Unconfirmed Google Algorithm Update 18th July 2023

Update 23rd August 2023: After weeks of speculation in the search community, Google announced the latest broad core update on August 2023.

We have witnessed some notable fluctuations to Google’s search results over the last week with, what we believe to be, the first rumblings of an algorithm update making itself known on the 18th July 2023.

Kicking off at around 12am GMT on Tuesday 18th July 2023, the search results have been changing dramatically with widespread changes across almost every industry. We first started noticing larger shifts in the last two days, however, as of the 18th July 2023, things look to be moving with a level of purpose that we have not seen since the March 2023 Core Algorithm Update.

What the SEO tools tell us

Semrush Sensor 19th July 2023

Semrush sensor screenshot 18th July 2023

Mozcast Algorithm Weather Report 19th July 2023

Mozcast screenshot 18th July 2023

Rank Ranger Risk Index 19th July 2023

Rank Ranger screenshot 18th July 2023

Semrush Sensor volatility by category

A look at the Semrush volatility sensor by category indicates that there are some big changes in the works with an average of 9.2 out of 10 on the Semrush volatility sensor across all categories.

Remember, these fluctuations are taken from a measurement of a fixed set of keywords that are refreshed on a daily basis to measure change. Semrush is tight-lipped about what those keywords are, however, in our experience it is one of the most accurate tools for measuring SERP volatility and provides an accurate guide from SEOs and webmasters to measure personal changes (changes to the sites that they track and follow) against a broader audience in their niche.

It’s important to remember that each category is unique, and each will show a different value based on the keywords that are being tracked by Semrush.

Lowest Volatility Category

  • Health – 5.2

Highest Volatility (all 9.4/10)

  • Arts & Entertainment – 9.4
  • Business & Industrial – 9.4
  • Computers & Electronics – 9.4
  • News – 9.4
  • Shopping – 9.4
  • Sports – 9.4

Mid/High ( -> 5.8 – 7.9) Volatility Categories:

Mid Range volatility is an arbitrary distinction and should be weighed up against a normal range of 2-3 on most days. The lowest volatility category (Health) with a value of 5.7 is still considered above average by normal definitions and is by no means an insignificant number.

  • Health – 5.8
  • Food & Drink – 7
  • Travel – 7.5
  • Science – 7.9

Extreme (>= 8) Volatility Categories:

In the Semrush sensor, eight and above is considered “very high” which means that all of these categories are seeing significant SERP movements. This is (by and large) the biggest fluctuations that we have seen outside of a core update in a long while.

Again, high range volatility here may be an understatement. Anything above five and you will find yourself in the red zone which means that all of the categories here are in the red and show significant SERP movements are happening.

  • Real Estate – 8
  • Reference – 8.4
  • Finance – 8.7
  • Pets & Animals – 8.7
  • Books & Literature – 9
  • People & Society – 9
  • Hobbies & Leisure – 9.1
  • Home & Garden – 9.1
  • Beauty & Fitness – 9.2
  • Jobs & Education – 9.2
  • Online Communities – 9.2
  • Autos & Vehicles – 9.3
  • Games – 9.3
  • Internet & Telecom – 9.3
  • Law & Government – 9.3
  • Arts & Entertainment – 9.4
  • Business & Industrial – 9.4
  • Computers & Electronics – 9.4
  • News – 9.4
  • Shopping – 9.4
  • Sports – 9.4

When are we due for the next Core Algorithm update?

In our estimations, a Google core algorithm update is right around the corner. Back in April last year, we provided a breakdown of the average days between Google’s core algorithm updates and found a mean duration of 130-days and a median of 111.5-days between Google Core algorithm updates. Given that the last confirmed update from Google came in the form of the March Core Algorithm update some 125-days ago – I’d say we’re not far away from the next update.

What should I do now?

Like we said, the algorithm changes that we are witnessing on the 18th July 2023 are not a confirmed algorithm update from Google. However, based on previous duration between updates and the fluctuations that are synonymous with a run-up to a Core algorithm update, our recommendation is to keep a close eye on Google’s search liaison twitter account over the next week or two. At this stage, we don’t recommend making big changes to your strategy or to your pages. We recommend waiting to see what the next few weeks has to hold and assessing once things are in a more stable position.

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