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Google Search Volatility During Core Update & Spam Update Rollout

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Google Core Spam Update Volatility

We are now a few days into the two October Google Search algorithm updates, the October 2023 spam update and the October 2023 core update and the Google search results are getting heated. The tracking tools are finally all showing large volatility and the chatter has been heated with both of these updates.

Yesterday we reported that the October spam update was starting to work and I suspect a lot of what we are seeing is part of that. But I also suspect we are starting to see the core update get its grips on the search results.

Yes, we have two different search ranking algorithm updates rolling out the same time and it will cause confusion despite what Google may say.

So what are we seeing?

Google Tracking Tools:

The tracking tools are now mostly all showing a lot of volatility compared to what it has been recently showing. Here are what the tools are showing this morning:

Semrush:

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SERPmetrics:

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Advanced Web Rankings:

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Accuranker:

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Mozcast:

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Cognitive SEO:

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Algoroo:

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RankRanger:

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SERPstat:

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Wincher:

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SERPwoo:

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So things are very heated right now, as you might expect during a core update and maybe more so with an overlapping spam update.

SEO Chatter

There is a lot, a lot, of chatter, both here in our comments areas, on Black Hat World and WebmasterWorld. Here is a sampling of some of those more recent comments from the industry. I will say, there are a lot of complaints about pages dropping out of the index since these updates were released. And it might not be a bug, it might be a feature of these updates.

Some of my pages are disappearing, I don’t know why. I think mostly the pages where I have embedded the videos, they are disappearing.

I’m having the same problem, pages are disappearing on Google, even though all my posts are authored by humans.

My traffic dropped roughly 45% during the helpful content update, but the traffic seems to be on an upward trend now – and daily revenue is higher than its been in nearly a month. I hope this sticks, and is not only temporal. In my opinion, this core update will undo some of the the damage of the HCU for many people, provided their sites are genuinely helpful and high quality.

I am seeing even more movements in the SERPs today. Of course it is more down for us because Amazon and a couple of others are moving up. I honestly don’t even know what is the point of writing content is anymore since Amazon and big sites dominate the first page. It’s not just our sites, none of our competitors are ranking either. How can they?

Status of the previous days:
– No relevant change post-HCU
– Globally, all my sites with > 1k unique visitor/day took a hit (between 40% and 50%)
– Some of my sites with

Some of these sites share the same “skin” and structure but are for different countries.

Overall, big L

I have accepted the fact that my intermittent content disappearance issue is likely a “quality” issue in the eyes of Google. I’m going around and adding more details as much as possible in an attempt to create more value between these posts.

There are positives and negatives to this. Technically it is unnecessary, and I’m only trying to satisfy he machines rather than improve my content. But at least my competitors won’t steal my idea as easily. I have at least a month’s work to do, day and night, to rectify this issue.

Good luck to all with a similar issue.

Pages continue to disappear and re-appear. It has been happening ever since the index issue or whatever I don’t even know if it’s related to spam update or core update. Is this a new way to throttle site’s traffic?

My traffic is down over the last 1.5 days.

My content ranks decently but the traffic is way down because that’s what happens when you drop a few positions. I’m behind a few competitors I used to be ahead of. But most surprising is the Reddit and Quora content which is not even in the ballpark of the formal/expert content I am creating. It isn’t when typing “Reddit” on the end of a query either; it’s just Reddit and Quora being used to replace me in general. For my subjects, those two sites don’t give what people are looking for.

My site was ranked in India, Hindi language website. The ranking drop today, pages not showing in Google.

My English site also got hit last week but started recovering already

Well, after September 2023 HCU update which at the end my whitehat site that was hit from Oct 2022 spam update recovered to pre-2022 spam update levels and more, it seems to be holding steady after a week of Oct 2023 spam and core update.

Actually, I’ve seen 30% rise, but this morning i see its calming back down but could be just today, personally, overall its now like a 400% increase this month.

I know just like sept hcu that within the last hours I got given an almighty boost, in the last few hours of Oct 2023 spam or core update it will be reversed and I’ll be back to oct 2022 click rate penalties, I’m riding a cloud that I should be on but google loves to not give these things.

We are still down a lot. Traffic cut in half. This is the first time since panda we got hit this bad and it has been a roller coaster between updates ever since. Have no idea what we are doing wrong. All of our content is moderated and we have been removing a lot of junk over the years. Cleaning things up sort to speak. As we have been a strong believer in good and helpful content. I guess we have been punished for that. I have no idea. No spam is ever on our forums. So it can’t be that right?. I am just wondering why does it still think we are spammy? When there are none? We do not even allow outgoing links. Other than the adsense ads we have on our website and a few amazon links. And why at this time? Why has it been fine up until now.

I am starting to think we are being punished for the plethora of sites copying our content that we have nothing to do with. We have been copied a lot over the years. Those sites might be spammy. But they are not related to us whatsoever. Who knows what is going on. We sure don’t. Sometimes it would be helpful to know a little bit more than is being said.

I am seeing a lot of my good-ranking pages just disappear from the SERP in the last 2 days which led to traffic loss even with everything showing normal in GSC. The article won’t show up and as per GSC it is indexed, but ranking nowhere.

Anybody get their affected pages re-appear in the SERPs already?

Two of my main traffic pages are still nowhere to be found. One of them is only one of two website-based (not forum-based) results for this particular query, so I don’t see why it would be out of the SERPs. It’s not a repetition of what’s already out there in any way.

Traffic today: 50% drop. All rubbish traffic. No user engagement.

Interestingly, seeing some upward movement today, but it doesn’t seem to have produced any additional traffic so far, never mind converting traffic.

Glenn also posted about some movement this morning:

That is just a sampling of the comments from the various SEO communities.

What are you all seeing?

Forum discussion at Black Hat World and WebmasterWorld.



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Google Hanukkah Decorations Are Live For 2023

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Google Hanukkah 2023

Hanukkah (aka Chanukah) starts this coming Thursday night, December 7th. Google has added its Hanukkah decorations to the Google Search results interface to celebrate. Google does this every year and I expect to see the same rollout in the coming weeks for Christmas and Kawanzaa but for now, since Chanukah is in the coming days, we have the Hanukkah decorations live at Google Search.

Here is a screenshot of the Chanukah decorations as they look like on the mobile search results.

Google Hanukkah Decorations 2023

You can see it yourself by searching on Google for [chanukah], [hanukkah], but not yet [חֲנוּכָּה‎] or other spelling variations yet but it should soon. It looks better on mobile than it does on desktop results.

To see the past, the 2023 decorations, 2021 decorations, 2020 Chanukah decorations, 2019 Google holiday decorations, the 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010 and so on.

Happy Chanukah, everyone!

Forum discussion at X.

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Google Pay Accepted Icons In Google Search Results

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Woman Checking Out Store Google Logo

Google seems to be testing a Google Pay Accepted label or icon in the Google search results. This label has the super G logo followed by the words “Pay accepted” words next to search result snippets that support Google Pay and notate such in their structured data.

This was first spotted by Khushal Bherwani who shared some screenshots of this on X – here is one:

G Pay Accepted Google Search

Here are some more screenshots:

Brodie Clark also posted some screenshots after on X:

Google Pay Accepted Google Search

I tried to replicate this but I came up short.

This is not the first time Google had similar icons like this in its search results.

Forum discussion at X.



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Google Discover Showing Older Content Since Follow Feature Arrived

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Dog Astronut Google Logo

Typically, Google Discover shows content that is less than a day old, but it can show content that is weeks, months, or even years old. However, typically, Google will show more recent content in the Discover feed. Well, that may have changed with the new Google follow feature.

Glenn Gabe, who is a very active Google Discover user, noticed that since the Follow feature rolled out, he has been seeing content that is weeks and months old way more often than before the follow feature rolled out. Glenn wrote on X that “this could also be playing a role. i.e. Google isn’t providing as much recent content, but instead, focusing on providing targeted content based on the topics you are following.”

It makes sense that if you follow a specific topic and if Google Discover only shows the most authoritative types of content, it might be hard for Google to find new content on that topic. So it does make sense that Google may show older content more often for that specific topic you follow.

Here are screenshots Glenn shared:

Google Discover Old Stories Follow

Google Discover Old Stories Follow2

Have you noticed this in your Discover feed?

Forum discussion at X.



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