What’s this about?

I like how one week Google is dissing the algo monitoring tools as scrapers, and the next….

Well, they kind of begrudgingly admit the tools are often right.

Regrettably, though, Google declined to say when the tools are wrong, and by how much, or the updates the tools miss.

Read the insights and recommended actions as a result of this revelation from Google.

#SEO #SEONews #GoogleUpdates #SERP

Google Says Search Algorithm Monitoring Tools Get It Right – Kinda


  • These days there are a whole heap of SERP monitoring tools giving daily updates into algorithm shifts.
  • In the past Google has derided these as “scrapers”, since they scrape the results looking for changes, sometimes multiple times a day.
  • Gary Illyes from Google has now said that some of them / most of them are right some of / most of the time – notwithstanding the fact that a broken clock is right twice a day.
  • Generally, this isn’t a surprise, most algorithm updates should be visible, but I do think that the tools miss out on a variety of ways to utilise and market their information.

Google Forecasting Tools Usually Right

Actions to take:

  1. Keep on relying on Mozcast and other tools to show you when there is an algorithm update.
  2. Remember that your traffic and analytics are a good indicator of updates, but you may just be overtaken by events.
  3. If you are pursuing good SEO with a well-rounded strategy and good quality content techniques, then in most instances algorithm updates are things that happen to other people.
  4. Remember that the tools do miss updates, or over / understate the importance of them, simply because they do not have a wide enough view of the data, and their statistical methodologies are not robust enough.
  5. Click here to contact me to discuss using forecasting tools for benefit, or designing an update-safe SEO Strategy.


I like the forecasting tools, I think they do a good job, but I wouldn’t want to rely on one absolutely, as they are not accurate enough.

Essentially, these search ranking monitoring tools measure  volatility in the search results. The search results are in constant flux, but the issue is how much flux, and whether that level of flux is an indicator of an update.

You get the sense that Google is playing games with webmasters when it says things like “Moz does a good job, but doesn’t catch everything”, and presumably, also reports false positives. Perhaps if Google took a more open and transparent “Release Notes” stance, then we wouldn’t have this kind of inaccurate, but “the best we’ve got” tool scenario.

More info:

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The State of SEO Mid-2017 Released

The State of SEO Mid 2017

We recently released the super-exciting The State of SEO in mid-2017. Read it now.

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Thanks for reading. If you would like to discuss what these changes mean for your web property, or would like to know how to implement them, please feel free to contact me.

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