In recent weeks, SEOs across the web have reported high volatility in their website traffic and unstable SERP activity. It seems that a new major Google algorithm update might be coming.
This prompts several questions. Will Google officially announce an update soon? What signs confirm that speculations about an update might be true? How can you track possible updates?
In this article, we will discuss rumors of this potential new major update from Google. We will analyze some indicators SEOs should pay attention to for identifying possible updates and adapting their strategies.
With this information, we can alleviate negative impacts on traffic and keyword ranking.
Should We Expect a Core Update Soon?
We’ve barely recovered from the impact of Google’s last core update, and we’re already anticipating another one. You may remember the April core update and how it affected several websites’ traffic.
At the time, Diana Martins (SEO planner at Rock) said the content impacted by the latest update included trends and tools that would be obsolete in 2023—content like “marketing strategies for 2022″ or “2022 social media trends,” for example.
The colleague reported a nearly 12% impact on Rock’s blog traffic.
SEO updates were made; and now, three months later, traffic from several sites seems to be experiencing high volatility. This is similar to what we usually experience before and during a Google Core Update.
According to Google reports, the April update volatility lasted 13 days and 2 hours. The September 2022 update warm-up lasted 14 days.
As I write this article, the Semrush volatility sensor shows high activity since July 14. If this volatility period reflects the average of other releases, we can expect a pronouncement from Google later this week.
Glen Gabe’s LinkedIn post (president of G-Squared Interactive LLC) is in line with other SEOs:
“When digging into more volatility this week, I’m seeing a lot of sites surge that dropped during previous major updates (but not just one type of update). E.g. previous drops due to core updates, reviews updates, HCUs, & even spam updates. Google is working on something big IMO.”
Since it seems we can anticipate core updates, I will give you some tips on how to do that, and then we can see what actions you can take to adapt to upcoming changes.
How Can We Anticipate Google Core Updates?
You may have caught one or two tips in the previous section, where I mentioned the Semrush volatility sensor.
The graph shows position exchanges in the SERPs based on a formula built by the company. You can also track this volatility by keyword categories, such as beauty and wellness.
“We check the search results for a fixed set of keywords on a daily basis and measure how much has changed at the end of the day. The exact method is a proprietary formula, but the total value reflects the total search volatility for the day.”Semrush Sensor
Other tools can assist with monitoring, such as Advanced Web Ranking, SERPMetric, and Moz.
A trigger to remind you to check the Semrush sensor would be when your site shows volatility. For this, you need to observe unusual keyword position changes.
For example, when you lose a relevant keyword or notice a significant position change—without even updating any content—it may be time to consult Google SERP volatility.
You can check Google’s report from time to time to understand the interval of months between one update and another. On this basis, it is possible to calculate if we are on the verge of a new update.
Finally, be sure to keep up with what experts are saying. Follow SEO experts and Google’s spokespeople on social media. And sign up for the Rock Content newsletter to keep up with the latest algorithm updates and hot digital marketing news.
How Can We Prepare for Google Core Updates?
First, you should be more concerned with serving your buyer persona, and that’s it. Google updates just push us to consider details we weren’t used to.
As an example, I will highlight one of the latest traumas of SEO professionals: the Helpful Content Update. Although it caused a lot of traffic changes, this update promoted improvements in content production.
Since September 2022, more authentic, reliable, and specialized content has been produced.
With that in mind, Google’s major algorithm changes shouldn’t shake you up too much or cause panic. According to Google, “Core updates are designed to ensure that overall, we’re delivering on our mission to present helpful and reliable results for searchers.”
The search engine also recommends the following:
“Consider an audit of the drops you may have experienced. What pages were most impacted and for what types of searches? Look closely at these to understand how these pages may perform against the self-assessment questions.”
There is no magic formula for you to “beat” Core Updates. Stay tuned for trends, and act as soon as possible to fix content issues Google Core Updates have flagged.