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Ranking and Search Volatility – Update 2019

We thought 2018 was a interesting year for Search Engine Optimisation, but it seems Google was just getting started. From formal algorithm updates to system failures, 2019 has given many SEO specialists grey hair.  As analysts, we have seen some of the greatest shifts and movements in rankings since 2012 where Google introduced updates such as Panda, Penguin and then Hummingbird which represented a huge shift in the way their algorithm worked.

In 2018 we released a piece on the changes for the period. In this update, we have added the 2019 change landscape with some things to keep your eye on.

It is easy to see that we are not the only company who is aware of this. By simply reviewing tools such as Mozcast and Accuranker we can see that the algorithm is in serious flux.

What we do know so far from 2019 is the following

February 6, 2019: Unnamed Update – Unconfirmed

An unconfirmed update occurred. Tracking tools detected heavy ranking flux, with MozCast reaching 103.4°F.


March 1, 2019: 19-result SERPs – Unconfirmed

For a single day Google showed anomalous page-1 counts. SEOs were seeing up to 19 organic results relating to In-depth Articles. These disappeared on March 6th.

MozCast reached 108.2°F, but it’s unclear how much of this was due to the temporary boost in organic counts.


March 12, 2019: March 2019 Core Update – Confirmed

Google confirmed a “core” update, stating it was the third major core update since they began using that label. MozCast hit a peak of 101.2°F, a bit below March 1st temperatures. No specific details were given about the nature of the update.


April 5, 2019: Deindexing Bug — Confirmed

Google confirmed a bug that dropped pages from the search index around the weekend of April 5th. Data suggested drops on April 5th and 7th, with about 4% of stable URLs falling off of page one. Most sites recovered soon after.


May 23, 2019: Indexing Bugs — Confirmed

Two days in a row, Google confirmed indexing bugs. The first bug reportedly was preventing new content from being properly indexed. MozCast confirmed unusually high SERP flux from May 23-25 (peaking on the 23rd), but it’s unclear if this was directly related to the bugs.

Search Engine Land: Google fixes the indexing issue


June 3, 2019: June 2019 Core Update — Confirmed

Google pre-announced a “core” update, but with limited details. Sites impacted in previous core updates seem to have been affected, in some cases, and some major UK publishers reported heavy losses. On average, the impact was smaller than the August “Medic” update, as measured by MozCast.

Search Engine Land: July Core update – Winners and losers 


June 6, 2019: Site Diversity Update — Confirmed

Google pre-announced a “site diversity” update, claiming it would improve situations where sites had more than two organic listings. Moz data showed that, while the update did marginally improve SERPs with 3-5 duplicate sites on page one, the impact was relatively small.


Screenshot 2019 10 17 At 13.04.54 | Ranking And Search Volatility - Update 2019 | Media Rocket Studio

September 24, 2019: September Broad Core update – Confirmed

Google has announced that they have released a broad core algorithm update on the 24th of September 2019. They have named it the “September 2019 Core Update”.


Click here for 2018 updates



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