Last month, we warned you that Google was cooking up some changes in its algorithm. Now that we have the April wrap-up, will our predictions be confirmed? Are your rankings going to sway under the “stormy” algorithmic weather promised by an inclement (yet stifling) March?
Let’s check out the data that our friends over at MozCast compiled for April! Every 24 hours, they track a hand-picked selection of 1,000 keywords and snapshot the top ten Google organic results. Then, they compare those ten results to the previous day’s results and determine how much Google is tweaking its search engine formula. It’s a little more complicated than that (which you can read about here), but we find that it’s a good gauge to explain why our clients’ websites might be traveling up and down in the SERPs (search engine results pages) a little more than usual.
According to Moz, 70° is a normal day, where your website ranking should stay put. The higher the temperature and the stormier the outlook, the more likely your website will be moving as Google fixes and arranges things “just so.”
How “hot” was it in April 2018, according to MozCast?
April was partly cloudy outside our office windows in Pasadena, but the programmers over at Googleplex in Mountain View must have been seeing something different. April, like March, was pretty hot. The average temperature for April was 92.2°—four degrees cooler, but still heat-stroke-inducing if you sit in the car too long. Moz’s temperatures confirm we’re in a warming trend:
April 1 – 94° and stormy
April 2 – 90° and stormy
April 3 – 94° and stormy
April 4 – 94° and stormy
April 5 – 91° and stormy
April 6 – 89° and rainy
April 7 – 89° and rainy
April 8 – 88° and rainy
April 9 – 89° and rainy
April 10 – 91° and stormy
April 11 – 90° and rainy
April 12 – 91° and stormy
April 13 – 88° and rainy
April 14 – 88° and rainy
April 15 – 87° and rainy
April 16 – 104° and stormy
April 17 – 112° and stormy
April 18 – 93° and stormy
April 19 – 104° and stormy
April 20 – 94° and stormy
April 21 – 91° and stormy
April 22 – 88° and rainy
April 23 – 99° and stormy
April 24 – 105° and stormy
April 25 – 93° and stormy
April 26 – 85° and rainy
April 27 – 86° and rainy
April 28 – 84° and rainy
April 29 – 96° and stormy
April 30 – 81° and rainy
Storm index: 16 days
Storm index change from March: -9 days
Though March was hotter overall, April peaked at 112° on the 17th—more sizzle than any single day in March. MozCast’s extreme heat wave lasted from April 16th to April 19th, so it’s safe to say vicissitudes were underway in Google’s digital domain!
How “grumpy” was Google in April 2018, according to AccuRanker?
There’s more than one site out there doing the good work of watching Google’s algorithm fluctuations. AccuRanker’s Google Grump uses its own algorithm to monitor 30,000 randomly chosen keywords and compares the top 100 results from day to day, giving you an average Grump rating: chilled, cautious, grumpy, or furious. Chilled means few changes are being made, and furious means some crazy things are going on behind the scenes!
The Grump-y tiger was in a much better emotional space for the month of April. From spending 24 days “furious” in March to only 9 days in April, he even had a “cautious” outlook on April 4th. Even at his worst, a 17.23 rating on April 12th, he looked twice as calm by the numbers compared to March 15th’s 34.6 tantrum.
Days of fury: 9
Change of fury since March: -15
How “high” did Google SERPs bounce in April 2018, according to Algoroo?
Algoroo, another Google algorithm tracking tool, monitors around 17,000 keywords and compares the top 100 search positions with those of the previous day. Negative and positive changes are averaged out to indicate an overall “roo,” with “high roo” in yellow meaning that Google is being volatile.
The roo agreed with the Grump and MozCast that Google was shuffling its cards around April 17th, and again on April 25th. If you missed seeing your website in its normal spot while looking for your key terms, for example, “Alaska salmon fishing injury lawyer,” this is probably the reason why.
Days of high roo: 4
High roo change index since February: -1
Conclusion: Google may be cooling off/calming down
MozCast, AccuRanker, and Algoroo agreed that online search conditions in April were more stable than they were in March, and the end-of-the-month numbers show a cautious but optimistic turn for better weather and perhaps fewer Hummingbird updates. We speculate that Google was pushing hard to make alterations early in 2018, and may be tapering off.
However, only time will tell. Google is constantly tweaking its algorithm and component parts, from RankBrain to Penguin to Panda and all the rest. Remember, Google didn’t even tell us it rolled out RankBrain until it was already humming away. We may see something similar at any time in the coming months, and only the spike on the charts will tell us that it exists…which is why we watch at SLS watch the MozCast for you!
In short, don’t assume we’re out of the woods just yet. Be prepared for a moderate level of temperature fluctuations as we head into the summer of Google!
To keep up-to-date on the weekly MozCast, follow SLS Consulting on Twitter, and if you ever have any questions about search volatility, don’t hesitate to reach out to us!