Interested in staying up-to-date with the latest SEO news? In January’s round-up we’ll discuss everything from ranking volatility, to the evolution of the search landscape.

January SERP Volatility

There were officially six confirmed algorithm roll-outs in the final third of 2023, making the quiet start to 2024 all the more noticeable. Since 2024, we are yet to have confirmation from Google that an algorithm update has begun rolling-out but this doesn’t mean there hasn’t been movement. There have been multiple days in January which have seen high SERP volatility. During these days it is likely that rankings will fluctuate considerably.

Volatile dates in January

  • Saturday 13th - Tuesday 16th
  • Thursday 25th

SERP Volatility Sensor

What this means for websites

During periods of high volatility, rankings can fluctuate frequently. As you can imagine, this often leads to anomalies in the traffic. This is something that occurs every month but knowing when Google was most volatile may help you to explain sudden spikes or drops in traffic.

What’s changing on the SERPs?

The search landscape is constantly changing. However long before something is rolled-out permanently, changes may occur on a preliminary basis whilst data is collected. Live tests can often be found on SERPs globally and may be anything from a change of font, to a new rich result appearing.

Whilst not every tested tweak to the SERP will become a permanent fixture, these live experiments are normally a great indication as to what’s to come. Spotting adaptations early may help you to stay ahead of the curve and adapt your strategies accordingly.

1. Web search tab appearing on Google

Google is testing placing a "web results" tab on the top search bar under the search box.

Users spotting this new tab describe it similar to the ‘news results’ or ‘video results’ tab, but for website results. This is not currently available in the UK but with testing being reported in the US, it may be something we see in the future.

What this means for websites

Could Google be testing a potential new home for organic results for when SGE goes live? The apparent delay in rolling-out SGE has us doubting the current usefulness of it, which could be a reason why Google is beginning to test alternative places for users to find helpful results.

With SERPs becoming more varied with videos, images, rich results, featured snippets and more, could a separate location for the traditional ten blue links be the answer?

2. Google launching clippable ‘coupon’ rich results?

Users in the US have witnessed ‘clippable’ discounts in the SERPs. This feature, currently referred to as a coupon rich result, appears in SERPs and allows shoppers to copy discount codes directly from search results.

The new rich result type makes your snippet larger which could improve click-through-rate to products. It is not known whether this feature is yet live in the US or still in testing. At the time of writing, this feature has not been seen in the UK.

Brodie Clark shared this image on Twitter

What this means for websites

Product schema and taking advantage of all promotions in the Merchant Centre will be key for all ecommerce websites. You can monitor the performance of the free listings in the Google Shopping account as well as in the Google Search Console account.

3. Google has decided to close sites made with Google Business Profile

Google has announced that websites made with Google Business Profiles will be officially turned-off in March 2024.

Websites made with Google Business Profiles will be turned off and any users visiting the site will be redirected to the Business Profile instead. This however will only last until June 10th which is when the redirect will stop working.

What this means for websites

This means that any business utilising this feature will lose their traffic and will need to look elsewhere for a website.

Google has provided more information here.

Unsure why your organic traffic has been declining?

Speak to an expert
Back to blog
Meet the author ...

Jessica Sellers

SEO Manager

SEO is Jess’s passion. She has over six years of experience in digital marketing and has thoroughly enjoyed her journey in SEO so far. Working both in-house and agency side across a ...