Google may have released an update to its search ranking algorithm, and multiple SERP tracking tools have recorded volatilities on search results pages between December 22 and 24, 2023. Many site owners complained of massive drops in traffic, while others reported a slight increase in traffic.
However, it remains unclear whether this volatility resulted from an unconfirmed algorithm update or a combination of the usual traffic drop experienced around Christmas and the Google indexing issue of December 21, 2023.
What Are People Saying?
Barry Schwartz shared analytic reports from several SERP tracking tools. The tools showed the volatility experienced by sites ranking on Google search results pages.
— Barry Schwartz (@rustybrick) December 24, 2023
Glenn Gabe provided more insights into the unconfirmed update, saying he had observed fluctuations on Google search results pages since December 15, 2023. However, he added that most sites that lost traffic during the period had security issues.
There has been a lot of volatility since 12/15 or so. Checking some of the bigger drops, I see one site that tanked which experienced a major cybersecurity problem. Visibility has dropped off a cliff since that happened. Interested in seeing how that bounces back once fully… pic.twitter.com/e7R2yFS11x
— Glenn Gabe (@glenngabe) December 21, 2023
What’s Next – Dealing With This Update
The cause of the volatilities remains unclear. While Google claimed the indexing issue of December 21, 2023, affected a small number of sites, there is evidence that it affected many large sites. This means the indexing issue may have been more severe than previously thought.
In the meantime, you should begin monitoring your sites with Rank Math Analytics. If you notice fluctuations in your rankings, watch the video below for tips for recovering from a Google algorithm update.