Pre-Christmas Intense Google Algorithm Ranking Volatility

Dec 24, 2023 - 8:20 am 381 by
Filed Under Google Updates

Google Christmas Algorithm Update

No one should be surprised to hear that I am reporting on some intense Google search ranking volatility starting this Friday, December 22nd, through the weekend, with things seeming to calm down today, Sunday, December 24th. Did Google push an algorithm update or tweak before the holiday break? Who knows, but there are signals of ranking volatility either way.

Like I said, I am seeing a potential unconfirmed Google search ranking algorithm update touch down on Friday, December 22nd.

In general, for most websites, traffic during this time frame normally drops significantly. Plus, we also had that indexing issue on the 21st of December. So maybe between the two, it is causing both the chatter to spike and the tools to show intense volatility? That might be an answer but there are plenty of site owners saying their sales are way down compared to the same period last year.

Chatter within the SEO community both here and on WebmasterWorld spiked. Plus, the automated Google search ranking volatility tracking tools also spiked around December 22nd.

Let's start with the chatter this time and then I'll show you the tools.

SEO Chatter

Like I said, the chatter spiked on Friday over here and on WebmasterWorld. Here are some samples of that chatter:

HUGE drop today!

Experienced another 50% drop from Dec 19th and still ongoing. Similar to HCU or worse. Who else is seeing such levels of traffic decline?

Traffic levels as expected across several sites at between 20% to 50% of average depending upon the widget subject. I expect this much volatility until at least 3rd January. There are usually a couple of totally unpredictable up days, I would guess the 27/28/29th.

Drop today versus good traffic yesterday. Typical Google BS.

@renatovieira Your huge drops always worry me. Lately some of my top terms have been recovering slightly. Today was stronger traffic than I expected for a Saturday on Christmas weekend. Hopefully not more huge drops. All of November and December were basically a write off for me in terms of business. There were some inquiries, but not like before Nov. 8th, and nobody purchased a thing...people are acting like a recession is here and it's not.

Hello. I have a websites with recipes and food in multiple language versions. Since December 21st, I've experienced a huge drop from 30,000 to 13,000 visits per day on one of my websites. This is very noticeable before Christmas. Do you think this is an error and will be corrected? The recipe website I have in another language did not experience this decline at all.

No official google update but everything tanked in recent days. I'm glad I don't give a sh..t any more.

2 days before Christmas traffic had another huge drop.

Yep... same here... not even any official update.

Same here. I've checked my competitors and they are A-L-L going down hard. It's ridiculous. We're left with ads and irrelevant results now..

I did almost $20k in sales last December. This year I’ll be lucky to clear $3k. Almost all from organic. Wtf Google?!?

I'm in the same boat. Similar numbers. I have started to apply for jobs but I've been doing this for 15 years so I've been out of the corporate world a long time. This is crazy.

Almost all of my sites got a small bump yesterday. Though, sites have suffered a lot mind it, except one of them, which is fairly new.

Terrible rankings today!!! I will definitely be focusing on other business alternatives next year. Blogging does not make any sense these days, even when users drop hundreds of gratitude comments on the blog (Google ignores this, too). What is then helpful?

No... it is not that. My rankings dropped. One website went 90% down.

Yes, its another drop 3-4 days before Christmas by Google.

Their intention is to sideline the blogs and move positions of Forums, Answering websites to the top to tackle AI spam but with this intention even they dropped like millions of hard core genuine websites of many publishers. When Asked to Google, they just spit shit only.

Glenn Gabe has been noticing weird ranking changes prior to the 22nd, figured I'd drop this in here as well:

Some of these stories are heartbreaking to read any time of the year, but to read them during the holiday season is much worse.

Google Tracking Tools

It's tool time, here are what the tools are showing over the past several days, notice the spike around the 22nd:


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Cognitive SEO:

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Advanced Web Rankings:

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I highly doubt Google pushed out anything specifically large on Friday. My gut, the tools are spiking because of that indexing issue on the 21st of December and we also see normal ranking volatility combined with holiday season traffic lows?

Do you disagree?

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.


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