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SEO Community Renames Google Review Rich Results Update to Starmageddon

author image Written by: Nicole McCormick           Categories - In The News

Starmageddon Has Landed – Google Update Sparks Twitter Frenzy

An update by any other name would smell just as sweet. Ok, maybe not so much if you’re one of the many that have been impacted by Google’s recent update regarding review rich results. Not long after Google announced the September 2019 Review Rich Results Update last week, members of the SEO community took to Twitter to offer up amusing, alternative names for the recent update. From Schemapocalypse to Reviewquake, many names have floated around the Twittersphere, but the one that has caught on the most has been ‘Starmageddon.’ https://twitter.com/Optimisey/status/1174333904586780679

What’s in a Name?

The aptly titled unofficial name, Starmageddon, reflects the frustration being felt by SEOs after Google announced that it would restrict review stars in SERPs for specific schemas, and stop displaying reviews that came directly from a business’s own website. The schema types specifically affected are LocalBusiness and Organization. The goal of the update is to make review rich results more helpful and meaningful for users searching for products or services. Prior to the update, local businesses had been able to push average star ratings from reviews about their businesses that lived on their own websites to their organic SERP results. However, in the official announcement on Google’s Webmaster Central Blog, Google declared that this was now considered ‘self-serving’ and would no longer be allowed as it’s not in the best interest of users. https://twitter.com/lilyraynyc/status/1177064500593381376 Google’s reasoning for this is that businesses themselves are adding the review markup about their business to their own site, rather than having it appear organically through a third party. Since the change was made, SERP review stars began disappearing from listings for many local businesses, sparking a 14% drop in Google review stars. According to Moz.com, the drop occurred within 48 hours after the update was announced.

Google’s Response

Unfortunately for those rooting for Google to rename the update to ‘Starmageddon,’ it doesn’t appear as if Google will be getting on board any time soon. Google’s Public Search Liaison, Danny Sullivan, issued a reminder via Twitter that despite how fitting and amusing Starmageddon may be, the name of the update is in fact September 2019 Review Rich Results Update. https://twitter.com/dannysullivan/status/1174357331775127552 There was a touch of irony to Sullivan’s comment, considering he himself had been credited with naming Google’s 2015 mobile algorithm update, ‘Mobilegeddon.’ So, whether you love it or hate it, it appears that Starmageddon is here to stay. For more information regarding this update, refer back to Google’s announcement post on the Webmaster Central Blog.

Nicole McCormick

Nicole is a wordsmith wizard, passionate about the written word and an avid storyteller who uses creatively crafted prose to help bring your brand’s story to the next level. A former journalist with writing credits in both local and national news publications and a few newspaper awards under her belt, Nicole now enjoys telling your stories and finding new and creative ways to create valuable content that resonates with audiences in the digital landscape.

Small Google Algorithm Update Rolled Our October 26

10/28/2021

Chatter within the SEO community might be limited, but if the tracking tools are any indication, it appears that a small Google algorithm update rolled out around October 26th. 

Search Engine Round Table is reporting that most tracking tools showed a great amount of volatility on or around October 26th, essentially confirming that some kind of update did take place.

And while chatter in the forums has been minimal, there were some complaints of ranking shifts in Google Search made over on WebmasterWorld.

Here are some of the top comments:

“We are having one of the most volatile months in terms of (unannounced) updates and serp fluctuations but one of the least active monthly threads.”

“For the past few days, new posts are not getting indexed, GSC is showing Discovered, but not indexed. sad It’s a 5-year-old website with 1M impressions daily(100K organic traffic). Unique content, +1K words, but still…not indexed. SAD!”

“No, high authority websites were never downranked in my niche until very recently, hence the major shuffle remark.”

Here’s what some of the tracking tools are showing:

Semrush:

Semrush tracking tool

Cognitive SEO:

Cognitive SEO tracking tool

SERPmetrics:

SERP Metrics 

Nothing too crazy going on, but it’s clear that some kind of small update rolled out this week.

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Data Reveals That Google Search Results Have Been 68% More Volatile in 2021

10/22/2021

Considering how many algorithm updates have been rolling out these past few weeks, we’re not surprised to report that Google Search results were 68% more volatile on desktop and 85% more volatile on mobile this year, according to Semrush data.

The data was published this week by Semrush’s head of communications, Mordy Oberstein.To get these results, Semrush looked at data between January 2021 through October 2021. In this context, high volatility translates to a score of five out of ten through eight out of ten on the Semrush Sensor tool.

Breaking down the data even further, Oberstein explained on Twitter that over 50% of the days in 2021showed above normal levels of volatility on desktop and mobile. Pretty wild, right?

In the end, these insights only confirm what we’ve been reporting all along – something is going on over at Google this year causing high levels of volatility. And while it may not be the best idea to obsess over every little ranking dip, it’s important to remain informed and know that this isn’t an isolated issue that only you are experiencing.

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