Google October Core Update Heated Weekend Volatility

Oct 16, 2023 - 7:51 am 490 by
Filed Under Google Updates

Google Core Update Exploding

We are seeing high levels of volatility and SEO industry chatter over the weekend, starting late Friday, October 13th, through Saturday and Sunday. I suspect this is from the Google October 2023 core update and maybe some movement from the Google October 2023 spam update, but less from the spam update.

This is the second time we have seen a lot of Google search ranking algorithm volatility since the launch of these two algorithm updates. The first one started around October 10th and lasted a couple of days. Keep in mind the core update started to roll out on October 5, 2023, at around 12 pm ET. And we saw big ranking volatility on the 10th and then again the 14th, plus or minus a few days.

The comments on my last post are insane, with over 650 comments, many telling super upsetting and sad stories about online businesses being destroyed due to this update. Reading some of the comments can be unsettling, so just be warned.

I should add that I see a lot of complaints about copy sites, and scrapers outranking their original content. Sadly this happens when an algorithm update determines the original site is not quality enough, you will have other sites, even sites that steal your content, outrank you. Google even confirmed it.

Let me share was we are seeing from this weekend's Google search ranking movement.

Google Tracking Tools:

The tracking tools are now mostly all showing a lot of volatility compared to what it has been recently showing. Here are what the tools are showing this morning:


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Advanced Web Rankings:

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Cognitive SEO:

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SEO Chatter

Here is some of the chatter, there is just too much to share but here is some random and select quotes from both WebmasterWorld and the comments area:

Conversions are at -73% compared to the last period; right now I have 10 articles going at -90% impressions (some are still at 0!) and a dozen more parachuted into low page 2 from position 2-4 beforehand.

9 years in this, the first time I've seen such mayhem on any of my sites.

I strongly agree, last three days my main website lost more than 60% of its traffic. I lost all motivation to keep publishing new articles.

Seems its a rather big shuffle happening.

Same here, I have my main website with about 400 articles that lost about 60% of the traffic.

I already started to update/rewrite all the articles, just to see if it will ever make a difference at some point.

Down 30%-50% this week (after a really, really good weekend, it must be said) - I'm in the entertainment news niche.

In fact, tools say that everyone in my niche has lost up to 70% over the past few weeks. Same for gaming news too.

I operate a German car magazine and have approximately 31,000 (!) blog posts online, which have been manually created over the past 10 years. Making any changes here is nearly impossible, and I wouldn't know what to change, as they are absolutely relevant to the topic and, aside from perhaps 1-2 structural issues, are quite standard blog articles. Moreover, these have consistently ranked over 10 years and have gradually fought for their places. One can only hope that everything will calm down on its own in the coming weeks. Currently, I am experiencing a -70% decrease in traffic, and in the long run, this would mean the end of the site!

Last two days a full recovery...but this morning USA is -53% again at 11:30am. Oddly, traffic from several other countries in Europe is -29%...exactly the same % for all of them. Fridays tend to be a low day, so perhaps will catch up.

Same thing here, 46% down in last two weeks after three years being in top 5 rankings. Last year in september after Core update same thing happened, it took 6 months to recover. Not sure what is going on right now, but I must say that I don't expect anything to change soon. My opinion is that Google is now testing/collecting new informations about sites and that will determine the future rankings for all sites. My only conciliation, strange enough, is that I've only lost about 25% revenues, actually I am seeing CPC doubled or tripled actually, so less clicks and more money! Heads up and have faith, give it a bit of time.

USA traffic this afternoon / evening for me -33%. strange.

On my side, everything is going up. Today is the best performance since the useful, core and spam updates started.

Same, huge recovery the last couple of days but today USA traffic is down at least 40% for us.

Awful day for traffic. Everything is just stagnant... stagnantly low!

My website, which is 9 years old, used to receive approximately 125K pageviews daily. However, after the recent HCU update, this number dropped to 105K pageviews. Naturally, I became concerned. I'm optimistic that we can recover the lost traffic by thoroughly analyzing our content and conducting an audit. But post-october 5, I've observed my pages intermittently disappearing from Google's search results and then reappearing. I'm confident this is a bug on Google's part, as I've come across numerous comments echoing this sentiment. Despite our pages being indexed, we're unsure about how to effectively report the problem.

It's getting really hard to not go insane. Rankings continue to fall. Meanwhile, the majority of articles outranking me now are crap.

One article outdoing me now has: no author, no images, some awkward phrasing (likely written by foreign team), misspellings, wrong use of industry jargon, no internal or external links, AND they have H2s and text blatantly stolen from MY article. Their DA is less than half of mine.

My post has my bio (with plenty of verifiable EAT dating back 10 years), is painstakingly through, SEO optimized, strong internal links, and falls square within my expertise.

I made some site changes to UX that I hope was the problem but it is maddening to see stuff like this. What is going on?

The down trend not even stopping. I check my keyword rankings everyday. It's already super bad, yet I lose more and more rankings.

Traffic throttling is extreme again today. The only traffic I'm getting are all going to my outdated and old pages. Judging from it I can feel it is going to be a "no conversion" day.

I can confirm today is max throttling !

Saturday is usually our strongest day. Our conversions today, is 90% down on a normal Saturday.

I hesitate to type this however I am seeing a small recovery in traffic as follows:

Week 40 traffic was -33.2% v 2023 average and my lowest week of the year Week 41 was +11.7% v week 40 Week 42 so far is +8.5% v week 41 BUT still -19% v 2023 average

It's looking a bit better however do bear in mind that my 2023 average so far is -18% v 2022 and -37.2% v 2021

The more USA localisation I see the lower my USA traffic and also to a noticeable extent in the UK too.

The past week has been the worst in my site's 2.5 years of history. Traffic decline and disappearing/briefly re-appearing on the SERPs articles put aside, my conversions have been half of what they should be at my current session threshold.

What are you all seeing from this weekend?

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.


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