Did Google Push A Secret Update Last Weekend?

Did Google push a secret update last weekend? Well, several SEOs seem to think so. Several SEO blogs and websites have been reporting wild fluctuations in rankings across Google. However, before we get into the details of what those agencies are reporting, we need to start with a caveat:

Google Constantly Updates The Search Algorithm

While it’s true that Google tells us when they push a large or significant update to their algorithm (called a Broad Core Update), they don’t tell us when they make smaller changes. In fact, they make smaller changes to the algorithm pretty much constantly. So, when we say “secret update,” we’re not saying that Google kept public information out of our hands. Instead, we’re just saying that this update seems to have made a bigger change than other small updates we’ve suspected in the past.

Okay, with that rather large caveat out of the way, let’s get into what some SEO agencies have reported regarding wild fluctuations across Google search!

What Do The Big SEO Firms (Moz, SEMRush, and Advanced WEb Rankings) Say?

Here’s what the biggest SEO firms around–Moz, SEMRush, and Advanced Web Rankings– have to say regarding fluctuations in rankings across their services last weekend:


Moz reports fluctuations in rankings throughout their ecosystem through what they call Mozcast. Mozcast shows turbulence in the Google algorithm. The hotter and stormier the “weather,” the more the Google rankings fluctuated on that particular day.

Over the weekend, Mozcast reported 116-degree thunderstorms on February 7 and 115-degree thunderstorms on February 8. Here’s a screenshot taken from Mozcast: Mozcast fluctuation over the weekend graph image


SEMRush reports it’s fluctuations across Google with a one to ten scale. On February 7, they reported a 5.6 score, and by February 9, that score increased 3.7 points to 9.3. However, things started to calm down after that.

In simpler terms, they reported high volatility on the seventh, and very high volatility on the ninth. Here’s a screenshot taken from the SEMRush website:

Google fluctuations from SEMRush graph image Advanced Web Rankings

According to the Advanced Web Rankings website, they score their volatility on a one to ten scale, similar to SEMRush’s approach. Between February 7 and February 10, they reported a 9.0 point volatility increase on Google. Here’s a screenshot taken from their Google Algorithm Changes page:

AWR Volatility on Google over the weekend screenshot graph image

We Also Saw A Small Amount Of Fluctuation Over The Weekend

Here at Contractor Advertising, we also saw a small fluctuation across Google over the weekend. However, we have fewer data to work with, so take our results with a grain of salt:

Contractor Advertising Fluctuations over the weekend

Company names and logos blurred to maintain client privacy.

So, Did Google Push A Secret Update Over The Weekend?

Did Google push an update? Some of the data collected over the last few days seem to point to that. However, until Google confirms or denies anything, we have to assume that the fluctuations were just that: fluctuations. Remember, the Google Search Algorithm is incredibly complicated–no one person knows exactly how it works–and they don’t always share their changes and updates with the general public. After all, if they told us everything, search results wouldn’t mean anything anymore! So, to put it bluntly, even if Google did push a “secret” update on us over the weekend, there’s not much anyone can do about it. Continue operating under the Google Webmaster Guidelines, and providing unique, well-crafted, and relevant content and you should be alright.

Still Worried About Your Site’s Performance? Contact Contractor Advertising!

Even though fluctuations in search results and rankings are common, they can still cause worry. If you’re worried about your website’s search performance, then don’t fret. You’ve come to the right place. Contact the SEO professionals here at Contractor Advertising and we’ll handle all your SEO needs for you.