Semrush allegedly glitched, misinformation followed

A number of people did the right thing when they learned about the misinformation with my name in connection with Google and SEO.

Urbanitek was one. They clarified who I was, and noted, ‘While his credentials are impressive, it’s noteworthy that Google rarely associates updates with specific individuals in their SEO guides. Google hasn’t officially acknowledged any such development.’

But what was particularly fascinating was the summary they added.
Screenshot from Urbanitek, text below

Jaweria wrote, ‘The keyword I mentioned, “Google SEO update 2024 Jackyan,” appears as a low keyword density in the SEMrush tool due to a glitch, as there is nothing specific related to it in the backend. If there were any significant updates or announcements from Google regarding this matter, they could be mentioned in the March 2024 update.’

As mentioned earlier, I don’t use Semrush, but the fact one can see what’s on the back end is good—and Jaweria’s obviously uncovered something.

If it’s a glitch, then it’s a real shame Semrush did nothing to remedy it, allowing misinformation to propagate all over the web. When I got in touch with them to advise them what was happening, some acknowledgement would have been useful. But instead, posts kept going up online when they could have investigated.

Since they claim they source search data from third parties, it would have been in their interests to identify which party had been fraudulent.

But if the fault was theirs alone because their program glitches, then it’s deeply unfortunate, especially with a 10 million user base.

A number of folks have pointed to Semrush to explain why they wrote their pieces, including very innocent parties taken in by the huge amount of posts on the subject.
From Cory Doctorow today, in a well titled piece called ‘Too big to care’:

Not coincidentally, Google’s search is getting progressively, monotonically worse. It is a cesspool of botshit, spam, scams, and nonsense. Important resources that I never bothered to bookmark because I could find them with a quick Google search no longer show up in the first ten screens of results …

Those ad-strewn, sub-Altavista, spam-drowned search pages are a feature, not a bug … Google makes more money out of shit than they would out of delivering a good product[.]

Cory then cites this story from The Verge’s Nilay Patel, which I read a couple of days ago.

To make a point, the top part of the article says what Nilay wants it to say. However, since his original story has been drowned out by bot-written drivel, he felt compelled to match them, and appended the same junk (by Google Gemini) after his short, pithy and accurate piece.

Cory notes that Google chooses the drivel. It’s their choice to do this, because they don’t have to. Which puts paid to my theory that they are one step behind. And because it’s a choice, that’s even worse.
Finally, I ran some and searches through Bing, and they look fine. Almost normal—in fact, better than Google. (If I get time, I’ll do one of my graphics again.) But any trust I might have had in Bing has long gone, plus I found Mojeek to replace them as my default. The months of silence from Bing, the regular gaslighting on Microsoft forums (likely unintentional, though in Google’s case it wasn’t), and the failure of all their supporting technology such as their Webmaster Tools, mean that you can’t depend on them. Mojeek runs the site searches on Lucire instead of Bing proxy Duck Duck Go, and it’ll stay that way for the foreseeable future.

Any faith I had in Duck Duck Go is gone, too, considering they, too, clammed up when this happened, and that’s disappointing, given how vocal they typically were. Since the results there are Bing’s nowadays, it’s hard to separate the two when they are equally silent, and I may as well consider them one and the same. If it looks like a Duck …

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2 thoughts on “Semrush allegedly glitched, misinformation followed

  1. You are right, Semrush should pay attention to this glitch because many SEO experts rely on Semrush. I always support truth and transparency, so don’t worry.

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