Search Engine Volatility

The graph below shows the ranking volatility for hundreds of thousands of keywords. If your website ranking is changing, and the number here is high, then there’s a chance there’s something going on at Google.

Google updates

When Google pushes an update, it can affect your ranking. Here’s a list of major updates, check to see if your symptoms match the description. If they do, we may be able to help you to fix it.

Jan 2005


This was a joint update by Google, Yahoo and Microsoft Search. They introduced the nofollow attribute so bloggers could stop link juice being passed to links they weren’t sure of.

Feb 2004


Google index was massively increased (which means more pages, faster etc.) and it also flagged the beginning of LSI – Latent Semantic Indexing. This meant it could better understand stemmed words, synonyms etc.

Jan 2004


This is where Google continued to punish websites using dodgy tactics. In particular, invisible text and keyword stuffing were hit hard.