The State of Search: Holiday Volatility
Volatility in the organic search results beginning on December 4th and lasting through December 19th led the search community to believe that an algorithm update may have taken place, but nothing has been confirmed by Google. Some site owners did see fluctuations in their Google Analytics accounts, but these changes were likely due to confirmed data outages that the tool experienced mid-month which have since been resolved.
It is also important to note that the holiday season impacts traffic overall, with many people traveling and spending time offline. Site owners should expect to see seasonal changes during the month of December as a result.
What does this mean for you?
Though unconfirmed, it is possible that Google made changes to its algorithm earlier this month. However, most of the fluctuations experienced in December were likely attributed to seasonality. Sites owners should review Google’s updated Quality Rater Guidelines and continue to focus on publishing quality, expertly written content that truly benefits users and potential customers.