If you’ve been following my Google helpful content update volatility story, you will notice that the Google tracking tools are showing very little volatility when the SEO chatter is super heated. Generally when there is a lot of SEO chatter, the aggregate tools show heated volatility – but not with this helpful content update.
After several months of incredibly heated volatility and “weather” being reported by these tools, why all of a sudden have things calmed down to levels we haven’t seen these tools report in ages?
Dr. Pete Meyers from Moz posted his theory on X where he said maybe it is all the new AI content being generated that caused the insane weather? “Finally seeing some decrease in volatility at the tail-end of the HCU (after 2+ months of wild ranking flux). Wild speculation, but is it possible summer flux was due not to the algo but AI-generated content causing accelerated content turnover in SERPs?” he wrote.
Finally seeing some decrease in volatility at the tail-end of the HCU (after 2+ months of wild ranking flux). Wild speculation, but is it possible summer flux was due not to the algo but AI-generated content causing accelerated content turnover in SERPs?
— Dr. Pete Meyers (@dr_pete) September 20, 2023
Mordy Oberstein who consults for Semrush on their data posted his theory on X where he said he believes it was Google testing the helpful content update for months causing all that volatility. “Ya’ll want my conspiracy theory? A lot of the volatility seen since July has been HCU noise/testing. If the update is winding down that theory kind has a correlation to weather tools dipping back to normal now. For the record – I have 0 proof of that – it’s just my sense of things my “SEO intuition” if you will,” he wrote.
For the record – I have 0 proof of that – it’s just my sense of things my “SEO intuition” if you will
— Mordy Oberstein *is expendable* (@MordyOberstein) September 20, 2023
My theory? I just suspect that similar to when Penguin launched, this update impacts SEOs more, SEO’ed sites more than the average site. So the tools, which look at the aggregate change for search query position over time, are not impacted as much as when you look at specific sites that SEOs may have “optimized” over the years. Now that this has begun to roll out, SEOs are noticing massive changes, but the tools are not picking up on those changes because mainstream sites are not as impacted as sites optimized by SEOs. That is my wild theory. But it doesn’t explain why things calmed now after the HCU started to roll out – things should still be heated since that is how it was prior to the HCU update.
In any event, what is your theory?
Here is a look at what the tools are showing now:
Advanced Web Rankings:
Forum discussion at X and X.