Google Web & Local Search Ranking Algorithm Updates Over Weekend

Apr 26, 2021 - 7:41 am 20 by
Filed Under Google Updates

Google Algorithm Update

Starting around Friday, April 23rd or so, there seems to have been an unconfirmed Google Search ranking algorithm both on the web search results side and the local search results side. There is chatter in the SEO forums, coupled with the automated tracking tools picking up big changes, it does seem like we had some sort of unconfirmed update.

To be clear, the product reviews update finished rolling out Thursday, April 22nd. Could it be related to that? I don't think so. Plus, there was a lot more chatter with this unconfirmed update than the product reviews update in general - so I don't think the two are related.

I should say, there was also significant chatter about Google not indexing content recently. Maybe, just maybe, that is why Gary Illyes chimed in about passing quality checks for indexing - maybe this update impacted what Google will index and the quality threshold was changed here? I am just guessing, I do not know.

Here is some of the chatter in the WebmasterWorld forums; note, I did quote below the include the threads and posts about Google's indexing issues but rather focused on ranking fluctuations - but they may be related:

Huge drop this afternoon. Has anyone noticed any fluctuations?

Anyone else noticing that Google is favoring freshness big time at the moment?

Got a competitor who is just republishing the same type of article every few days with a different title and respinning the content and rocketing up the rankings and doing well on Google Discover. Fluff article just respinned every few days.

My USA traffic down 24% today...drop started at 2pm. Traffic from every other country either average or up. I'm getting awfully tired of my USA traffic being throttled for half the day...

Exactly the same. At 2pm the drop started. This is becoming commonplace every day. Yesterday was more significant.

I saw a big drop yesterday as well. Still very low today...

I was up over 30% yesterday vs same day last week. Last Saturday was lower than usual but not significantly. It was up 20% compared to the previous Saturday. Good fortunes are continuing today as the traffic is holding the trend.

I ended up the day yesterday with -18% on USA traffic. Meanwhile Google has been sending much higher than normal levels of traffic from Germany at +100% yesterday and +300% today...that has lasted about ten days now. UK and Canada also up strongly. USA traffic still limps along and never recovered from the drop on 2/13 and the even bigger drop on 3/15. The drop also seems to target my most important and profitable landing pages and keywords, as if Google analyzes what your most important content is and shuts off the's amazing how accurate they are.

I was at 75% yesterday and usually expect between 60-80% so ok, however today with 5 hours of my Googleday to run I'm at 54% and it's seems slow across all sites.

And as usual, huge drop in traffic after 2pm. G limited my traffic a little earlier today :-|

Seems once you get hit by a core update, each small update just makes things progressively worse. When you benefit from a core update, most smaller updates are beneficial.

There is more chatter both on the ranking fluctuations side and indexing side.

Here are screenshots from the tracking tools; most show changes as early as the 22nd or 23rd.


click for full size

SERPMetrics (look at that dive):

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


click for full size

And like I said, it is also on the local side, see BrightLocal s tool:

click for full size

I should note it was the 9 year anniversary of the Google Penguin update on Saturday, the 24th - coincidence? :-P

In summary; I doubt this was at all related to the product reviews update, it might be some quality change Google made that may impact indexing and also the local search side as well. Google has not confirmed any of this yet.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.


Popular Categories

The Pulse of the search community


Search Video Recaps

Google Core Update Coming, Ranking Volatility, Bye Search Notes, AI Overviews, Ads & More - YouTube
Video Details More Videos Subscribe to Videos

Most Recent Articles

Search Forum Recap

Daily Search Forum Recap: July 22, 2024

Jul 22, 2024 - 10:00 am

Google Tests Link Icon Citations For AI Overviews

Jul 22, 2024 - 7:51 am

Google Testing Save Button For AI Overviews

Jul 22, 2024 - 7:41 am
Bing Ads

New Microsoft Advertising Brand Lists For Performance Max Campaigns

Jul 22, 2024 - 7:31 am

Google Knowledge Panels Using AI-Generated Images

Jul 22, 2024 - 7:21 am
Bing Search

Bing Tests Related Searches At Top - Below Search Bar

Jul 22, 2024 - 7:11 am
Previous Story: Google: A Page Needs To Pass Quality Checks For Indexing