Google Search Ranking Update Volatility Starting On May 9th

May 9, 2024 - 7:51 am 692 by
Filed Under Google Updates

Google Logo Cracking Burning

I am seeing signs of a possible Google search ranking update today, May 9th, between a spike in early chatter this morning within the SEO industry and many of the tools showing a significant lift in ranking volatility in the Google Search results.

As a reminder, the March 2024 core update started on March 5th and ended on April 19th, 45 days later. We then reported on ranking fluctuations both before April 25th (thinking it was the core update still) and also on May 3rd. And now we are seeing more ranking volatility on May 9th.

Update: I have made updates to the story at the end, with a comment from Google's Search Liaison and I also posted some volatility we have seen after May 9th, through the weekend, through May 12th.

Google Tracking Tools

Let's start with the tools, many of them are showing a spike in volatility this morning.





Advanced Web Rankings:














Cognitive SEO:




SEO Chatter

It is still early in the day but I am seeing a spike in chatter about Google Search ranking volatility and fluctuations this morning. Here are some quotes from WebmasterWorld, this site and social media:

I am watching my Matomo real-time stats, and it feels like Google is throttling traffic on and off, on and off.

I don't know about you guys but in my niche, something definitely has changed since last night. It's not your regular shuffling. It's nothing major but I am seeing even more Reddit pages, even more thin discussions and expired auction pages ranking. I don't know if Google is doing this in anticipation for ChatGPT's search but they have changed something. Are you guys seeing anything? In my niche, something definitely happened.

Without giving away my niche, I am going to give you one example: allamaa dot sa. I have never ever seen this site rank for anything in my niche. Now it's in top 4/5 position for a bunch of keywords starting last night.

I am noticing that after last night, seems Google has gotten even worse understanding intent. I search for something very specific, it is showing me pages with one word of what I searched for ranking in top 10. I am so done with this man.

Yes, I am 50% down again. ha ha (not that it matters, as from 25 to 12 or 10 I do not care)

The SERPs are 0 intent. In most searches I have no intent competition at all (maybe 1 or 2), and yet Google push me down to page 4, 5, 6, and what not. They rank just pure non related garbage.

Will Google announce an update? This is not a normal shuffle. I sense a change. Hard to explain but you can almost tell something is off even more than before. I really hate Google. I hate Google with a passion. I am now starting to hate their employees too. I know it's not their fault but what they have done to businesses like mine is unforgivable. All for what? They were already making a lot of money.

All affected pages have continued to decline since March and are gradually disappearing completely from the top 30...It seems like she has a serious illness (HCU). I can no longer hear this drivel from Google about any site eventually recovering from HCU.

Yes maybe if you sold it, the contents were completely deleted and wasn't used for a few years. Then it may be that it ranks again...

What are you all seeing?

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

Update: Danny Sullivan from Google, the Google Search Liaison, replied to questions about this, if this can be confirmed as an update. He said on X, saying they do lots of updates. He wrote:

This is covered on our long-standing page about core updates.

"We're constantly making updates to our search algorithms, including smaller core updates. We don't announce all of these because they're generally not widely noticeable. Still, when released, they can cause content to recover if improvements warrant."

We have a lot of different core and other ranking systems. They're regularly being updated. They're also processing new information, because the web itself is constantly changing.

If we were giving notice about all the ranking system updates we do, it would be like this:

Hi. It's 1:14pm -- we just did an update to system 112!
Hi. It's 2:26pm -- we just did an update to system 34!
Hi. It's 5:02pm -- we just did an update to system 76!

That's because we do around 5,000 updates per year, as this covers.

Plus, we'd also be saying:

Hi. It's 12:45pm, results have changed slightly because the web just changed!
Hi. it's 12:46pm, results have changed slightly because the web just changed!
Hi. it's 12:47pm, results have changed slightly because the web just changed!

Because already launched and existing systems *aren't themselves being updated* in how they operate, but *the information they're processing isn't static but instead is constantly changing*.

This type of constant "hey, we did an update" notification stuff probably isn't really that useful to creators. There's nothing to "do" with those types of updates. That's why we focus on the ones where there's either something to consider or we just think they might be broadly noticeable. This past blog post explains more about that.

Here are those posts:

Update 2 On May 12th: I am seeing a lot of chatter through the weekend still, this update seems heated.

Here are some examples:

Update 3: May 13th, still pretty volatile:

Update 4: May 14th still seeing huge volatility based on the third party rank tracking tools and chatter within the industry:


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