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Google Search Ranking Algorithm Updates & Volatility Continues

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Google Algorithm Update

Every Monday, I end up covering an unconfirmed Google search ranking algorithm update but this past week, going into the weekend, was even more volatile than the others. I am seeing way more chatter, and even the tools are showing heavier volatility than the normal high volatility.

There was a lot of movement mid-to-late last week and then this weekend even more. Wednesday, November 30th was a big movement day. But then again, this weekend had some big movement as well, such as December 2nd and 3rd were pretty big.

Tracking Tools

This time, I’ll start with the charts to show you what the automated tracking tools are showing. Some, as you can see, are pretty heated up – even Semrush which is always calm now showed a big spike:

RankRanger:

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Mozcast:

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SERPmetrics:

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Cognitive SEO:

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Semrush:

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Algoroo:

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Advanced Web Rankings:

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Accuranker:

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SERPstat:

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Google SEO Chatter

I am going to include both the December and some end-of-November chatter from the ongoing WebmasterWorld threads so you can see what is going on; I’ll include them in order of oldest to newest chatter:

Today I have the biggest drop I’ve ever seen. Did anyone else notice anything big today?

My search traffic nearly doubled yesterday, it doubled from a very low base but it is a move in the right direction. Numbers have dropped back slightly today.

More of my articles are also gaining impressions again, the position is terrible but at least google is doing something with them.

Still down about 98% from before the spam update.

Yesterday traffic skyrocketed across the board, but this morning USA traffic is down 54%. Only USA is down…AGAIN. On days like this where USA traffic opens mysteriously low it tends to recover somewhat and close the day at just under break even.

My UK traffic is now almost 50% of my USA traffic, which is ludicrous. It was 10% for years. That’s not due to extra UK traffic, but the loss of USA traffic over the years. USA traffic is so tamped down due to the intense competition from the number of ads and on page crap being run at any one time. In my field I am also seeing numerous new businesses running instagram ads…they all appear to be different brands, but look like clones and they are selling remarkably similar items at very low prices. Soon they will run each other into the ground.

Just checked my metrics for the past 7 days and my USA-only traffic is down 32% as a proportion of my overall traffic. Yesterday I was having a good day until US traffic hardly kicked-in at all.

I think it’s already rolling out (unannounced). Started on December 1st. I have had big swings with traffic disappearing and reappearing and it just disappeared again tonight.

Something massive is happening since midnight on Saturday. From 12am to 10:30am so far traffic has vanished. Search traffic is down 47% and direct is down almost as much. It appears to be hitting EN language traffic…USA -62%, UK -59%, CA -68%, AU -50%. I have never seen drops like this so hopefully it will be short lived!

Is anyone else seeing a huge drop (or increase) today? I’m at -40% of my search traffic at 2pm.

Looking like normal Saturday traffic here, global site on average UK gig site ahead of average as per usual.

I am seeing huge drops on my sites.

We’ve had an encouraging hint of recovery since Friday. It started with an increase of 4.7 percent in Google traffic on Friday, compared to the same day of the week a year ago. The increase on Saturday was 9.93 percent, and today (Sunday) it was 13.11 percent.

Yesterday was our worst google traffic day ever. Today it is not looking better.

Same here; my traffic was the same when I had my first weekend over three years ago, LOL!

Now, today my traffic is bursting… Honestly, I am starting to get some tinfoil hat hairdo going on… Is Google trolling me? Why? Its almost Christmas! I am not even going to say things are up; it seems extreme swings are going both ways nearly every few days; this is beyond bizarre.

Have any of you noticed anything really big this weekend and last week? Let us know.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

Source: www.seroundtable.com

SEARCHENGINES

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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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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