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I am working for a site and it was on page 3, listing 3 at SERP. When I checked it today, I found it on listing 10 of page 7. It's a huge change I have seen on last 3 months I have started working on that particular site.

Did the Google algo got updated yesterday?

  • Yes, google went mobile first search now. So if your site is mobile friendly and meets the Google’s criteria then you will get higher ranking, otherwise sites get penalized in terms of lower ranking – Bhargav Joshi Jan 17 at 14:22
  • It’s been officially announced. If your site is falling under mobile first index then they have sent an email to the webmasters (the email id you have registered for the Google Search Console) about this update. (I am a webmaster and already received a couple of them) – Bhargav Joshi Jan 17 at 15:26
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SEMRush ranks SERP volatility on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest volatility. They are saying that today it was at 5.1, but it was 9.1 on January 10. They have seen multiple site position changes. You can get a free basic account to get more information.

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Yes, as per my analysis on 90+ websites, there is ranking fluctuations starts on 8th or 9th of January. And most of that sites are ranked and giving 50k+ traffic per day but after these fluctuations on respective dates, some of sites reached around 1 lakh traffic and some goes down but also have sites which have little fluctuations and quite stable now... Now analysing in more dept for clear results wheather is this a google ranking update or old SEO effect.

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Yes the January 9th was a hard day for me. My position dropped from 5.6 to 80 or so. And impressions dropped from 5000 to 100 a day. And I have a mobile site. For me though Fetch as Google get errors with unloaded resources. Sadly I can not confirm there wasnt these errors before. I managed to get somewhat back only because I:

  1. removed loading screen
  2. moved CSS inside html document inside tags. [Yea, I know!!! And No, it doesn't get blocked](because Fetch couldn't load css)
  3. Changed css height:100vh to 100%
  4. Worked to get ~95 score on mobile and solid 100 score for desktop on Pagespeed insights.
  5. Changed connection:closed to connection:keep-alive in htaccess

    So that's what I did - some of it is stupid - some I should had done a while ago

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Here is what Search Engine Land had to say on this:

Google has not officially confirmed any sort of specific update — core or otherwise. But we know Google is continuously making updates, and that while it does not confirm each update, it is possible an update did take place that’s impacting some webmasters, SEOs and site owners.

What we noticed. Over the past several days, especially around January 5 and 6 and January 9, the SEO community within the various online forums and social media were discussing ranking changes — both positive and negative ranking changes. While their clients might rank in position number two on a specific day, the next day, they may have dropped to position 12 or bumped up to position 1.

Most, but not all, third-party tracking tools that monitor Google search results have shown significant volatility around the dates specified above. Here are some screenshots from those tools:

Mozcast: enter image description here

SERP Metrix: enter image description here

Accuranker: enter image description here

Rankranger: enter image description here

Cognitive SEO: enter image description here

SEM Rush: enter image description here

Search engine Land asked Google for a statement about these changes the community has been noticing. So far, the company has declined to comment. Google often does not confirm or comment on specific updates and simply says it continuously makes improvements to search.

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