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Google Search Ranking Algorithmic Volatility On March 1st (Product Reviews Update)

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Google Core Update

I am seeing a much bigger spike in chatter within the SEO community this morning around another Google search ranking algorithm update. It might be related to the ongoing Google February 2023 product reviews update or it might be something new. Right now, the tools and the chatter within the community are pretty extreme.

The February 2023 product reviews update kicked off on February 21st and we saw some volatility the days following. Then we saw a spike in volatility around February 25th and now again, we are seeing big swings on February 28th and March 1st. Again, it is unclear if the latest spikes are product reviews related, you’d think by now most of the volatility would be done with this update (but who knows).

SEO Chatter

The folks in the WebmasterWorld forums and in the comments here started to notice big swings again in the past 24-hours. Here are some quotes:

I’m down another 30% after the Feb 24th update, YIKES. The weird thing is, my website isn’t even a product review website, and absolutely no affiliate links can be found anywhere on my website.

The rankings are replaced with giant websites that have very little relevant info on the niche. RPMs are down badly in the UK, and traffic is down badly, sad times are ahead for my business.

Big drop today (-40%), conversions picked up yesterday in evening and vanished over night.

The same thing – another drop, the most irrelevant traffic from all sources I have:

Google 0:33 s, 1.08 pages per session
Bing 1:02, 1.22 pages per session

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The absolute assassination of my website entirely. All my pages are dropping – as those that are recently updated, as TOP10, TOP100 – everything drops…

Also substantial drop around that same time, like everyone else.

For a spell this morning I was getting completely irrelevant results on Google (which I only use now to check my SERPs positions) from all over the world for some searches – I’m in London. It seems to have settled down for now.

This update has somehow killed our traffic, and I’m not even in a product review niche. I don’t understand how that’s even possible. My niche is firearms, which to my knowledge does not gain product review juice at all, but here we are, keywords tanking, traffic tanking, after a long period of nice gains. Baffled.

My results are still all over the place, I am 4th for 1 term now, but will go back to 1st overnight and in the morning…then back to 4th. it has been like this for nearly 2 weeks now.

My websites are dancing in serp 1 day i am in 1st page next day 3rd page after 2 days 1st and then again 3rd, 4th

SERP dance starts again. Welcome to the show.

In the past, when I saw the SERP dancing, hope was emerging, I presumed it was a sign of that things would be better. But currently, I realized that nothing would be better, we are just losing the traffic when SERP starts to dance.

Massive volatility is going on right now

Yesterday traffic was strong the entire day from every region for the first time since the end of January. Let’s see how long that lasts. A few days of decent traffic with no conversions doesn’t compensate for a month of crap traffic, which is more often the case these days. I have noticed that the SERPs are being broken up by ads at top, middle and bottom now…so it’s very disorienting to search for something and suddenly get a big block of unrelated ads in the middle of the organic results. It’s basically a game of Gotcha! at this point, with Google trying to get people to mistakenly click on ads to generate more revenue. It appears that confusion might pay more as people click around mistakenly instead of avoiding the ads altogether. That’s also why the ads don’t produce conversions for the advertisers. I saw already years ago that 85% of traffic from Google hit one page and left in a few seconds

Google Tracking Tools

The tools are pretty volatile too in the past 24-hours. In fact, I have not seen Semrush this hot in a long long time.

Semrush:

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RankRanger:

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Cognitive SEO:

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Advanced Web Rankings:

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Accuranker:

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SERPmetrics:

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Algoroo:

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Mozcast:

click for full size

So there does seem to be something big going on, if it is the ongoing product reviews update or something else, I do not know at the moment.

Update: It might be product reviews related:

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Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.



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Daily Search Forum Recap: March 1, 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 has new structured data carousel beta details for rich results. Google now lets you opt out of place entities in page insights. Google Business Profiles customer interactions updates every few days. Google wrote in a court document that its search quality has improved. Google AdSense has offerwall messages. I posted the weekly SEO video recap as well.

Search Engine Roundtable Stories:

Other Great Search Threads:

Search Engine Land Stories:

Other Great Search Stories:

Industry & Business

Links & Content Marketing

Local & Maps

Mobile & Voice

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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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Google Ranking Volatility, Tons Of Google Bugs, Most Read Articles, Bing Deep Search & Quality & SEOs Not Loving Google

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Google Ranking Volatility, Tons Of Google Bugs, Most Read Articles, Bing Deep Search & Quality & SEOs Not Loving Google

We had two periods of Google Search ranking volatility this week, one last weekend and one on Thursday or so. Google court documents say search quality has improved and not degraded. Google dropped the see more results in the local panel this week for a period of time until it fixed that bug. Google also removed the news tab but that seemed like a bug also and was fixed. Google has a bug with the European hotel/travel results being hijacked. Google also broke the filetype search operator for a while. Google Analytics is seeing a lot of referral spam from Poland. There is new structured data carousel beta details. Google is testing a most-read articles carousel in the search results. Google is also testing popular opinions carousels. Google local panels is testing expandable menus. Google has this reviews disclaimer for “people like.” Google Analytics added new default Google Ads reports. Google Ads Performance Max placement reports to show the search partner network. Google Ads is testing limited by budget status color coding. Google Ads support reps may use Google Translate to chat with advertisers. Microsoft said it will bring back testing of Bing Deep Search. Google said that Microsoft tried selling Bing to Apple but Apple didn’t want it due to quality issues. A survey shows SEOs dislike Google more now than ever. 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.

Make sure to subscribe to our video feed or subscribe directly on iTunes, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts or your favorite podcast player to be notified of these updates and download the video in the background. Here is the YouTube version of the feed. For the original iTunes version, click here

Search Topics of Discussion:

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Early Signs Of Another Google Search Ranking Update On February 28/29

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Google Logo Ranking Rocks Falling

I am seeing early signs of a possible Google Search ranking algorithm update starting yesterday, February 28th, and into today, February 29th. The chatter started to spike yesterday amongst the SEO community and some of the third-party rank tracking tools are showing a spike in volatility.

Again, Google has not confirmed an update in over 16-weeks now but we have had plenty of unconfirmed Google search ranking algorithm updates since then, including a weird one this past weekend.

Keep in mind, we are all waiting patiently for the next big Google update that Google has been promising since November.

So what are we seeing related to this possible unconfirmed Google Search update?

Google Tracking Tools:

Let’s start with what the tools are showing:

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SERPmetrics:

Serpmetrics

Semrush:

Semrush

Accuranker:

Accuranker

Mangools:

Mangools

SimilarWeb:

Similarweb

Mozcast:

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Mozcast

Advanced Web Rankings:

Advancedwebranking

Wincher:

Wincher

SERPstat:

Serpstat

Cognitive SEO:

Cognitiveseo

Algoroo:

Algoroo

Some of the tools have not yet updated for the day, so I may come back here to update them later.

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SEO Chatter

The SEO chatter is just starting up and most of the chatter I am seeing is coming from the comments area here (I’ll weed out the noise for you by embedding the relevant comments here) and some from WebmasterWorld:

Had a week (again) of amazing conversions – today, just dropped like a rock…here we go.

Anyone else experiencing low Traffic today??

Awful today. After 2 reasonable days

Yes. This week has been horrendous since Monday. I’ve hit the lowest low since September.

Google traffic was better than usual on Sunday and Monday, normally traffic is almost dead from Saturday to Monday. Today, however, things are looking bad. Google traffic so far is significantly lower than usual on a Tuesday. This back and forth is really getting on my nerves.

On Sunday I also noticed uphill traffic, then today when I woke up it was -20% and now -7%. They just move a paa higher or lower and the traffic suffers

Same here…Sunday and Monday very strong traffic. Tuesday off a cliff again. USA traffic is -22% at 4:30pm. The question is, when traffic is high is it converting?

Yesterday was a miserable day for me, as I expected. -43% compared to Sunday and Monday. Sistrix shows a drop of 5.1% for my website in its visibility index today. A look on my direct competitors shows that they have been hit even harder. Other websites that I monitor have also fallen sharply.

Maybe whatever rolled out over the past weekend reverted in some way?

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

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