Last month, with Penguin 3.0 rolling out, we’ve witnessed a new frenzy among SEOs. As usual, the effects of the update were seen by webmasters days before Google confirmed the event. No one knew what was happening or why were rankings going up and down like crazy, until the confirmation arrived and cleared things up.
This scenario happens again and again with each new algorithm update, putting many in our industry through hell.
What exactly happened? Was it just you, or did it affect someone else too? Was it major? Is this something you should be worried about?
According to Google, this happens quite often. They are making over 500 changes to their algorithms a year, so there will always be fluctuations in rankings in addition to normal crawling and indexing.
That is why, we thought it would be useful to have a tool that would help with these types of uncertainties. It’s called the Google Algorithm Changes tool and is free to use for anyone in need, on our website. Let’s check it out!
Presenting the Google Algorithm Changes tool
The Google Algorithm Changes tool is not the first of its kind. You may have seen something similar with Moz’s very creative MozCast tool or Dejan SEO’s Algoroo. Both these tools help you track the changes in Google’s algorithm. If you haven’t checked them out before, now would be a perfect time to do so.
The new Google Algorithm Changes tool that we built tries to broaden the image of the these kindred tools by using a different set of data and (we hope) a better detection algorithm.
In a nutshell, the Google Algorithm Changes tool shows fluctuations in Google search results and it matches these with recent algorithm updates, showing their impact on the organic visibility of the websites included in the data set.
But, there are a number of things the Google Algorithm Changes tool brings new to the table, which are precisely what I’ll be focusing on throughout this post.
Let’s dig in.
First things first
Being powered by AWR Cloud, the Google Algorithm Changes tool is processing the rankings of approximately 10,000 keywords and 500,000 URLs, across various industries, to determine the ranking changes.
We have been collecting data for over four months now, piling up plenty historical data for you to use and compare to. We plan on making all historical data available for as long as the tool shall live, so no worries about losing that information.
This is how the tool looks like:
Let’s talk features!
Algorithm Changes correlated with Organic Visibility
As you may have noticed on the screenshot above, there are two items you can display on the chart: the Ranking changes factor and Visibility percent.
The Ranking changes factor is displayed daily as bars, the color changing in relation to the number and severity of changes, from green (fewer changes) to yellow (moderate changes) and red (major changes).
The ranking changes factor is determined by the number of websites that have had their rankings changed – the more websites are affected, the higher the importance of the algorithm update. This is usually the same information you get from tools similar to this one.
Side by side with the ranking changes, the Google Algorithm Changes tool also displays the Visibility percent.
This is calculated for all the websites that we track in AWR Cloud. If the organic visibility increases, it means that on average the websites we track are experiencing higher rankings in Google search results.
This metric should give you a sense of how the rest of the web is being affected by the update in terms of organic visibility.
Sample #1 – Although the “HTTPS/SSL as Ranking Signal” Google update has determined tremendous changes in search results, these changes appear to be positive for most of the websites we tracked.
Their organic visibility spiked considerably after the update, and also a bit more with the update immediately after.
Your website & Google Algorithm Changes – side by side
As an AWR Cloud user, you can even see how your own visibility and website traffic are fluctuating in relation with the Google algorithm changes. Cool, right? For that, you just need to log in and access the Google Algorithm Changes tool inside AWR Cloud. If you don’t have an account yet, but wish to give it a try with your own data, you can simply sign up for a 30 day free trial of AWR Cloud and check it out.
Country-specific ranking changes: US, UK & DE
For the Google Algorithm Changes tool we have also gathered and processed specific country information for the US, US – local, UK and Germany, showing how algorithm updates have impacted search results in different country-specific Google search engines.
Sample #2 – Speaking earlier about the tremendous changes determined by the “HTTPS/SSL as Ranking Signal” Google update, it seems that algorithm changes first affect the US and Germany, but they affect other countries such as UK differently or a lot later.
For people outside the U.S. it proves to be extremely important to have available country-specific information, as what happens on one search engine might not confirm on all the others as well.
Changes in Top 10, 20 and 50 search results
We also wanted to take a closer look at how Google algorithm changes are influencing rankings on the first page of results, in Top 20 and 50 results.
The reason being that rankings in Top 10 search results are usually less volatile than rankings for, let’s say, the 3rd or 4th page of results. The farther a listing is from the first page of results, the greater the chances are that its rankings would be fluctuating more.
Sample #3 – While both Panda 4.1 and Penguin 3.0 determined no abnormal fluctuations in Top 10 listings (screenshot-1), in Top 50 results there was quite enough turbulence to signal an update (screenshot-2).
But there’s more to play with! Aside from being able to select the SERP you want to see the changes for, you can drill even more into the data to see how many websites have had their rankings changed with more than 3, 5 or 10 positions daily!
Plus, some more is coming next
The functionality we initially had in mind for this tool has been achieved, but there are still a lot of questions left unanswered. We’re planning to bring in more data and hopefully be able to shed some more light into this matter.
So check out the tool, and let us know below how we may improve it to better address your needs.