Google Reviews Update Heating Up Again

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Google’s April 2023 reviews update is now just almost two weeks since it started rolling out, and while the update seemed to have started slow, this past week, we’ve seen some significant movement and volatility. This weekend was no exception and we are seeing some big movement this weekend.

I assume it is related to the Google April 2023 reviews update but who knows, it can be a combination of that and something else.

As a reminder, the April 2023 reviews update kicked off on April 12th at noon. Early on, we saw some sites get hit hard but it wasn’t that widespread of an update. Then as we hit the second week of the update, we saw some tremors that seemed to have a more widespread net and impacted more sites than it did in week one. I posted an update in that story on April 20th that showed the renewed chatter and volatility.

Now, I figured I’d do a new post based on what I saw over the weekend. Again, I expect this update to be completed by Google any day now, so this might just be the tail end of this update.

SEO Chatter

Here is some new chatter since I last posted on April 20th from WebmasterWorld and social:

Today, I notice high traffic. Looks like it’s getting back to normal. Did anyone else notice anything different today?I am seeing non-USA traffic back to normal. USA traffic has been unusually low since the Easter weekend and has never reverted. That is due to a large loss in traffic to some of my most important landing pages, despite no change in rank. Upon closer inspection of the SERPS I am finding that the results are returning a block of images, three ads, local results, a block of videos, and then the first organic site link. The 1st and 2nd place results are the same two sites over and over, one of which had dropped off the map for months but now is at #1 again for every search…there is definitely some sort of manipulation going on there. These are all searches that include a place name like “New York XYZ” “London XYZ” and “Dubai XYZ”. My ranking is still strong, but for most of these searches the image carousel has been stripped from all of the links, so it’s hard to stand out. These apparently slight changes have resulted in massive losses of traffic…up to 80% less traffic for each of the landing pages.Absolutely massive drop in USA / Canada traffic starting 7 am sharp today (April 21st)…-35% at 2:30. Anyone else seeing this?Yes, unfortunately, I’ve taken a beating today.Google has taken a targetted hit out on exactly one of my site’s most trafficked landing pages…a 92% loss in traffic, despite no drop in rank over the last three months. The traffic for all of the similar/associated search terms has vanished in tandem, in some cases the clicks reported from GSC for a term went from 20 per day to zero and has stayed there since April 14th. The traffic to this page and these terms increased steadily for the last 9 months, and then just vanished all at once….the image below says it all.60% loss on a huge website. Lost #1 positions to page 3. No clue what is going on.
Don’t see any penalties in search console. Freaking out right now.We are back to full traffic of zombies, lawless #*$!sI am seeing a huge divergence between impressions and clicks in GSC and in one case both dropped and clicks went to zero for the last ten days. Losing one term would not produce an 80%+ loss of traffic. It seems to be hitting some of my other landing pages to a lesser extent…20%-40% losses instead of 80%.

More on the latest tremors from the April Reviews Update. BIG swings for sites started ~4/19 & continued this weekend. Here are 3 exs. A huge surge for the first (not reviews), a big drop for reviews content for the second, & then a surge for a product reviews site in the third:

— Glenn Gabe (@glenngabe) April 23, 2023

Google Tracking Tools

Here is what the tracking tools are showing over the past couple of weeks, notice the past week and then this weekend:


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Advanced Web Rankings:

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Cognitive SEO:

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So there does seem to be some steam at the end of this update. What are you all noticing?

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

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