On August 9, 2022, Google appeared to be experiencing a significant algorithm glitch.
The glitch, which appeared around midnight (AEST) on August 9, affects all search engine results and causes wild fluctuations in rankings across all industries.
The Guardian reported at 2.12 a.m. BST (at 9.12 p.m. EST, 11.12 a.m. AEST) that Google had received over 4,000 reports of outages across various Google platforms, including Google Search, Google Workspaces, and Gmail.
It is (by far) the largest glitch in Google search results since August 10, 2020, the Google Algorithm Glitch.
We don’t know how long Google will take to recover from this bug or how long the search results will look like this. Google is interested in getting things back to normal as soon as possible, so we would guess that their engineers are currently working around the clock to fix this glitch/outage.
How long will this bug persist?
Assuming that this is an outage and not the result of Google implementing a new search ranking algorithm, we expect it to last between 24 and 48 hours. When this happened in 2020, the search results were in disarray for more than a day before returning to normal as if nothing had happened.
What do I do now?
Nothing! Make no changes to your website or assume you have been singled out for punishment. As previously stated, this appears to be a global outage affecting search results worldwide. We recommend leaving your website alone and watching how the ball lands on this one. If history is any guide, we anticipate that the search results will return to their pre-midday August 9 (AEST) state within the next 1-2 days. While we cannot predict how long it will take, we have a precedent to work with. When this happened in 2020, John Mueller issued a statement confirming the glitch; we expect something similar to happen the next day.
There is a lot of speculation going on on Twitter and in various SEO forums. While some webmasters and SEOs appear to be celebrating some of the SERP movements, we would emphasize that things are unlikely to remain in their current position.
What happens next?
Maintain your seat and continue to check the search engine results. As previously stated, things are a little erratic right now. We recommend keeping an eye on several industries to see how long things take to return to normal. Keep an eye on Google News for the latest updates. We anticipate several news articles indicating when/if the problem has been resolved in the coming hours.