There appears to be an unconfirmed Google algorithm update that went live sometime between January 17th and 18th, 2022.

We are seeing widespread SERP fluctuations across a wide range of industries, which leads us to believe that significant SERP changes are taking place now.

The tracking tools show that there have been ongoing fluctuations over the last two weeks. The Semrush Sensor and Mozcast have recorded extreme fluctuations on multiple days in the last week. The Semrush Sensor consistently showed high numbers on the SERP volatility scale between the 14th and 18th of January, sitting at 8.0 as of the 18th. The numbers point to an unconfirmed Google Algorithm update in January 2022, but here’s what we’ve seen so far.

When did the upgrade begin?

SERP volatility in Australia began on January 14, 2022, and we have seen consecutive days of fluctuation across a wide range of SERPs.

So, what does all of this mean? With an announcement and confirmation, we can assume that it isn’t a major Google update, and it is. Instead, Google is refining its algorithm. Following the December 1 Google Algorithm Update and then the Local Search Update, another major update this early in the year would be surprising. 

What Is the Meaning of SERP Volatility?

A SEMRUSH sensor average of 9/10+ occurs only when Google’s Major Broad Core updates are rolled out twice a year. On the other hand, Google is tweaking and adapting its algorithm with a series of early updates in the New Year. The Search Results volatility, which affects sites in the United States, Europe, and Australia, needs to provide conclusive evidence of who and why may be most affected by the update. Google’s Updates previously targeted link spam, low-quality content, and, most recently, local search results. While there is no clear correlation as to what this unconfirmed update may be aiming for, it is clear that something is in the works. 

What happens next?

We know that Google will continue refining and updating its algorithm to make it more sophisticated; all we can do is be ready to analyze these updates and identify areas for improvement.

As an SEO Agency in Australia, we work with a diverse range of businesses, websites, and industries. Part of our job entails tracking trends in search and identifying them through the SERPs, our client’s websites, competitors’ websites, and third-party tools. Following the onslaught of Updates through 2021, we’ve discovered that the best way to adapt to and improve on these trends is to wait for the dust to blow away before making any drastic changes. Understanding and analyzing these trends early on allows us to detect patterns and make strategic, well-considered decisions for our clients’ websites.

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