Google December 19th Ranking Fluctuations Reported

Dec 20, 2013 • 8:49 am | comments (31) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google PageRank & Algorithm Updates

google updating logoSo Google confirmed they reduced the authorship snippets from showing in the results. We know that. Matt Cutts strongly implied that there was no update on December 17th, despite all the tracking tools lighting up on that date. That implication that Google minimizes the algorithm updates before the holidays should apply to what I am seeing today - a lot of chatter, in some niches, of a Google update.

The key indicator I use is webmaster/SEO chatter. I check the chatter at WebmasterWorld and dozens of other forums and the chatter has picked up yesterday. Martin Ice Web, who is a Senior Member at WebmasterWorld but is based in Germany, is the loudest on claiming updates today. There are many who agree and see major changes and there are many threads in the Google forums with individual complaints.

That being said, one of the tools I rarely show you, because it often doesn't match the other tools, is the DigitalPoint Keyword Tracker averages changes. It is something fairly new added to the forums sidebar and this reports changes of actual rankings for hundreds of thousands of sites and I'd say millions of keywords. It is based off what webmasters enter into the tracking tools.

It showed a bit of a change on the 17th but on the 19th, it really skyrocketed, like the forums did.

DigitalPoint Keyword Tracker averages

I've emailed Google yesterday to find out if something is going on specific with rankings but I have yet to hear back.

It can be a refresh of Panda or something else but I have no confirmation from Google.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

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Adam Heaton

12/20/2013 03:06 pm

I've seen a massive drop in one websites rankings, for pretty much everything, however can't confirm if it was yesterday or the day before, just know it was at some point this week.

Alexander Hemedinger

12/20/2013 03:22 pm

What software/program you use?

Adam Heaton

12/20/2013 04:36 pm

I checked the rankings manually, just hadn't checked them for a few days.

Marie Haynes

12/20/2013 05:17 pm

It would make sense to me if this is a Panda refresh. Google said that they weren't going to announce Panda refreshes anymore but that they'd happen approximately once a month. The last time we were talking about mysterious algorithm changes was just over a month ago:

Sean Murray

12/20/2013 05:47 pm

I saw a big shakeup in my niche yesterday. Lots of page 1 sites dropped 5 pages or are gone.

PM Fiorini

12/20/2013 06:32 pm

I use Baseliner -

TheeDesign Studio

12/20/2013 07:00 pm


Greg Fowler

12/20/2013 07:56 pm

Marie, Matt has stated Panda is "baked" in the algo, therefore the shuffle would most likely be from the sites affected! I had one pop back? Whoouuu!!


12/20/2013 08:22 pm

Seasonal traffic will offset any changes seen in GWT/GA - in my humble opinion. Bad timing for an update/push.

Durant Imboden

12/20/2013 09:26 pm

Dunno about rankings, but Google referrals and traffic are looking about the same for us as they did last week, except that we're doing a little better for a couple of our main subtopics. If Google did anything significant yesterday, it hasn't yet trickled down to us.


12/20/2013 10:41 pm

I saw some really old URL's indexed today that have been 301 redirected for over 8 months. There was something going on.


12/20/2013 10:55 pm

It was Panda refresh.


12/21/2013 01:21 am

Why does this matter?


12/21/2013 01:22 am

Why do people build themselves into a corner where they rely on such a tangential and arbitrary gimmicks??


12/21/2013 05:10 am

Traffic has dived since the 17th. It continues to go down. How can they live with themselves doing this so close to Christmas. Oh, right, it's Google


12/21/2013 02:21 pm

new year gift from google. but why they have only bad gifts???


12/21/2013 04:40 pm

I've seen 40% drop in our website's organic traffic however I can't confirm if it was 19 Dec or 18 Dec

Rameshwor Dahal

12/21/2013 06:42 pm

traffic up 150% on my site. Forget the tweet from matt cutts, there was an update.


12/22/2013 02:58 am

I worked at Google. We had a weather team that was creating an update that sole goal was to hit a 100 degree day on Mozcast. That's probably what this was. Just google playing with the ranking for a couple of days.


12/22/2013 04:37 am

Who is the biggest LIAR? Matt Cutts of Google or Eric Clapper of the NSA? According to Snowden the NSA is causing fluctuations in Google Rankings when they detect a connection to the Middle East.


12/22/2013 04:42 am

The Duck Dynasty website drop from page 1 to page 30. Seeing the same here.


12/22/2013 09:27 am

why though?


12/22/2013 11:23 am

cause we can. we were google. the tool was built to track our movements and we wanted to test it power.

Dean Jones

12/23/2013 10:29 am

My site went par below to page 9. Hope it should not last long


12/23/2013 12:12 pm

How could Google search Reported Fluctuation ?

Roger Weavers

12/24/2013 02:44 pm

Google sent out some "unnatural links" warnings on the 15th so many sites got penalised and de indexed on 17th Could this be why many people experienced changes on that date?

Mike Pannell (Dallas Realtor)

12/25/2013 10:56 pm

No. My site to this date hasnt ever get a warning but is affected by almost every update there is.. I had a bunch of rankings on the 17th but they appear to be headed back up now..


12/30/2013 07:43 pm

No changes on one of my sites at all, but another has seen a lot. Used to have several pages on page 1 of the SERPs and only one is left now, despite all being targeted keywords for a specific local health directory. Go figure.

Nick Fitzgerald

12/30/2013 10:57 pm

I write about this on my blog. Though, I saw everything happening on the 17th...


01/11/2014 12:00 am

My traffic went from 1,511 impressions on 12/16 to 87 impressions on 12/17, so something major happened to cause a 90% drop in impressions in 1 day.

Cara Pettersen

02/12/2014 10:32 pm

How do you know for sure?

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