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What is up with Google's algorithm volatility?



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What is up with Google's algorithm volatility?

I've noticed the most unsettling pattern in the last few months. This may concern everyone involved in SEO. 

Google got in the habit of launching loads of algorithm updates in a short time frame. Every since the Medic update on 1st of August that raged havoc in the medical and health niche Google seems to launch new changes in its algorithm every two weeks or so. 

The last ranking shift I've felt was on the October 16 and my ranks are still somewhat volatile ever since. 

As far as I could figure out the actual timeline goes like this:

  • August 1- Medic update 
  • August 6 - Medic Update officially over
  • August 9 - Huge fluctuations still happening for some reason
  • August 22 - Possible correction of the Medic update, on this date I got my rankings back from the fall on the 1st. 
  • September 6 - Another shift to take notice off 
  • September 8 - Strong volatility in ranks still present 
  • September 11th -  Some kind of algorithm update was implemented, nothing very important, may be related to the number of nofollow backlinks
  • September 27 - on Google's birthday we get a clear algorithm update, this one is officially confirmed by Google, don't know exactly what it impacts yet 
  • October 8 - Some volatility present, something indeed happened 
  • October 16 - got slightly better ranks all of a sudden, probably an update hope my ranks remain the way they are right now

So there you have it. At least 9 clear examples of algorithm changes in the last 2 months. Sure, Google says it implements algorithm updates every day, but these two months had been a little out of the ordinary, with a bit too much volatility for my taste, August was primarily an emotional rollercoaster for me and probably for most SEOs out there. 

Do you think this is the new norm for Google? Constant updates and aggressive rank instability? I personally am not yet used with such constant changes. My heart stands still every time I open my laptop in the morning with the fear of finding yet another organic traffic and ranking drop like the one I've experienced on the 1st of August. 

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Kakashi2020

Google updates are really becoming a problem for SEO specialists but it can also be a good friend since SEO practioners can go back to their clients for updates and that means more money in the bank.



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Martinsx1

From my observations lately, I have come to realize that Google is now looking for every opportunity to get more money made for the company. Some of these updates are actually good but when it's too much, it tends to cause a lot of problems for SEO. I simply hope that those behind these updates understand the consequences it's melting to SEO.



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NerdIndeed

Now, this is one right way to look at the picture, and it does make sense. It does benefit SEO specialist since a lot of clients will be coming back for the service. Though as an SEO specialist, I guess you need to come up with a solution to keep your clients happy and satisfied.



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Corzhens

I understand that the world is an ever changing world that includes everything even the internet. When the algorithm of the search engine is changed I don’t think there will be a radical change that what you are doing for the search engine capability of the site will be directly affected. Perhaps it is just all talk about the changed algorithm because what change can it be for the benefit of everyone? You cannot change the search criteria just like that.



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Youngshark

Wow. How didi you even notice that actually. My internet was too down leading to the scratches that you evidenced and as sich entered on the better side.



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HappyLady

This is interesting. I don't know much about SEO but what I notice is that often, when you get a change of employee, things seem to change in a company in a way that affects clients negatively. They want to show they can make a change that makes the company profit, so you get a kind of surge in activity. I noticed this recently with a mobile phone company. I would love to know what is happening or happened behind the scenes at Google to mean those updates increased at such a rate.



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Youngshark

The new management especially always want to come in with some new ideas which might be revolutionary but at first face resistance from the clients who are not used to doing things in such a manner.



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HappyLady

Ah, so perhaps that is why things then settle down again. If the changes are made and clients unhappy, then you have to get them on side again.



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jaymish2

Not a nice way to life. Google dreaded algorithm is a pain in the... That's why my argument has always been that we should not allow monopolies and if they exist they should be heavily regulated otherwise they have the tendency to abuse their monopolies. A perfect example is Google. They can do what they want and there is nothing anyone can do because you need them more than they need you.I though the algorithms were changed once a year. I guess tough times are here.



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overcast

I think the google is working really hard on the legit websites being displayed in the search. lot of bad websites are being displayed pre medic update. So that google is working on constant changes that is a good thing. And they can run the new update all the time.It's their product not public property. And they tweaking the quality is a good thing.



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idealmike

Hi Cristian! I have a question.

How can you say the rank changes in your site are to do with the actual algo updates and not just random SERP movement and activity? Especially without knowing about the data from millions of other websites too? Surely you can't just say it's to do with the algo updates just because your rankings are bouncing about? Especially not if you've done any SEO onpage or off-page SEO on your site? Are you sure that Google has released the updates on the dates you mention and that they are the reason for your dancing about? Or that it's not just random SERP activity? I'm just curious!



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Cristian

Well, first of all, I can clearly see changes in ranks or organic traffic on the day of the update. These can be positive or negative.
Some updates are confirmed by Google or Google top folk like Gary Illyes or John Mueller, follow them on Twitter, every time the SERPs are fluctuating more than usual people start asking them questions and most of the times they respond. With the big updates, you might even get a blog post from Google confirming everything.
Also the big SEO ranking tools out there are usually releasing data, showing the SEO community fluctuations and rank changes, those are usually big confirmation elements of an update even if nobody from Google confirms anything, or gives us half and vague answered questions.



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anwebservices

With so many algorithm changes lately, it's hard to keep up and stay on top of things in some niches. Even with improvements in one niche i noticed a big drop in search positioning after i made some changes for better, but i get opposite results, while somehow it fixed it self in a week without further SEO... Funny. I am not sure why Google doing this all the time and where it goes, but i know it's hard to follow all this changes



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Martinsx1

In my opinion, these changes are quite extreme and it's not adding anything positive immediately to ranking stability. In as much as they are looking at getting Google to be seen as the best but the way its going with these new changes - 12 updates in 2 months, it's way too overwhelming.



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cmoneyspinner

Between the algorithm changes and the data breaches and the Google Plus network closing and the YouTube crash, who know what's going on? (O.o)



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theresajane

Well, that's google, it updates more often than you can imagine. But sometimes, it causes headache, I must say. They must have like official note of apology for the inconvenience and reasons why things like this happen, so people like us would not always get angry and complain.



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Jeane

Why there have been so many major updates in the last few months however is something that is a mystery. Maybe it is something webmasters need to get used to?

Well, that's google, it updates more often than you can imagine. But sometimes, it causes headache, I must say.

Some "experts"claim google updates its search algorithms about 500 a times a year. Many of this updates don't have a significant impact on the rankings of many websites. The three or so major updates when released often changes the SEO landscape.



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jayjaydimson

Google is a search engine where you can search a lot of things that you want to know on the internet, the algorithm of google is you post something that you want in mind and it will give you an answer.



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Corzhens

I don’t think it is a good idea to be so conscious with the algorithm updates of Google that could affect the ranking. In fact, I don’t think that Google will be changing its algorithm from time to time. It may just be a press release to fool the smart SEO specialist but I don’t think there really is a change. With regards to ranking, it is always a virtue to be patient and just continue with the SEO work.



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