Is It Google Search Ranking Updates Or Instability Over Bugs?

Oct 12, 2020 • 8:03 am | comments (27) by | Filed Under Google Search Algorithm Updates

Google Unstability

Over the past week or so, the search tracking tools have been showing a lot fluctuations, volatility and instability. We know Google has had a number of bugs that it is still actually working on resolving. All of that can cause volatility in the search results but is it just that?

Here is a summary of some of the issues in the past month or so with Google Search canonicalization, mobile-indexing, news-indexing, top stories carousel, and sports scores breaking.

Now, the big issues are mostly with the canonicalization and mobile-indexing issues. Google has given us a number of updates on this issue.

Again, the mobile-indexing issue impacted 0.2% of Google's index and the canonicalization issue impacted 0.02% of Google's index.

They both kind of spiked the third week of September:

Google posted these three updates on it being resolved:

While the mobile-indexing bug is pretty much resolved as of last Friday, October 9th. The canonicalization bug is still not resolved.

There has been chatter in the various SEO forums about fluctuations, volatility and instability in the search results. All may lead back to these bugs with Google but could they also be related to other ranking updates? It is hard to say.

Here is some of the more recent chatter at WebmasterWorld and Black Hat World:

Google is a mess. Appear to be shifting their assets to the top for maximum effect. Traffic is back to trickle / drip and all zombie again.

Trending down at a time of year that it is historically trending up. Maybe everyone is over on social media fighting the cold civil war. These big tech platforms will be our undoing. It's hopeless.

I saw a sharp reversal today and traffic was strong all day. +21-30% USA, UK, AU...+200-600% for Europe and Mexico. It's fairly evident that we are going to see wild swings in traffic moving forward. If the pattern holds tomorrow morning around 10am my traffic will tank again.

Google is indeed a mess. I don't understand why and how they're indexing AMP pages sometimes. AMP pages are appearing when we use site command or when we paste the URL directly in Google search. When we search for the keyword, non-AMP appears. Indexed AMP pages are under "Indexed, not submitted in sitemap" in the search console. Is this the new normal?

I'm a bit lost now, not sure if it's still a bug not fixed or an update of some sort or both. Seeing weird movements for competition, which has a lot more authority than me at this moment.

Is this the new and bizarre world of Google?

anyone experiencing major tank?

Me. Major tank on all of my websites, but one website goes upwards.

Have been seeing huge swings on my sites as well for the past days. Mostly trending upwards but the volatility is crazy high it seems.

Let me now share screen shots of the tracking tools over the past couple of weeks or so:


click for full size


click for full size


click for full size


click for full size

Advanced Web Rankings:

click for full size


click for full size


click for full size

Cognitive SEO:

click for full size

Heck, even the local SEO trackers are showing major changes at BrightLocal:

click for full size

My gut says there have not been any big Google algorithm updates during this time. But it is impossible for me to know for sure without Google confirming that. And Google has not told me about any update outside of them fixing the bugs.

It looks like things are beginning to settle down and hopefully today Google will tell us those bugs with canonicalization and mobile-indexing are fully resolved as of today.

For now, there is really nothing you can do outside of just making your site better and more smiley.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld and Black Hat World.

Previous story: Google My Business Adds More COVID-19 Health & Safety Checks
Ninja Banner
blog comments powered by Disqus