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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.

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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Unconfirmed Google Algorithm Update Rolls Out October 15th – October 18th

10/19/2021

Not to sound like a broken record, but, here we go yet again. Google sure knows how to keep the SEO community on its toes, as evidenced by another recent unconfirmed  Google search ranking algorithm update.

For those who haven’t been keeping tabs, this is one of at least six updates to roll out in the last couple of weeks.

The most recent one appears to have rolled out between October 15 and 18, according to Search Engine Journal.

While nothing too crazy seems to have occurred, chatter in the search engine forums shows that many SEOs are experiencing significant effects.

 For instance, some have reported drops in traffic between 20 and 30 percent, along with rankings for their main keyword phrases.

 Here are a few direct quotes taken from WebmasterWorld that support this:

“Huge decline so far this morning in traffic… -20% or so. Haven’t ever seen this happen before….” 

“Starting the morning with a massive decline in USA traffic, -74% at 10:30am. CA -40%, home page down 40%. UK / AU normal. Rather than the usual starting off normal and dropping off a cliff at 8-9am sharp, today traffic has been very low across every hour. This is happening so often now that you really can’t call in an “update”…Google just goes from massive decline to the next 2-3X a week now…traffic has been abysmal since September 14th.”

“Search is down 30% and direct is down 35% as of 12:30pm today…what a freakin catastrophe Google is every day now.”

 “Even for a Saturday this is very quiet, 15 hours of my Googleday gone and traffic at 26% of average. The last 3-4 hours of my Friday night were also quiet.”

 “Saturday traffic was relatively normal, but today USA and UK traffic are both down more than 40%. My daily home page traffic is perpetually down for weeks, sometimes by as much as 60% on any given day. This was also the case in June, when my home page would just vanish from the SERPs every other day.”

Here’s what the tracking tools had to say:

Semrush:

SERPmetrics:

Advanced Web Rankings:

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