Google doesn’t necessarily announce a pending update or warn about search results moving based on these updates.
The algorithm for determining a site’s position in search engine results can cause broad and sweeping changes that can continue to change as site’s adapt and evolve.
That presents a challenge to webmasters and SEOs everywhere, when is the change in search position the result of their work, another site’s work or Google updating how they rank a site?
That’s where SEMRush Sensor comes into play, providing a generalized barometer of sorts measuring the volatility of site positions. Think of it like the DOW Jones Industrial Average or SNP 500.
This page will provide several sensors to you aiding in your understanding of recent changes in your site’s ranking.
Overall Sensor Volatility - Desktop
This sensor is based on the US Index using Desktop results in all categories of sites.
Overall Sensor Volatility - Mobile
This sensor is based on the US Index of mobile results using all site categories.
Individual Site Category Sensors
How To Read The Sensor
A. Is a numeric score from 1 to 10. With 10 being the most change and 1 being the least change. Its very uncommon to reach either of these values. A value of 3 to 5 is typical.
If Google Updates the Algorithm it is typically seen by a reshuffling of search results causing “volatility” in the result positions.
B. You can see the daily results and the minor variations for the past month. It is perfectly normal for each day to differ somewhat and this is not an indication of an update.
Organically new sites get added, web sites improve content and results change based on user behavior. So variation is normal, but you can tell by looking at the history what is normal variation.
C. An outlier of volatility indicates a seismic shift in results. Usually you will learn of a Google Update from your search positions or this sensor. If Google confirms an update they usually only do so after the fact.
Be sure to pay attention to the factors measured by the sensor you are reviewing. A desktop sensor on Arts and Entertainment is not going to indicate an update that affects mobile Health site results.