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A “really big, maybe even massive” Google search ranking algorithm update may be underway right now

Publishers and search experts have noticed major Google ranking fluctuations over the weekend, which points to the rolling out of a significant search algorithm update. Google hasn’t officially intimated any change, but the data appears to be pretty conclusive. 

There may be a really big, maybe even massive, Google search ranking algorithm update going on right now. Starting on Friday/Saturday the chatter within the SEO community as well as the signals from the automated rank checking tools began to explode.

Barry Schwartz, CEO of RustyBrick

Here are some of the ranking fluctuation reports compiled by Barry, from the leading rank checking tools. Notice the unusual spikes at the end that have been triggered over the weekend.

SEMRush:

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Mozcast:

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SERPMetrics:

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Advanced Web Rankings:

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Accuranker:

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The reactions on Twitter to this “update” appear to be mixed, but many publishers have noticed a fall in rankings. There are also a number of complaints from site owners in the Google Webmaster Help forums.

While we wait for Google to confirm about the search ranking algorithm update, it’s worth noting that the past 30-days or so in the Google universe have been pretty intense. There was the major January 2020 core update (confirmed), the redesign to highlight organic results on desktop, and Google’s warning to publishers to “expect some traffic loss” if certain mobile-first guidelines are not met.

Publishers who have been affected by the recent ranking changes have to wait it out for Google’s official word on the matter. Any significant algorithm flux lasts for a few days, and we just have to wait for the dust to settle before we have a clear idea of what’s up (and what’s not).

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