Google Glitch 2020

Google Glitch August 10, 2020

So a lot of buzz in the SEO Community about a Roll-out that penalized websites last August 10, 2020. This affects me because I provide white label SEO services and some clients were worried about this.


People claim that they lost rankings instantly as if this was a Panda or Penguin update.

Google Webmasters tweet

Google’s Webmaster team did not specify as to how much of the web was affected but judging from the Best SEOs’ reactions I would guess a lot. Some popular brands, industries such as lawyers, dentists, doctors etc were affected. We know that much.

How many websites were affected by the Google Glitch

Even recipes are showing weird search results across the globe.

Recipes are not returning the right results

Was it all negative? No, some brands and websites actually gained positions from the Glitch. I saw a competitor who had a dormant website get +14 positions for several keywords and this got clients worried.

google glitch august 10 2020
Position Drop and slowly recovering?

So what is the first thing that you should do if you think your website incurred a penalty?

I would almost always go to Search Console and look for Manual action. I would check analytics to see if we lost traffic then later look at external resources like SEMRush, Majestic, AHREFs etc.

rankings tanked during google glitch august 2020

First thing I found was loss in terms of traffic. During August 10, 2020 8:00am we had zero visitors and this data was from Analytics. Google Search Console showed that we lost several positions and I kinda worried for a bit so I tried to find signs of penalties.

Things I checked to verify that this is not a Penalty but just a Glitch:

last 7 days google glitch
  • Duplicate Content
  • Keyword Density
  • Internal Linking
  • Backlink Profile
  • Anchor text distribution

None of them showed anything that would get us penalized.

GA real time 7 days glitch

I then checked the competitors’ websites and created a Short Competitor Analysis for both On and OFF Page SEO.

GA 7 days normal

Nothing. Found some key on and off page factors that I can add to my client but nothing really stood out except for the other competitor which has zero blog posts, thin content, very few backlinks and a lot of CTAs on his homepage. It was actually this competitor who gained several positions.

Google confirmed it was a bug

I quickly hopped on Rusty Brick’s Blog and found that he already asked John Mu about this.

rusty brick on Google Glitch
Glenn Gabe's response on Google Glitch

A day later and it was all fixed. Google Analytics showed traffic data August 10, 2020. Google Search Console showed complete data as if the glitch never happened.

GA 7 days normal

I checked third party tools and the only tool that is still showing position loss was SEMRush. Sorry guys you need to fix that ASAP!

Traffic drop during Google Glitch 2020

I checked our website to see if we got affected and it seems we did for that day but today all rankings are back to normal.

swatspam rankings

I’m glad everything is back to normal. The lesson here to make your websites penalty proof to avoid having problems in the future.

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