Over the past several days, the SEO community has taken notice of more-than-normal ranking fluctuations and volatility in the Google search results. While it is not uncommon for Google to have volatility in the search results from day-to-day or hour-to-hour, what is less common is to see an increase in complaints from within the SEO community around these changes. What we noticed both on and around January 6 and January 9 were higher-than-usual signals that there were significant changes to the Google search results rankings.
While we do believe there was a Google algorithm update or two over the past week or so, 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.