Google’s Silent September Update Continues to Make Noise

30 Sep, 2021 Google

For the most part, Google is not particularly renowned for announcing its algorithm updates with much fanfare. Significant changes to Google’s primary search algorithm are almost always rolled out silently, resulting in an influx of chatter and cries for help from webmasters.

Hence, what may or may not be taking place right now comes as little surprise.

Starting September 9, reports began to emerge from all over the world on incredibly volatile search engine performance. Some of those who had previously ranked highly had seen a plummet in the rankings, while other saw traffic volumes decline catastrophically of the course of a few days.

Things appeared to be slowing down by September 14, only for the whole thing to then start back up again; what seems to be the biggest point of contention this time is how so many low-quality sites with archives of spam content are now outperforming their higher-quality counterparts.

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Many respectable and successful online businesses have inexplicably seen major declines in traffic, leading some to believe the whole thing could be temporary.  Initial teething problems concerning some kind of update going on behind the scenes, rather than a permanent update that has put countless businesses in jeopardy.

Ongoing Volatility

As previously reported, the SEMrush sensor highlighted just how volatile things were toward the mid-stages of the month:

  • 9th September – 5.7 (high range)
  • 10th September – 7.4 (high range)
  • 11th September – 5.4 (high range)
  • 12th September – 7.3 (high range)
  • 13th September – 5.2 (high range)
  • 14th September – 4.4 (normal)

This suggested that things were heading back to normality by September 14, only for the same SEMrush sensor to indicate a volatility level of 6.7 a day later.  Even today a full fortnight after the initial turbulence, businesses spanning countless industries are reporting major issues with traffic footfall and prominence in the SERP rankings.

Many of which are adamant that they have followed every rule in the book and have yet been overtaken in the rankings by websites of questionable quality.

As a reminder, the industries that appear to have been affected most by the September update are as follows:

  • Business Sectors
  • Computers & Electrical
  • Gaming
  • News Websites
  • Forums
  • E-Commerce#

By contrast, those operating within the following sectors have so far been largely unaffected:

  • Health & Wellness
  • Job Boards
  • Government Websites
  • Real Estate Websites
  • Travel Industry Sites

Google is yet to pass comment or answer any questions on the silent September update, which still appears to be rolling out and taking a toll on many thousands of online businesses.