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Google Ranking Algorithm Updates – February 2024

Google Ranking Algorithm Updates – February 2024 Mar 12 / 2024

February has been another month of uncertainty and the chatter in the SEO community reflects this. While not all of the Google tracking tools showed surges in volatility, many of them did. The reason appears to be the anticipation in the SEO industry of the imminent arrival of a new search ranking algorithm. From around November 2023, webmasters have been expecting a major search quality improvement. Over the last few months, there have been reports of an update almost every weekend, but the last one reported was in the last week of January.

What Happened In February

The uncertainty started on February 7 and lasted a few days. This may have been due to the temporary disappearance of featured snippets. While the snippets returned, the expectation of an update only became greater. Reports of an update appeared again on February 14 and 15 and this time the tracking tools reached a level of instability that had not been seen for a long time. The volatility in the tracking tools became massive by February 24, although the Industry chatter was more subdued. The fluctuation continued over the weekend and things began to calm down only by Sunday, February 25. After another brief lull in the volatility, by February 28 early signs of an impending Google Search ranking algorithm updates were again appearing. Chatter and tracking tool uncertainty increased again.

As of the end of February, we have not had a confirmed update for more than 16 weeks, although Google has been promising a big update since November 2023.

What Google Tracking Tools Say

SERPmetrics, Semrush, Cognitive SEO, Accuranker and other third-party rank tracking tools showed fluctuations over the course of the month and they all showed a significant upswing at the end of February. However, some of the tracking tools like Wincher and Mozcast, to name a few, while showing a degree of volatility, were more restrained in the fluctuations. In fact, none of the tracking tools displayed any significant periods of stability.

What Webmasters and the SEO Community Say

Webmasters’ comments at the beginning of the month were generally positive with statements like:

This is my third day of “normal” traffic with the USA for February so far at +35.7% !.!.!

Something has changed because this week I have already received more genuine business inquiries than the whole of January, none from the USA, which is not unusual, however more encouraging than recent months. What is significant is that all the inquiries are for widgets for which we are very strong and well-known.

We’re hitting all-time highs today! I hope this momentum keeps up!

Not massive (yet) but definitely some movement upwards. Nothing dramatic as of yet, but hoping it stays on course. It’s at least better than the nothing it’s been for months.

By the middle of the month, the comments had changed a great deal:

I had a great day on Monday. Traffic up, sales up, seemed like some of my rankings improved. All gone yesterday and today. So messed up.

I woke up to the lowest numbers I’ve seen in years. Just what is going on????

Sometimes I think things have stabilized, then days like today manage to go even lower. Whatever they are doing is clearly doubling down on what’s broken, not fixing it. Traffic has been horrible lately. Virtually dead. Don’t know what’s going on, but seems like everyone is feeling the pain right now.

Yesterday was a miserable day for me, as I expected. -43% compared to Sunday and Monday. Sistrix shows a drop of 5.1% for my website in its visibility index today. A look at my direct competitors shows that they have been hit even harder. Other websites that I monitor have also fallen sharply.

Also Read: Google Ranking Algorithm Updates – September & October 2023

By the end of the month, all the webmaster comments were strongly negative:

Google traffic was better than usual on Sunday and Monday, normally traffic is almost dead from Saturday to Monday. Today, however, things are looking bad. Google traffic so far is significantly lower than usual on a Tuesday. This back-and-forth is really getting on my nerves.

Had a week (again) of amazing conversions – today, just dropped like a rock…here we go.

Awful today.  After 2 reasonable days.

This week has been horrendous since Monday. I’ve hit the lowest low since September.

What Next?

It appears the uncertainty and volatility will continue until there is positive confirmed news about the next update or the arrival of a new search ranking algorithm.

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Olivia Thompson
Olivia Thompson

This thorough analysis of Google’s February algorithm updates is insightful! Understanding the fluctuations in rankings and user engagement helps navigate the dynamic SEO landscape. Thanks for the valuable information!

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