By Andrew Dennis
02 Dec 2014

Monitoring Google Algorithm Changes – Tutorial Tuesday

Advanced SEO     On-page SEO     SEO Reporting

Hello and welcome! It’s Tuesday so you know what that means – time for another installment of Linkarati’s Tutorial Tuesday.

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In this week’s tutorial I will be covering the processes and tools associated with monitoring Google algorithm changes and updates.

The recent Penguin update (or refresh, rewrite, whatever you want to call it) reminded many webmasters that it’s always a good idea to be on the lookout for and changes and updates Google might make to their search algorithm. Google remains the dominant force within search, and if your business/website relies on organic search traffic in any way, you need to pay attention to how Google is managing their algorithm.

Of course you don’t want to spend all your time chasing the algorithm, but there are some ways to stay up to date efficiently so you can concentrate on the big picture.

So without further ado, let’s walk through some steps on how to monitor Google algorithm changes and stay on top of any tweaks or alterations.

Method One: Compare Monitoring Tools

Fortunately, there are a number of free tools available to monitor fluctuations within Google’s search rankings and this is a great place to start.

While there is no way of knowing exactly what is going on with Google’s algorithm at any given time (without being a Google engineer), these monitoring tools can provide some insight into what is going on with Google’s search results. Some great monitoring tools worth familiarizing yourself with include:

Each monitoring tool can be very helpful and when used together they can provide you with a clearer picture of what is happening within Google’s search rankings.


Let’s start with MozCast.

MozCast was created by Moz, and as it states on the MozCast page:

“MozCast is a weather report showing turbulence in the Google algorithm over the previous day”

MozCast home

MozCast will give you a quick and easy snapshot of any changes in Google’s search rankings – stormier and warmer weather indicates more radical changes.

MozCast will show you the weather for the previous day:

Mozcast degrees

On the left you can see the weather for the past five days:

Mozcast 5 days

And at the bottom of the page you can see a chart which shows MozCast weather for the past 30 days:

Mozcast 30 days


Another great tool worth checking regularly is Algoroo.

Algoroo was developed by Dejan SEO, an agency out of Australia and it monitors search results for roughly 17,000 different keywords, looking for fluctuations. Algoroo tracks both negative and positive movement within the results and uses that data to attribute a “roo” rating to each day. A high “roo” rating designates volatility within Google’s rankings and lower “roo” scores reflect a lack of change.

Algoroo is presented as a chart (similar to MozCast) that shows the past few months:

algoroo home

The slider below the chart can be adjusted to view different time periods dating back to December 2012:

algoroo slider

Algoroo also displays significant events or updates in regards to Google’s algorithm:

algoroo updates

On the Algoroo page (below the chart) you can also view a timeline of algorithm updates:

Algoroo update list

And even add an Algoroo widget to your own site:

algoroo widget


Finally, let’s take a look at SERPmetrics.

SERPmetrics presents its data in the form of a line graph:

SERPmetrics line graph

This graph displays the fluctuation within the top 100 results for over 100,000 keywords, and represents that last 30 days.

One of the most interesting aspects of this tool is that it allows you to compare the fluctuation within Google’s results to the fluctuation in the results for Yahoo and Bing:

SERPmetrics google yahoo and bing

By clicking on “Yahoo” and “Bing” you can view the overlapping graphs of their search fluctuation as well.

SERPmetrics 3 line graph

It can be interesting to see how each graph correlates with one another and this tool offers a slightly different visual representation of the algorithm to compare.

For further comparison, Advanced Web Ranking and Rank Ranger both have helpful algorithm monitoring tools as well.

Method Two: Stay Abreast of Search Engine News

Another way to keep tabs on shifts in Google’s algorithm is to stay abreast of major news within the search atmosphere.

The world of organic search is vast and has even spawned its own industry – Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Due to the fact that the topic of search is so immense, there is an abundance of information online regarding Google and their algorithm. It can be difficult to sift through all the speculation and conjecture to actually find accurate news, and you may not have the time to dedicate to this.

However, there are a few specific sites that can be trusted (and I trust myself) to regularly deliver useful information regarding any changes in Google’s search algorithm. While you may not have time to keep up on everything happening in the realm of search, it is worth at least bookmarking these sites:

Even simply following these sites on social media can be an easy way to get the information you’re looking for. Along with following these sites, it could also be helpful to follow some known authorities within the SEO niche as well as some prominent Google employees. Here is quick list of some people worth following:


Google Employees

This is by no means a complete list, but it should be a good starting point.


Google is dominant within search, and the fact remains that if organic search traffic is important to your business/site you need to be cognizant of how Google’s algorithm operates. As a recap, here are some tools and sites that can help you keep tabs on Google’s algorithm:

  • MozCast
  • Algoroo
  • SERPmetrics
  • Search Engine Journal
  • Search Engine Watch
  • Search Engine Land
  • Search Engine Roundtable

The tools/sites outlined in this post should help you stay on top of any changes or fluctuations within Google’s search algorithm.

Andrew Dennis

Andrew Dennis is a Content Marketing Manager at Shopify. Andrew is an alumnus of the University of Idaho and consequently a lifelong Vandals fan. You can connect with Andrew on Twitter or LinkedIn.