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Mixed Signs Of A Thanksgiving Holiday Google Search Ranking Algorithm Update

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Mixed Signs Of A Thanksgiving Holiday Google Search Ranking Algorithm Update

For the past several weekends, I’ve been reporting about a Google search ranking algorithm update that hit on a Friday and continued throughout the weekend. Well, last weekend was the Thanksgiving holiday in the US and I did see some signs of a possible Google Search ranking algorithm update – but truth is, it is unlikely that Google pushed something out on a Friday of Thanksgiving.

Weekend Update Trend

Here are the past weekend updates I’ve covered. For example, we had reports of an update last weekend, on November 18th through 20th, then again on the 11th through 12th and then on November 4th and 5th, the weekend before that on October 28th/29th, the spam update kind of surged on a Friday/Saturday with Octber 21st and 22nd, but the one before that was on a Thursday, October 13th.

Recently, it just seems we are seeing adjustments on Fridays and Saturdays. I mean, that can make sense if Google has search launch meetings towards the end of the week and pushes happen on Fridays? I am just guessing here…

But this past Friday, I doubt Google pushed an update. But yet we had some signals, less so, than in previous updates. So I think this one is just Thanksgiving holiday traffic changes, seasonal changes you’d see in both traffic and search volume?

SEO Chatter

Here is some of the chatter I found across the SEO community about this unconfirmed Google search update from WebmasterWorld starting around Friday:

An 18 hours dead zone for my global site with modest traffic returning at 06.00 UK time but for how long?

UK sites have seen less traffic for several days yet real-world business is still holding-up for the moment.

Yesterday was the worst day for me as well in the last 17 years. We have been hit hard and down 50% since last year though. We always see a decline before or on a holiday in the US (in this case Thanksgiving) and then a bump afterwards.

Same here. Yesterday I had numbers from the beginning of my main website that I started in 2013. It’s unfortunate…

I am seeing tanking traffic too. Across all my sites.

Some of it probably is due to Google going into turbo greed mode for Black Friday/Christmas, but it’s more than that – a steady downward trend started after US midterm election.

About 10-20% below normal all day today (UK traffic)

Our traffic is down about 12% and conversions (US Ecom) are down 50%+. In normal times we would see an increase in traffic and conversions with consumers who are in Black Friday spending mode. Inflation, recession, etc. all play a role in spending. However, our overall traffic drop is a combination of a substantial drop in buyer traffic to our product pages with a less substantial increase in traffic to our information pages. Taking a look at the SERPS it’s evident big brands are being promoted more than ever with an increase in Amazon crowded SERPS for many buyer intent queries. This is more of the same we’ve seen from Google in prior years, though each year it gets worse.

Traffic to my global site is precisely where I expected it to be with USA -33% with PVs.

UK hotel site with 95.6% long-term UK traffic is seeing both traffic and real-world footfall and takings up considerably. So far the World Cup is being good to us and with some good live bands over the next few weeks plus lots of Xmas lunches etc we may end 2022 on a high note :-)))

This weekend my traffic has gone down 90% overall, I am unsure if just a bad combo of world cup and post black Friday on the weekend which can be unpredictable but this is nuts.

USA traffic has been down this weekend…-16% yesterday. Today it’s starting the morning -53%. I don’t think it’s unusual for a holiday weekend when everyone is shopping for discounts, traveling or just not online. However, people have usually made their inquiries for Christmas purchases by now and it has been practically nil. The ones that did inquire in mid November had low budgets and no sales resulted. People are not spending freely, despite what news reports say about the well off spending…perhaps on food, travel and eating out yes but not on non-essential material goods. 2022 has been my lowest year for sales in memory…absolutely mind blowing. Even worse than the 2008 crash and worse than during the pandemic in 2020. I don’t see 2023 changing that. Unfortunately I used to be able to depend on at least one foreign market to bring in sales at any time…this year the high dollar, UK economy plunging due to Brexit and the slow economy in Europe and Australia meant that there was no place to turn really.

So there is chatter, for sure…

Google Tracking Tools

Here are what the tracking tool are showing:

Semrush:

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RankRanger:

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Accuranker:

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Cognitive SEO:

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SERPmetrics:

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Mozcast:

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Advanced Web Rankings:

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Algoroo:

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Again, I doubt Google pushed something specific on Friday of Thanksgiving but maybe we are just seeing the seasonality of the holiday shopping season? What do you all think?

Not all the tools picked up on it, and again, it was a long holiday weekend.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

Source: www.seroundtable.com

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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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