There is an important chat in the SEO community of a Google update that Black Hat SEO looks like backlinks. There is also suspicion that the quality of the content is also targeted. We look at rumors, as well as SERP trackers and responses from Google and other experts to try and figure out what’s going on.
We will first take a look at the SERP trackers to review the size of the update and check for a rumored base. Next, we’ll look at the chat in the SEO community to get information about what it’s targeting, and finally, we’ll report on Google’s comments about recent volatility.
Global SERPs Volatility
Below are all the latest SERP tracker charts. It is clear that gossip in the community has some fundamentals on an upgrade, with important spikes on all trackers.
Ranking risk index
Rank’s risk index gives a relatively quiet mid-month, high volatility with the February 7 update (discussed here), and recent volatility today, March 9.
SERPmetrics shows an image that is almost identical to Rank’s risk index, with the latest data only until March 8th. It may, therefore, be used to check this table if the data will be published on March 9th.
MozCast is quite interesting because it shows a peak of volatility around March 1, which was also collected by Sensor (see below). The MozCast data will only return on March 8th, but they clearly show a peak that day.
Google Grump shows a strong peak on March 9, as well as a smaller tip around March 3rd. The good thing about Google Grump is that you can filter on-site. The table below shows the mobile and desktop data globally.
However, we see significantly higher volatility in the EU countries, with the United States seeing a smaller increase. Look:
We do not know what to do, but it may suggest a phased or delayed implementation.
The sensor is a brand new SEMrush follow-up service, and while covering the only US at this stage, it reduces industrial volatility for more insight. On 8 and 9 March, there is, of course, some volatility, as well as a small peak on March 2.
We drove through a number of categories to see if there were indications whether the update targeted specific areas and found the following:
Some categories are far more volatile than others in the long run, for example, News.
While the categories such as health have low volatility, they have seen a peak in recent days.
Books and literature do not seem to be too much influenced.
At the moment we do not see anything special that distinguishes categories, but if you have something interesting after checking, feel free to let us know in the comments. Either way, it will be a useful tool to check when an update takes place.
One good thing to notice about the SEMrush sensor is that the data is updated several times a day.