The SEO community has witnessed some early signs of an unconfirmed Google Search ranking algorithm update on February 17, 2021. There have been constant, and massive movements in Google search results, and many websites have experienced ranking fluctuations. Some tracking tools, such as SEMRush, Cognitive SEO, SERPMetrics, RankRanger, SERPwoo, and Mozcast, have already detected changes in Google Search rankings, implying an algorithm update.

That being said, another unconfirmed update was reported on February 8, and on Wednesday, February 10, Google confirmed rolling out the passage ranking update, formerly known as passage indexing. Google’s Danny Sullivan responded to a tweet by Barry Schwartz by stating that “passage ranking launched yesterday afternoon Pacific Time for queries in the US in English.” It will be available in English for more countries shortly, followed by other countries and languages. We’ll keep this thread updated as more launches take place.”

According to Search Engine Roundtable, the February 17 update appears new and unrelated to the passage ranking update. However, a Webmaster World thread was filled with posts about the fluctuating rankings. Many people reported seeing a significant drop in the United States. Some believe that this update is a fix for last week’s update. It is because, in the past, Google has consistently emphasized features such as mobile-first indexing, speed, content quality, and relevance.

When a core update is released, websites may experience drops or gains in search rankings. On the other hand, these changes in search rankings are generally a reflection of content relevancy, implying that if the content has gained relevance since the last update, it will be moved higher up in rankings. Similarly, if new content is published that did not exist at the time of the previous update, it must be previously existing content. If your search results vary due to Google algorithm updates, you can handle it very well by adhering to the best practices Google has prescribed in their web admin resources. Furthermore, reputable Long Island search engine marketing companies can help marketers or web administrators deal with algorithm changes by updating strategies. 

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