There has a been sharp spike in volatility in the SERP Trackers indicating a Google Algorithm Update on the 27th of March 2019.
Unlike previous updates that appear to be rolled out over a number of days, this seems to have been rolled out in just one day.
Furthermore, it appears to have targeted all categories equally, rather than specific sectors.
As such, I suspect this is unrelated to the March 12 update, and something new.
The only point of interest I discovered was a substantial increase in the influence of the top 10 largest websites, such as Wikipedia, Amazon, Facebook, etc. I’ll talk a little about this later.
SERP Trackers show increased Volatility
The SERP Trackers show increased volatility between the 20th and 23rd of March, with a spike on the 22nd. The scale of the update seems much less than the 12th March Update.
Let’s take a look at the SERP trackers:
The SEMrush Sensor shows the spike in volatility on the 27th of March.
Rank Risk Index:
The Rank Risk Index tracker shows the spike in volatility on the 27th of March, but not quite to the same scale as the SEMrush Sensor.
The MozCast weather report shows increased volatility on the 26th of March.
The Algoroo report again shows volatility on the 27th of March.
The SERPMetrics report shows some minor volatility on the 27th of March, but far lower than the other SERP trackers.
Who does the update affect?
Looking at the SEMrush Sensor Deviation (from the average volatility) on the 27th March:
I’m honestly at a loss as what to suggest here. The update appears to affect all categories on just one day, and as such, it is unlike all the other updates there have been during February and March.
Having looked at Mozcast’s Daily Big 10, I do see that the volatility coincided with the top 10 websites on the internet seeing some significant gains.
I suspect this may have skewed the volatility charts a little.
Chatter in the SEO Community
Let’s take a look at the discussions on WebmasterWorld for this update.
Semrush spiking again for UK….. Mobile in particular. (BusyTop)
SEM Rush show 8.8⁄10 in changes, hang on to your seats boys! (BangkokBay)
@BangkokBaby Mozcast is also showing 96, but that was for yesterday (Mar26). When you look at the 30 day trend, you see a weekly spike, so the spike is right on schedule. Not sure what the impact is/was/ or will be. (NickMNS)
What is interesting, is that many webmasters are reporting traffic drops around the 30th of March, a few days after this spike in volatility, even though the SERP trackers are relatively quiet.
Huge drop in my traffic since yesterday 3 / 29. Even worse today. Saturday is always one of the best days of the week. Keywords are stable. There were no oscillations. A little strange … Some update or test. (renatovieira)
Same here, keywords i track are stable , yet there is something that is brewing internally per site basis which is why may be the tracking tools are yet to pick it up . Very Strange though . It started around 2 days back to be precise . (sk7411)
Jonathan Griffin Editor, SEO Consultant, & Developer.
Jonathan Griffin is The Webmaster's Editor & CEO, managing day-to-day editorial operations across all our publications. Jonathan writes about Development, Hosting, and SEO topics for The Webmaster and The Search Review with more than nine years of experience. Jonathan also manages his own SEO consultancy, offering SEO developer services. He is an expert on site-structure, strategy, Schema, AMP, and technical SEO. You can find Jonathan on Twitter as @thewebmastercom.