There is a lot of chatter in the SEO community that a large Google Update has just been rolled out. While some of the SERP trackers such as the Rank Risk Index, or MozCast haven’t yet updated, the Google Grump Rating shows the volatility as furious, with Algaroo also showing significant movement.
Editor’s note: We have posted two updates (2nd Sept. and 5th Sept.) which you will find at the end of the article. The second update provides an indication that the update may be related to site \ content quality.
Before we look at the community chatter, let’s first take at the SERP trackers to gain an inclination as to the scale and impact of the update:
The “Grump” rating has been specified as furious. The chart clearly shows a significant rise in volatility on the 2nd September 2016.
Algoroo appears to show increasing volatility over the last three days. Again the scale of the volatility looks significant.
Google Update Community Chatter
It is evident, at least from a SERP tracking perspective, that the update is fairly significant. As such you would expect a substantial increase in chatter among webmasters and SEO specialists. Let’s take a look at some of the community forums:
As of the time of posting, two different comments have been made, specifically mentioning the UK SERPs, but this is probably due to the timezone difference. This is what they had to say.
Jez 123 commented:
I’m seeing some decent changes on UK Google this morning. Are they real or has Google lifted the filters to apply some new patch? Interesting to see if we all get a spike in converting traffic as on 1st / 2nd August. Is anyone else seeing anything or is this an isolated occurrence?
A noticeable move in our vertical over night in the UK. (Classifieds).
Almost all large players including ourselves took a hit in page 1 visibility. We’ve noticed over time more and more national players are being displaced with strong local websites (e.g. local newspaper classifieds etc).
Sam Underwood, Search and Data Executive at Zazzlemedia said:
@rustybrick seeing some large fluctuations for rankings in the UK today. Have you seen any other reports? Possible algorithm update/change?
— Sam Underwood (@SamUnderwoodUK) September 2, 2016
@SamUnderwoodUK seeing lots of changes here for UK sites
— Jonathan Hatton (@jonny7967) September 2, 2016
Google messing with the largest SEO conference in the UK- "lets launch this update when all the SEOs in the UK are in one room" #BrightonSEO
— James Perrott (@James_Perrott) September 2, 2016
Unfortunately, there doesn’t appear to be any indication what may be causing the fluctuations, and we suspect it may be a few days until there is enough data to analyze to come to some conclusions.
Furthermore, Glenn Gabe, Digital Marketing Consultant at G-Squared Interactive has not seen anything that indicates there is an update.
— Glenn Gabe (@glenngabe) September 2, 2016
Local pack changes
However, in one post on the 31st August, a user on the Local Search Forum there was an indication that some changes were being made to the Local Pack in the Netherlands.
I’m seeing a lot of ranking changes in the Local Pack here in the Netherlands on numerous of keywords I’m tracking. Anyone else who’s seeing a lot of movement?
This could account for the Algaroo volatility being shown over a few days. It doesn’t appear to account for the more recent chatter, and the Google Grump rating being specifically high today.
What does Google have to say?
Despite a few tweets being directed at John Mueller today, so far there is no comment from him. Gary Illyes, another active Google spokesperson, is away on vacation, so it is unlikely any response will be forthcoming from him.
Google Update September 2016 Video Summary
Update: 2nd September 2016
Dr. Pete Meyers, Marketing Scientist at Mozcast, confirms that they have verified that there was an update along with the following:
- MozCast temps of 108 degrees
- No signs of https change.
- Some local pack dropped two nights ago.
- Some keyword parsing changes.
Unfortunately, while interesting, it doesn’t get to the bottom of the update. You see his original tweet below:
In summary: MozCast temps of 108 deg. verified, no signs of https changes, some local pack drops 2 nights ago, some keyword parsing changes.
— Dr. Pete Meyers (@dr_pete) September 2, 2016
Update 2: 5th September 2016
It is useful to post the weather graph for Mozcast. This shows that the volatility started on the 1st September and continued to a more limited extent on the 2nd and 3rd September.
John Mueller, Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google, has made several comments on Twitter confirming that he is not aware of anything special, but they are always rolling out updates.
— John Mueller (@JohnMu) September 5, 2016
— John Mueller (@JohnMu) September 5, 2016
Glenn Gabe, Digital Marketing Consultant at G-Squared Interactive, tweeted a picture of a website that has shown some improvements with the latest update. What is interesting is that the same website also showed improvements in the last November quality update.
— Glenn Gabe (@glenngabe) September 3, 2016
Our gut feeling at the moment was this was a quality based update.