On August 9, 2022, Google appeared to be experiencing a significant algorithm glitch. The bug, which appeared around noon (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 (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 the most significant glitch in Google search results since the Google Algorithm Glitch on August 10, 2020. What’s up with the search results?
According to what we can tell, the search results are currently in flux. Highly competitive search terms return LinkedIn profiles, Tweets, and low-quality links from all over the internet.
Our preliminary findings show that large sites such as Amazon, Twitter, and Facebook appear disproportionately represented for competitive keywords.
How did you learn about this?
We noticed the changes to the search results as an SEO agency shortly after noon while conducting routine keyword checks for clients and competitors. The audits revealed some huge, unexplainable fluctuations in every industry examined. We are still determining 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 their engineers are currently working around the clock to fix this glitch/outage.
How long will this bug persist?
Assuming that this is simply 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 is 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 are still determining 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 in the next day or two.
There is much speculation on Twitter and in various SEO forums. While some webmasters and SEOs are celebrating some of the SERP movements, we 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. 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 in the coming hours indicating when/if the problem has been resolved.