Another unconfirmed Google algorithm update was spotted from April 20-21 following the smaller update on April 18. In a post by Seach Engine Roundtable’s Barry Schwartz, we could see that intense ranking fluctuations were reported by Google tracking tools Semrush, RankRanger and Mozcast.
Schwartz posited that the recent update could be a continuation of the April 18 update, which had caused less of a ripple, but it could also be a completely different update. Google has yet to make an official announcement since the rollout, but the buzz within the SEO community suggests the changes were major.
On April 21, Semrush’s SERP volatility reached a rating of 9.2/10 (very high range). This rating indicates “constant and massive tremors on Google search results,” hinting at a significant algorithm update. Once volatility reaches this level, marketers are advised to check their site’s SERP activity and if it’s experiencing significant ranking fluctuations.
Meanwhile, RankRanger’s volatility index showed a risk level of 75, the highest it has been in the last 30 days. Mozcast’s April 21 report revealed the same, with Google “weather turbulence” reaching 100 degrees, the highest throughout April.
Again, Google has yet to confirm anything. The last confirmed update was the March 2022 Product Reviews update, which completed rolling out on April 11. Between then and the April 21 update, the SEO community spotted two more separate unconfirmed updates, one on April 13-14 and another on April 18. However, the latest one seemed to have generated the most chatter within the SEO space.
If the April 21 update has positively impacted you, keep doing what you’re doing. And if you’ve experienced the opposite and noticed a slight drop in rankings, it never hurts to examine your site as a whole and fix technical issues that could be affecting crawlability.
Google Search Lets Users Remove Personal Information From Search Results: Google now allows users to request the removal of more personally identifiable information (PII) from search results. This update includes contact numbers, email addresses and physical addresses on top of bank accounts, credit card numbers and other confidential information. So any PII that could undermine your privacy or put you at risk of financial fraud or identity theft can now be requested to be removed from Google search results. Users will be asked to fill out a request form and provide details about the type of information published and the reason why they want it removed. Google will assess each request using a set of criteria, and if approved, the page will be taken down from Google’s search index. However, Google will decline requests when the PII is used in “broadly useful” articles, like a news piece. The list of eligible PII includes confidential ID numbers, personal contact information, bank account and credit card numbers, medical records and private login details.
New Report Shows 75 Percent of Brands Believe Search Marketing Is Important: A new Forrester research study sponsored by Microsoft found that brands are increasingly aware of the importance of search marketing. Findings showed that 75 percent of respondents claimed search has become “more important” to their online advertising strategies, while 60 percent planned to invest more in search, display advertising and online video in the next 12 months. Brands have seen the dramatic shift in consumer behavior over the last two years, with more and more people buying products and services during work hours. Companies are determined to tap into this buyer persona, the so-called “workday consumer,” and they believe search advertising with the right messaging and copy could help them attract and convert this emerging market. Read the full report here.
Introducing MuellerBot, an AI John Mueller Bot Designed To Answer Tricky SEO Questions: Starting April 27, MuellerBot, an artificial intelligence (AI) script developed by digital business consultant Danny Richman, is live and available to OpenAI.com users. MuellerBot is designed to answer some of the toughest Google SEO questions in the style of Google’s Search Advocate John Mueller. Richman claims that the script provides “helpful” answers but advises users to verify the accuracy of information before acting on any recommendation. In Schwartz’s words, “It is pretty fun and sometimes scary accurate.” The tool is powered by GPT-3, which was trained with data from various sources, including CommonCrawl and Wikipedia. Note that MuellerBot is endorsed by neither Mueller nor Google.
Users Are Warned Against Scammy DMCA Legal Requests From AI-Generated “Lawyers”: A report by The Next Web reveals that some people have been receiving scammy DMCA legal requests from AI-generated lawyers from non-existent law firms. Scammers would send an email to site owners claiming DMCA copyright infringement but instead of asking the site owner to remove the “infringing” content, they would ask for a do-follow link. The “lawyer” would provide a link as the image credit source and request the site owner to add the link to their own site within seven days. Failing to do so would lead to legal charges. The whole operation turns out to be a link-building scam meant to manipulate the search rankings: The “lawyer” doesn’t exist, nor does the law firm at which they supposedly work. Experts advise being vigilant and doing proper research if you receive a DMCA legal threat. At the very least, make sure to verify the lawyer’s identity and the law firm’s existence.
Instagram Rolls Out an Algorithm Ranking Update: The new ranking algorithm update for Instagram’s home feed is designed to prioritize original content. The head of the platform, Adam Mosseri, stated that the update is one of the company’s many efforts to promote and reward originality. This means creators who publish self-created content is more likely to appear on Instagram than republished content. “If you create something from scratch, you should get more credit than if you are sharing something that you found from someone else,” Mosseri added. It’s unclear whether the intention is to promote creators for self-created content or to encourage users to publish content exclusively for Instagram. Either way, Mosseri emphasized that the platform is committed to crediting creators properly and ensuring “they’re getting all the credit they deserve.”
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