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Google Seemingly Confirms Algorithm Update After Week of Turmoil

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

Google Remains Vague Regarding Possibility of Several Algorithm Updates

After nearly a week of turmoil, Google has finally broken its silence about a potential algorithm update by confirming that an update did in fact take place. Well, sort of. Google didn’t exactly come out of the woodworks to announce an algorithm update, however, Google Public Search Liaison, Danny Sullivan, responded to a discussion on Twitter by stating: https://twitter.com/dannysullivan/status/1227854223972261888 So, while Sullivan didn’t outright say that an update took place this week, by linking to a previous Twitter thread from the Google Search Liaison account confirming several updates that had taken place back in November, he potentially revealed some insight into the reasoning behind Google’s silence this week. Confused yet? The thread stated that:

“Sometimes, a particular update might be broadly noticeable. We share about those when we feel there is actionable guidance for content owners. For example, when our Speed Update happened, we gave months of advanced notice and advice….If we don’t share about them, there is no particular actionable guidance to follow nor changes to make other than to keep focused on great content.”

https://twitter.com/searchliaison/status/1194365014703923200

So, What Does This All This Mean?

So, what can we gather from all this? Based on the series of Google Search Liaison Tweets and Sullivan’s comments, it would seem that several updates rolled out this week, causing rankings to fluctuate like crazy. However, Google didn’t feel the need to announce them like they would with a broad core algorithm update. What appears to be confusing about Google’s “stance” is that there was a very noticeable impact noticed by many within the SEO community along ranking tools which reported serious fluctuations since last weekend. And especially considering the fact that this supposed update has lasted longer than most previous unconfirmed updates. Adding further insult to injury is the fact that there really isn’t anything actionable you can do to offset the impact of the updates, except continue to produce quality content. So, what gives? Barry Schwartz from Search Engine Round Table has some theories, stating that this could have either been a search algorithm update unrelated to the core updates or just a bug released somewhere that was reverted. Either way, Google is remaining tight lipped and has provided no other information to squash the rumours, so we’ll never really know what actually happened, except for the fact thank ranking tools went wild across the board.

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.

Google Updates Its Guidelines for Search Quality Raters

10/20/2021

Google has finally updated its Search Quality Raters guidelines this week after a year without any updates.

For those who are unfamiliar, Google’s Search Quality Raters Guidelines offer insight into how Google assesses the quality of online content.

The last update took place on October 14, 2020, and was 175 pages. The latest update saw three of those pages removed, reducing the document to 172 pages. However, according to Search Engine Round Table, 3,635 changes were made – 807 replacements, 812 insertions, and 356 deletions.

Here is a quick summary of what was changed:

  • The definition of the YMYL subcategory ‘Groups of people’ has been expanded

  • Direction on how to research reputation information for websites and content creators has been revised

  • The ‘Lowest Page Quality’ section has been restructured, updated, reorganized, and refreshed

  • The definition of ‘Upsetting-Offensive’ has been simplified and redundancy in the Lowest Page Quality section has been removed

  • Other minor changes have been made throughout the document, such as updated screenshots and URLs, wording, and examples for consistency removed outdated examples and fixed typos.

Here’s what the ‘Groups of people’ section looks like now: 

“Information about or claims related to groups of people, including but not limited to those grouped on the basis of age, caste, disability, ethnicity, gender identity and expression, immigration status, nationality, race, religion, sex/gender, sexual orientation, veteran status, victims of a major violent event and their kin, or any other characteristic that is associated with systemic discrimination or marginalization.”

Along with reporting from Barry Schwartz of Search Engine Round Table, SEO consultant Glenn Gabe also took to Twitter to share some of his insights on the new document.

Check it out below:

 

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Google Caps off Volatile Week With Another Algorithm Update

10/08/2021

What in the world is going on with the internet this week? It was only Monday that we reported that Google had rolled out a massive unconfirmed update, and the following day, Facebook experienced a colossal outage affecting billions of people around the world. Now, Search Engine Round Table is reporting yet ANOTHER unconfirmed update appears to be happening. And yes, this all happened in the span of a week. What a wild ride it’s been. 

While this latest update doesn’t appear to be as big as the one that took place last weekend, Barry Schwartz of Search Engine Round Table is reporting that tracking tools seem to show that an update began rolling out on October 6th, peaked on October 7th, and is now starting to slow down.

This time around, there is way more industry chatter going on in the SEO forums. Here are some interesting snippets posted in WebmasterWorld around October 6th:

“Seeing a return of the drop in USA traffic in the middle part of the day again. Starts in the morning and traffic remains very low for hours. Back to the old June patterns…”

“For me traffic has fallen off the cliff edge today with hardly any multiple page view visitors.

Over the last few weeks I have also seen many, many visits by Singapore, Huawei Clouds.” 

“Yesterday was my worst traffic day in years. Gulp!” 

“All competitors I am tracking are down today with only one exception, me lol I am in the same position as I was yesterday but the biggest volume keywords were targeted and pushed down the serps. Some low volume keywords improved. The algorithms constantly target high volume keywords.”

Tracking tools aren’t showing a ton of volatility, mostly just a shift in the Google search results. Overall, things look pretty calm compared to the update last weekend. Still, we’ll let you draw your own conclusions.

Check out the screenshots posted by Search Engine Round Table:

Semrush:

SEM Rush tracking 

Cognitive SEO:

Cognitive SEO report

SERPmetrics:

SERP Metrics report

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