Potential Algorithm Update Causes Days of Unusual Volatility Unconfirmed Update Described as "Abnormal"

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

While Google updates its algorithms nearly every other week, even we didn’t see this one coming.

According to Barry Schwartz of Search Engine Round Table, it appears that yet another unconfirmed update is in the midst of rolling out, bringing a wave of unusual volatile activity with it.

Search Engine Round Table has reported that intense activity has been picked up by tracking tools since at least September 9. While it is common for a Google algorithm update to cause some activity, it is usually short-lived and cools off after a couple of days.

We often see this type of intensity with large core updates, however, it seems unlikely that a core update is currently rolling out.

Here’s what some SEOs had to say about this in the WebmasterWorld and Black Hat World forums:

“SEMrush high for the 2nd day in the UK. Yesterday was better than average for us on a Thurs, feels like something’s going on.”

“Seeing a drop this morning after some fairly steady incremental growth over the past few weeks.”

“UK looking messy in our vertical. Lots of irrelevant pages being ranked over relevant ones.”

“For me yesterday’s numbers ended-up at about 70%, weekend levels, across ALL sites including UK-focused ones.”

“Yes, a major update is being rolled out (no idea what). Check your rankings. To me it looks like a mini core update.”

Search Engine Round Table also posted screenshots of tracking tools which demonstrate just how volatile things are right now.

Check those out below:


SEM Rush September graph


Rank Ranger September graph


SERP Metrics September graph

That’s all we know so far. As always, Google has not confirmed nor denied anything. So, all we can do right now is ride this out and hope things cool off in the next couple of days.

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


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 tracking tool

Cognitive SEO:

Cognitive SEO tracking tool


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


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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