It’s true that there are a few tricks out there to see if an algorithm change is on the horizon, but first and foremost it’s important to understand that you should always be using white hat SEO tactics. This way when a Google algorithm change does hit, your website is prepared. If you wait until the last minute and try and make changes, you’ll be too late. SEO is a constant and continuous project, so you can’t just assume that if you know an algorithm change is coming you’re going to have enough time to make the appropriate changes. If an algorithm change is coming and you’ve done nothing to prepare, knowing the change is coming isn’t going to do you much good.
If you have been practicing good SEO, however, then knowing when an algorithm change is coming can be exciting. It gives you the chance to double-check all of the little changes you’ve made, or get you moving on a few of the small SEO tasks you still wanted to complete (getting rid of broken links, improving your internal linking, etc.). Consider some of the cool tools out there that predict the changes.
This tool is dubbed as the Google Algorithm Weather Report as is completely free. It is powered by Moz, and it offers cool graphics to let you know when a change may be headed our way, all while using the weather comparison. If there is lots heat and weather (such as lightening), something may be coming. If the weather seems a cool and calm 52 degrees, there probably isn’t anything coming in the near future. Below is a screenshot of what you see when you first visit the tool:
As you can see, the report shows you the last 30 days and gives you a nice big graphic for today. It doesn’t look like there will be any activity anytime soon, but we have seen some changes over the last month (lots of Penguin activity to be exact).
The tool works by tracking 1,000 keywords every 24 hours from certain websites to see if there are any significant changes in rankings for those keywords. In other words, the degree of change is where the tool gets the weather for any particular day. You can also download a widget for the tool so that you have this weather report on your desktop whenever you need it.
This tool tracks both Google and Yahoo (whereas MozCast above only tracks Google) and gives you a little bit more detailed information about what’s to come. The tool is completely free and will give you a 30-day and 90-day graph showing results. Below is a screenshot of what you’ll see if you visit the website:
The tool works by analyzing 1,000 popular websites to see if there are any changes in rankings, so there are thousands and thousands of keywords being tracked.
It’s worth mentioning that there is a paid version that you can try it free for 14 days by simply visiting the website. The paid version will allow you to compare your site’s rankings directly with the volatility index so that you can know whether or not you’ve been affected (this is after an algorithm change hits, of course).
Last but not least, this tool will offer data for Google, Yahoo, and Bing. The cool thing about the graphs you’ll see here is that all of the information is on one graph, so it’s easy to compare what’s been happening across search engines. Below is an example of what you’d see:
What’s different and cool about this tool is that is measures the Google algorithm changes in flux, meaning it measures them in percentages against the last 30 days. It’s certainly a different way to look at data, but it can definitely be effective (especially if your website focuses heavily on search engines like Yahoo and Bing). Once more, the tool is also free to use.
Again, it’s important not to use these tools as a way to tell when you need to worry about your SEO efforts. These tools are merely ways to help you see if something might be coming so that you will pay close attention to whether or not your website is hit when the change finally does launch. It’s a fun thing to look at and it can help you stay on tasks, but you shouldn’t use these tools as a way to tell when SEO should start to matter.
Have you used any of these tools before? Do you know of any other great tools to help predict an algorithm change? Let us know in the comment section below.