August 15th - Another Possible Big Google Search Algorithm & Ranking Update

Aug 15, 2020 - 9:41 pm 56 by
Filed Under Google Updates

Google Update

Super rare that I come on, on a Saturday night, and write something here. But I turned up the computer after Shabbat ended and I see the SEO community is buzzing in a big way about some significant changes to the Google search results today. This is not as big as that bug (the indexing system failure) from last Monday but it does seem very big.

Update: This update is in this green box and was added August 16th at 8am ET. It seems like this update was reverted or went back to the previous state. In fact, when I first wrote this story, the search results looked mostly normal to me. But it was at about that time, 9:30pm August 15th, where people began noticing the results go back to normal again. So maybe this was another glitch. I also updated the rank checking tools as of this morning. I will add more about this update below the story.

We have both the SEO forums, social media and even many of the trusted rank checking tracking tools all showing huge signs of an update.

The first signs seemed to be early this morning but if you count local changes, those seemed to have started Friday morning. So yes, I am seeing both Google web search ranking changes and also local search ranking changes. Let me be clear, this seems nothing like what we saw on last Monday afternoon with Google. The search results do not seem wrong or bad, I don't think - at least not as obvious as the Monday issue. But there is a lot of chatter and the tools are 'lit up' (as the cool kids would say).

Let's start with the SEO chatter, from the ongoing WebmasterWorld forums and also Black Hat World forums has a bunch of chatter. Here is some of it:

Did the world forget to come back from your fishing trip samwest?

Totally dead this Saturday morning.

Not sure what is going on....

I don't know if it's too early to scream with happiness, but as far as I can see this morning, a new Google SERP update is on the scene. Namely, my positions are where they were 3 months ago. In other words the positions were almost 100% restored at the moment before the May update. And that’s fantastic news for me. I made a couple of changes to website that I suspected could have caused a loss of position and I don't know if it affected it, but it doesn't matter at all anymore since my project is where it has always been.

This Saturday morning, August 15 2020, is extremely beautiful. happy! happy! happy!

They don't do core updates on Saturday and Sundays. Another glitch?

It wouldn't surprise me. SERP monitors are on fire showing some of the highest volatility I've seen in a long time. I guess we'll have to wait for the dust to settle to see if it's a glitch or another algo update.

I think already happen ....massive drop for my organic traffic and come adsense see like something negative happen too

I see massive increase in my rankings. Many of my KWs have jumped up very very nice!

Another "glitch"?

UPDATE: I'm still rising high and reached positions where I was after the *GLITCH*

Seems like google has finally did justice to us and we are ranking where we should rank

I'm seeing some positive movement from my keywords today

Today 100% We have Googgle Update

TADA! My rankings have fallen a bit again :/ Not too bad so far.. Its still okay

Indeed it does.

So far so good on my end. Few improvements.

I guest its the "glitch" fix.

Glenn Gabe spotted it early today:

Here are some tweets today asking me about this:

Here are screen shots of the tracking tools.

SEMrush - this is crazy high for SEMRush:

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RankRanger - I do not know if I've ever seen RankRanger this high?

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Accuranker - super high as well:

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Mozcast - is pretty high as well:

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Cognitive SEO:

click for full size

The other tools seem pretty stable right now, but who knows what they will show tomorrow?

Here is the local tracking tools:


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Here is a thread about it from the Local Search Forums where Joy Hawkins wrote "BrightLocal's Flux tracker had a high score yesterday. I'm wondering if anyone saw any major changes in the search results? This is one that I was looking at yesterday." No one has responded yet.

To sum up:

  • I am seeing chatter of an update on August 15th
  • Some of the more trusted tools are showing very high fluctuations in Google
  • Also seeing this in local rankings, not just web rankings.
  • It is not like the glitch from Monday (the chatter is not that high and the results don't look that off)

So - did you notice huge changes on August 15th? Let us know.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld forums and also Black Hat World forums.

Update August 16th 8am: Like I wrote above, it seems like this update was reverted or went back to the previous state. In fact, when I first wrote this story, the search results looked mostly normal to me. But it was at about that time, 9:30pm August 15th, where people began noticing the results go back to normal again. I have also updated the rank checking tools as of this morning. So maybe this was another glitch.

Here are some quotes from the forums and SEO community about it reverting back:

Google just did an update on or around a hour ago. Looks like they reverted the changes made very early in the morning.

However I'm optimistic at least that they are intending to some big update soon here as that's twice in 1 week they made an update to the search results maybe testing before permanently updated the search results.

Everything is reverted back. I assume they are checking on some new algo and this version was quite fine tuned. This time, I didn;t see any stupid links ranking in top 10. All quality websites were ranked in top 10.

Brace yourselves. Winter is coming.

The rankings are being reverted back to what they were a day before yesterday.

Yeah. Another update rolled back after a few hours. Super weird.

I'm up about 30% starting as of 9am. But I reached a peak at 8pm and now stats appear to be trending back down. So more volatility. Let's see how this pans out in the long term.

don't know what's going on with serps right now. There was a glitch before then it was restored again. Yesterday it was again pulling strings now it seems like normal again. Looks like they are upto something

It was another glitch or something that triggered the sensors. No updates.

A bit more from Glenn who has been tracking this:

More from RankRanger data:

So it seems like something happened Saturday morning, August 15th and reverted back by last night?


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