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Large Google Search Ranking Volatility; Is It The Tail End Of The Product Reviews Update?

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Large Google Search Ranking Volatility; Is It The Tail End Of The Product Reviews Update?

As of yesterday afternoon and certainly today, I am seeing signs of some really large Google search ranking volatility and ranking changes. The question is, are these fluctuations from the tail-end of the March 2022 product reviews update or is this some sort of new update?

I am seeing significant and some off the charts volatility and fluctuations being reported by the tracking tools. Some are literally as high as they can go. I am also seeing a spike in chatter from within the SEO communities and forums.

Google Product Reviews Update Related?

As a reminder, the March 2022 product reviews update kicked off on March 23rd, it was quiet for some time, we saw small tremors that day but it really spiked on March 31st. Then it went quiet again and I thought it was pretty much done. I even posted my big Google update data review on Search Engine Land. Because by two weeks out, normally with these updates, we don’t see too much change this late in the game.

So is this related to the product reviews update? Possibly. I did ask Alan Kent from Google for an update last night, but he did not reply. Instead, Lily Ray published a chart of her own, showing for one site she is tracking, that it looks like we are still seeing big changes, as recent as yesterday:

I asked Glenn Gabe to share some charts this morning as well and yea, similar:

SEO Chatter

So what kind of chatter am I seeing within the SEO community. I can share the public WebmasterWorld forums, where the chatter normally precedes the tracking tools and here is some of that chatter:

Traffic improved over the weekend, but UK traffic was way off on Sunday. Today traffic started normally but simply fell off a cliff at 11am sharp and has been very low all day. My home page is -54% today. USA -14%, Canada – 49%, Australia -63%. Referral traffic and social media traffic has been down for almost two weeks as well.

Google has started bloating my websites. The traffic spiked very high for the last few days, but I am not celebrating because I have seen it in 2020. The same pattern. High rise of traffic followed by complete crash about a month later for at least a year. And it also happened in April 2020. Anyone seeing something similar.

Anyone else getting weird numbers in GA realtime today? (Metric total looks right, but ‘right now’ is lower than it should be)

Same here, the realtime stats of active users is def not working correctly at the moment.
Started this morning around 07:00 AM (CEST).

So the chatter seems to just be kicking off now, but it is hard to know when Google Analytics may have had some delays?

Tracking Tools

If you look at the tracking tools, some are literally off the charts. Some are showing massive spikes in volatility and Google ranking fluctuations. Here are screenshots and I may update some of these throughout the day, as some tend to update later in the day.

Semrush:

click for full size

Advanced Web Rankings:

click for full size

SERPmetrics:

click for full size

Accuranker:

click for full size

Cognitive SEO:

click for full size

RankRanger:

click for full size

Mozcast:

click for full size

So what do you all think? It seems to me like it might be the tail-end of this Google product reviews update based on Google not yet telling us this update is complete, based on Lily Ray’s chart and based on all the recent volatility. But you tell me, look at your analytics and tools and let me know in the comments.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.




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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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Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai Confirms New Chat Based Search Feature

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Google mobile phone texting

Last night I reported on Search Engine Land, based on the Google earnings report and earnings call, that Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai has confirmed the search company will release a chat based search feature based on its own AI, LaMDA, in the coming weeks and months. Plus, there is a big new search event this Wednesday – so maybe we will hear about it there?

Yes, the other day we reported about Apprentice Bard, the reports of Google’s ChatGPT answer to OpenAI and Microsoft Bing.

Here is what Sundar said on the call:

Sundar Pichai said, “In the coming weeks and months, we’ll make these language models available, starting with LaMDA, so that people can engage directly with them. This will help us continue to get feedback, test, and safely improve them. These models are particularly amazing for composing, constructing, and summarizing. They will become even more useful for people as they provide up-to-date more factual information.”

Sundar Pichai said that he “first spoke about Google being an AI-first company” more than “six years ago.” “We have been preparing for this moment since early last year, and you’re going to see a lot from us in the coming few months across three big areas of opportunity; first, large models. We published extensively about LaMDA and PoN, the industry’s largest, most sophisticated model plus extensive work at DeepMind,” he continued to say.

During the question and answer period, Sundar added “We’ll be launching — we’ll — more as labs products in certain cases, beta features in certain cases and just slowly scaling up from there. Obviously, we need to make sure we’re iterating in public, these models will keep getting better, so the field is fast changing. The serving costs will need to be improved.”

“So I view it as very, very early days, but we are committed to putting our experiences, both in terms of new products and experiences, actually bringing direct LLM experiences in Search, making APIs available for developers and enterprises and learn from there and iterate like we’ve always done. So I’m looking forward to it,” he added.

Sundar goes on to add, “In terms of Search too, now that we can integrate more direct LLM type experiences in Search, I think it will help us expand and serve new types of use cases, generative use cases. And so I think I see this as a chance to rethink and re-imagine and drive Search to solve more use cases for our users as well. So again, early days, you will see us be bold, put things out, get feedback and iterate and make things better.”

Here is the event live stream on Wednesday:

Everyone is so ChatGPT crazed!

Forum discussion at Twitter.



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Google Algorithm Update, Yandex Search Factors Leaked, ChatGPT Craze (Bing/Google), Bing Lastmod & More Yahoo Search

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Google Algorithm Update, Yandex Search Factors Leaked, ChatGPT Craze (Bing/Google), Bing Lastmod & More Yahoo Search

In this week’s recap, I covered the unconfirmed Google update that seemed to impact product review sites but maybe more on January 26th. Yandex had a huge leak, and SEOs and marketers dug through the search engine’s source code. Google’s answer to ChatGPT might be Apprentice Bard using LAMDA Sundar Pichai of Google basically confirmed this. Google’s John Mueller blasted some links sellers. Google Search Console updated the video indexing report. Google said to try to nofollow site credit links in your footer. Google said spammy links from porn sites should not be a priority. Google said if you redesign your site, the rankings make go “nuts.” Google Search Console verification does not impact your rankings. Google said firewalls and CDNs are the biggest reason for why your site is blocking crawling. Google updated its canonicalization docs in a big way. Google said don’t use relative paths in your canonicals. I posted the big Google webmaster report for Friday. Microsoft Bing said the lastmod field in your sitemap file is critical. The new BingBot might go 100% today. Google Ads announcements and news seemed to have slowed since late last year. Google reported earnings that showed their ad revenue was down 3.6% year over year. Yahoo Search is really going to be making a comeback, I have more evidence. 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.

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