Before going offline for that long three day vacation, I saw rumors of a possible Google update that was about to roll out. I was a little nervous that this was a core update, but Google hasn't confirmed an update. Now that I'm back online, even though the chatter is elevated, it is not at the core update level.
But there seemed to be an update that was really picked up last Sunday, March 28th, but likely started later on Friday and lasted until around Monday. Google hasn't confirmed any updates, but both SEO industry chatter and automated tracking tools show fluctuations in Google search results for the past weekend.
I should add that there is also a lot of talk about Google Discover changes. There's been a lot more older news showing up recently in Reddit and Google Webmaster Help, as well as other places about Google Discover. Maybe related, but hard for me to say.
Here's some of the chatter from the ongoing WebmasterWorld thread:
Given some fluctuations over the last 24 hours, which are badly affected by the may2020 update, E-A-T improved a month ago. First good signal after almost a year of decline. Traffic on Friday was 105%
Saturday 60% – that's really low for me
28% so far today lol..the last one describes what I saw in Discover regarding food and recipes. Once you start looking for something to do with food, the feed becomes completely inundated with the subject. The same is not true for other searches. Something happened at the weekend and again deep impressions and clicks were achieved (-50%). It just doesn't stop getting worse … Yesterday it looked very bad until the last few hours of my google day with a sudden influx of visitors across all sites, resulting in normal Sunday numbers with my global .com of 72%. The traffic has been down since last Friday. In any case, Google is preparing for something BIG sad
There's a lot more talk going on, and it's a great mix of general ranking changes and Google Discover changes. Note that changes in the ranking of the core search often affect changes in Google Discover.
Here's what the automated tracking tools have shown over the past few days.
Advanced web rankings:
So between the normal ranking fluctuations in Google Search and the surge in complaints in Google Discover, it seems like we had a solid, unconfirmed update to the ranking algorithm for Google Search.
Have you noticed any changes in the past few days?
Forum discussion in WebmasterWorld, Reddit, and Google Webmaster Help.