. There are other items on display.

Other Great Search Threads:

Search Engine Land Stories:

Other Great Search Stories:

Analytics

Industry & Business

Links & Content Marketing

Local & Maps

Mobile & Voice

SEO

PPC

Search Features

Other Search

Feedback:


Have feedback on this daily recap; let me know on Twitter @rustybrick or @seroundtable, on Threads, Mastodon and Bluesky and you can follow us on Facebook and on Google News and make sure to subscribe to the YouTube channel, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts or just contact us the old fashion way.



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SEARCHENGINES

Daily Search Forum Recap: June 18, 2024

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Here is a recap of what happened in the search forums today, through the eyes of the Search Engine Roundtable and other search forums on the web.


Google Search Console reports with # signs in them are not related to canonicalization in Google Search, it is related to Google Sitelinks. Bing Webmaster Tools can show clickthrough rates of over 100%, no joke. Google is testing black sitelinks. Google Maps added an edit and post button to the main buttons for Google Business Profiles. And no, Google Search does not always show the original source in its search results.


Search Engine Roundtable Stories:


  • Google: #s In Google Search Console Reports Are Unrelated To Canonicalization


    There is a lot of talk in the wider SEO community around pound signs, #, in the Google Search Console reports, meaning something about canonicalization. John Mueller from Google, along with a number of SEOs, said it has nothing to do with canonicalization. Instead, it has to do with Google tracking on-page sitelinks from the Google Search results.

  • Google: Our Search Results Do Not Always Show Original Source


    Google’s John Mueller said in the last SEO Google Office Hours video that Google’s “search results are not an indication of what Google’s systems consider to be the original source.” This means that just because Google ranks a piece of content, it does not necessarily mean that the content is the original source.



  • Bing Webmaster Tools Clickthrough Rate Over 100%


    Did you ever sort the Bing Webmaster Tools clickthrough-rate column from highest to lowest and notice that you can see a CTR higher than 100%, I even see 300%. Well, Fabrice Canel from Microsoft said this is possible when a searcher clicks on your listing more than once from the same search result set.


  • Google Maps Adds Edit & Post Button To Business Profile Listing


    Google has added an “edit” and “post” button more prominently as big buttons to Google Business Profiles within the Google Maps interface. Previously, these buttons were not as accessible in the Google Maps interface.

  • Google Search Tests Black Sitelinks


    Google is testing another variation of its sitelinks design, this one uses black font colors for the sitelinks. Of course, Google generally uses blue for those links, because links are generally in blue underlined font.



  • Google Japan Zashiki Seating


    Daniel Waisberg was at the Google Japan office and he snapped some photos, shared them on LinkedIn. Here is one of one of the cafe areas that has the Japanese floor seating, also called Zashiki /Tatami seating.

Other Great Search Threads:

Search Engine Land Stories:

Other Great Search Stories:

Analytics

Industry & Business

Links & Content Marketing

Local & Maps

Mobile & Voice

SEO

PPC

Search Features

Other Search

Feedback:


Have feedback on this daily recap; let me know on Twitter @rustybrick or @seroundtable, on Threads, Mastodon and Bluesky and you can follow us on Facebook and on Google News and make sure to subscribe to the YouTube channel, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts or just contact us the old fashion way.



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Daily Search Forum Recap: June 17, 2024

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Here is a recap of what happened in the search forums today, through the eyes of the Search Engine Roundtable and other search forums on the web.


We had another possible Google search ranking update this weekend. Google Ads is forcing some advertisers off credit card payments. Apple updated its Applebot documentation in a big way. Google Maps updated its fake engagement policy. Google updated its hreflang documentation. Google Ads now allows for some opioid painkiller ads. And a special piece from Glenn Gabe on tracking AI Overviews in Google Search Console – well, kinda.


Search Engine Roundtable Stories:


  • Google Father’s Day Weekend Search Ranking Volatility


    Happy Father’s Day – it looks like we are seeing some pretty significant ranking fluctuations and volatility within the Google Search results over the past day or so. Yep, yet another big Google weekend update of sorts – of course – not confirmed by Google.

  • The Maddening Adventure Of Tracking AI Overviews In Google Search Console




    Google launched AI overviews in the SERPs in the United States officially on May 14th at I/O. This follows the launch of Google’s Search Generative Experience (SGE) in May of 2023…



  • Google Ads Forcing Some Advertisers Off Credit Card Payments


    Google Ads is forcing many of its advertisers off the credit card option for paying for their ad accounts and onto bank-based payment methods, such as ACH, wire, or paper check. If you do not comply by July 31, 2024, your account can be suspended.



  • Apple Updates Applebot Docs With Applebot-Extended, Reverse DNS & More


    Apple has made some really big changes to the Applebot documentation after the Apple WWDC event, where Apple announced Apple Intelligence. Apple added more about Applebot, reverse DNS details, Applebot-Extended and much more.



  • Google Maps Updates Fake Engagement Policy With More Detail


    Google has updated its Google Maps contributor fake engagement policy to flesh out in more detail how the policy works. The new text is like 40% longer and seems to have received a nice refresh.



  • Google Updates hreflang Documentation While I Was Offline


    Google has tweaked its hreflang search developer documentation to clarify that link tags for denoting alternate versions of a page must not be combined in a single link tag. Google said it wanted to document this “quirk” in its documentation.



  • Google Now Allow Some Opioid Painkillers Ads


    Google Ads will update its Healthcare and medicines policy this month to allow advertisers to discuss opioid painkillers without promoting or selling them. The example given is that you can have ads to discuss public policy solutions for opioid painkiller abuse.



  • Googler In Training Jacket


    Here is Mike Ryan’s kid wearing a Googler in Training red rain / wind jacket. He posted about the Google merch a year ago and I guess now his kid is old enough to wear it and shared this photo of his kid wearing it.

Other Great Search Threads:

Search Engine Land Stories:

Other Great Search Stories:

Analytics

Industry & Business

Links & Content Marketing

Local & Maps

Mobile & Voice

SEO

PPC

Search Features

Other Search

Feedback:


Have feedback on this daily recap; let me know on Twitter @rustybrick or @seroundtable, on Threads, Mastodon and Bluesky and you can follow us on Facebook and on Google News and make sure to subscribe to the YouTube channel, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts or just contact us the old fashion way.



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