It appears that yet another Google algorithm update has dropped today May 21, 2021.
Industry tools and chatter certainly point to this conclusion.
The following shows the current chatter on WebmasterWorld.com:
My USA traffic is off by 30% and Canada off by 36% today…this is not just summer doldrums kicking in, it’s a major loss in traffic. My ranking is relatively stable.
Yes, me too.
I’ve been following your comments and seems like you also received a slight boost last week-ish. Also core update demoted site like mine.
Yesterday/today I seem to have been hit again and now all these gains are reversed. (like I said they would when I commented about the boost. This all is getting very predictable now.)
Seems like exact same pattern as your site. Very interesting. Too bad we aren’t allowed to show sites here, would be very interesting to compare sites/notes.
Edit: And yes, it does seem something significant is going on again. For me it started late yesterday.
“And so to address that [misinformation ranking] we have developed algorithms that recognise that a bad event is taking place and that we should increase our notions of ‘authority’, increase the weight of ‘authority’ in our ranking so that we surface high quality content rather than misinformation in this critical time here.”
You may have hit on something here. Sadly they don’t seem to be having as much success increasing the ‘authority’ of those they accept advertising money from. They may well trap billions of dodgy ads every year but the ones that get through can cause untold damage to the victims of their crooked advertisers.
A major consumer advice programme here in the UK this morning highlighted a problem of people being ripped off by scammers who they came across via Google ads. One guy was close to suicide after losing his life savings because he trusted Google. The advice from a financial expert was never to trust Google ads for anything since their vetting system is all automated; and he suggested that there was no substitute for a real human to vet these ads, and that it was time that G was regulated by our Financial Conduct Authority. If that ever comes to pass it will cause G major trauma.
Where does that leave the latest SERPs updates?
Google is attempting to automate everything; including using AI to decide on how the SRRPs are produced. At this stage of the development of AI it is like a surgeon doing brain surgery with an axe rather than a scalpel. They are no doubt doing their best and they probably have lots of human reviewers checking their results but using new technology like this was always a ‘brave’ step.
Is it ever going to work? Maybe, but it will probably take a very long time to get back to the quality standards they used to be capable of. In the meanwhile massive lawsuits loom and competitors; who may be years behind Google in terms of technology, but who can still produce vastly superior search results; are waiting in the wings. And after this morning’s programme a lot of people in Britain are going to be that bit more careful about how they view Google’s search results. How that will affect those of us trying to make a living online is unpredictable.
A little better news though; I mentioned some movement in the UK SERPs a couple of days ago and this seems to have stuck, with a slight increase in relevancy. Googlespam seems have decreased for less important search terms but for the big money ones it is massive, at least in my financial vertical.
I’ve had a rollercoaster for one of our main keywords and it’s corresponding product page.
it finally made it to the front page from 8th April (around product reviews update), then it vanished around May 1st. Then a generic category page was being found for the keyword.
Then our ‘how to’ guide started ranking for the keyword instead of the product or category. Then a very old short blog post was chosen to rank instead of the product/category/guide.
This morning a search for this keyword brings up the right page back on page one, and on mobile some new enhancements to the result (extra images shown underneath) so it’s taking up a nice amount of space.
Let’s see how long this lasts…
Edit : This is UK based
So most of my competitors benefited from this update aside me, what a joke. I have ecommerce website, no ads. We could be competing in the same niche mzb44 lol.
I honestly do not know what this update is affecting. I can only think about site structure, the more pages you have the more screwed you are, especially for old sites. I did see websites with low authority ranking well. What they all have in common is that they are all small websites with very few pages. If you have a lot of pages something in the site structure must have greater impact on ranking than in the past. Just a guess.
@RedBar My UK traffic is perpetually up, but USA is lower than ever. It’s gotten to the point where UK traffic is 50% of USA traffic on a daily basis…it used to be 10-15% for years. My ranking is slightly higher this week, but USA traffic is off 25-30% on a daily basis. If I look at my CTR at GSC it’s half of what it was last year this time, and one quarter of what it was in 2018/2019. My CTR for web is now at the same pathetically low rate that it used to be for images. So whatever google is doing in the USA market, it’s making sure that no traffic reaches us.
Are We Having Updates on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday now, Google?
For now at least, it appears that the new update schedule is Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
While we are aware that there are likely updates many times per day that are not picked up by industry tools, these types of updates look like they are here to stay.
Will there be an update tomorrow? Only time will tell.
We will continue to report as the story develops!