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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.

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 Layoffs, DOJ Sues Google, Search Console Content Ideas & Google Optimize Going Away, Yahoo Search Comeback

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Google Layoffs, DOJ Sues Google, Search Console Content Ideas & Google Optimize Going Away, Yahoo Search Comeback

As I mentioned briefly last week, Google announced mass layoffs last week, and I discuss what I know so far about it. There are also reports that Google is pushing advertisers to use third-party resellers and not their internal staff. The DOJ sued Google again to break up its ad business. Microsoft announced its earnings, showing how Bing’s search ad growth continues to slow. Bing also may have had a search ranking algorithm update. Google Search Console content ideas beta feature may go away in March. Google Search Console Insights has an achievements section. Google confirmed a bug with some preferred languages in Google Search, and they blame mobile-first indexing. Google Ads had an outage on Monday morning that caused huge headaches. Google has no preferences between connected structured data and not connected structured data. Google will parse the image elements even when those elements are enclosed within other elements. Google published a new case study after 18 months, this one from Vimeo on video SEO. Google said generating tons of fake URLs on a site won’t cause SEO issues. Google Business Profiles now supports cars for sale inventory for US dealerships. Bing is testing infinite scroll. Google is testing two justifications in the local results. Google is also testing a new trusted store badge. Bing has a new menu for image search that uses a drop-down and adds explore and collect. Account-level negative keywords are now available on Google Ads. Google will sunset Google Optimize on September 30th. And it seems like Yahoo Search may be making a comeback to Search – that would be exciting. 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.

SPONSOR: This week’s video recap is sponsored by Duda, the Professional Website Builder You Can Call Your Own.

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New Google Trusted Store Badge Test

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Google Store Smile

Google is testing a new design for the trusted store badge in the paid shopping results. The Google Trusted Stores program to all U.S. merchants back in 2012, along with that came a badge in the search results to make those listings stand out.

FYI – here is how to qualify for this trusted store badge.

Brian Freiesleben spotted this new badge the other day and posted a screenshot on Twitter – here is that screenshot:

Google Trusted Store Badge New

Curently, the badge looks more like this version from last year:

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And the original one looked like this:

Google Trusted Stores AdWords Badge

Brian said on Twitter, “Would love to see Google add this to organic products from trusted merchants as well, but not sure if that’s likely.”

Forum discussion at Twitter.



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Google Search Console Content Ideas Going Away March 28th

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Google Ideas Light

Last December, we caught Google testing an experimental feature named content ideas in Google Search Console. Well, yesterday, Google sent more invites to this feature but noted the feature is only available until March 28, 2023 and then it goes away.

Both Robin Dirksen on Twitter and Deepak Ness on Twitter shared screenshots of this feature but the new part is the March 28th date.

The email they received about this feature reads, “Note: This feature be available only until March 28, 2023, and only to select properties.” Then when you access the feature, there is a notice in the interface that says, “New! Get inspiration for new content (available until March 28).”

Here are those screenshots (click to enlarge):

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We know this seems like the Question Hub feature and that Google Question Hub shut down this month. So maybe this content ideas feature is also shutting down but not until the end of March?

Here are more tweets with this:

I do wonder if Google is only testing it until then and maybe will bring it to more users later or if Google is completely killing it off on March 28th?

Forum discussion at Twitter.



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