We’ve been tracking volatility in Google’s results for a while now and one thing that’s been consistently popping up was a high level of result changes during weekends. Typically two days, but ranges from one to four. It looks as though they change the results in time for weekend and then restore them back to a “week mode”.
This pattern was so obvious lately that we created a new button which “normalises” the graph factoring in standard weekend deviations in order to eliminate standard weekend fluctuation from an actual algorithm tweak or update.
We’re taking further steps to help us understand what exactly happens on weekends. This includes isolating high volatility keywords and observing the visual impact of the affected SERPs.
At this stage there are a few theories of why this may be happening:
Google reacts to user search behaviour in real-time (regardless of weekend-weekday situation) and since users somehow behave differently on certain days of the week, Google results also differ as a result. I personally would like to think this is the case as it appears to be the most elegant solution of all. This would also explain the good old “Google purposely changes results to mess with our sales just in time for xmas, every year!“.
Some feel Google may have a special “weekend” mode while others suggest that engineers may prefer to release algo tweaks and experiments on weekends rather than weekdays. Of course we don’t exclude a possibility of us stuffing up the data collection and calculation, but so far we found everything to be in order.