Semrush is one of the most commonly used SEO tools for keyword research, competitor analysis, and exploring growth opportunities. There are several features in Semrush that help digital marketers in their analysis and make their life easier. Semrush sensor is one such feature that allows users to optimize their websites. 

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What Is the Semrush Sensor?

Semrush Sensor is a tool that measures Google's search algorithm's volatility using the daily rankings of millions of keywords. Want to stay updated on major Google Algorithm changes? Unlock the complete marketing potential of your website with the Semrush Sensor as it provides the Sensor Score that enables the detection of search changes impacting your website's traffic. So, Semrush Sensor reveals whether your actions have positively impacted your website or Google's algorithm changes have sent things in the right direction.

How Does the Semrush Sensor Detects Changes in Google's Search Algorithm?

Semrush publishes a volatility score on a scale of 0 to 10 each day. A higher score translates to greater volatility in Google's SERP. 

But what do different scores represent?

  • A score of 0 - 2: Low volatility 
  • A score of 2-5: Normal
  • A score of 5 and above: High volatility, i.e., it suggests an update in Google's search algorithm.
  • A score of 8 and above: Very high volatility

Google makes changes to:

  • Specific algorithm pieces or
  • The general algorithm that impacts all search results

Whenever the Semrush Sensor detects a change, it shares the information about the algorithm change in the form of a report. The Sensor is updated each day, and it displays data for the past 30-days.


Semrush Sensor Displaying SERP Volatility for the last 30 Days

Semrush allows you to filter and compare SERP volatility for 25 categories, including

  1. Autos and Vehicles
  2. Arts and Entertainment
  3. Beauty and Fitness
  4. Business and Industrial
  5. Books and Literature
  6. Computers and Electronics
  7. Food and Drink
  8. Finance
  9. Games
  10. Hobbies and Leisure
  11. Health
  12. Internet and Telecom
  13. Home and Garden
  14. Jobs and Education
  15. News
  16. Law and Government
  17. Online Communities
  18. Pets and Animals
  19. People and Society
  20. Real Estate
  21. Reference
  22. Shopping
  23. Science
  24. Sports
  25. Travel

Filtering specific subject categories, countries, and devices helps identify more granular updates to Google's search algorithm. So, you must monitor the score specific to your website's niche and geography.

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You can also check day-to-day changes in specific SERP features using the Semrush Sensor. Sensor reports share volatility as a percentage of SERPs where a change occurs to specific features appearing in the top 20 results. The 14 SERP features are as follows:

  1. Featured snippet
  2. Top stories
  3. Site links
  4. Carousel
  5. Local pack
  6. Shopping Results
  7. Knowledge panel
  8. Top ads
  9. Instant answer
  10. People Also Ask
  11. No SERP Features
  12. Images
  13. Featured Video
  14. Bottom ads

Do Semrush Sensor Databases Differ for Different Countries? 

Like categories, different countries have different Sensor Scores that fluctuate each day. So, a day of high volatility in Germany's database doesn't necessarily correlate to a day of high fluctuations in the US database. 

Semrush Sensor pulls data from various countries, including

  1. United Kingdom
  2. United States
  3. Spain
  4. Germany
  5. Italy
  6. France
  7. Japan
  8. Australia
  9. China 

How Is the Semrush Sensor Score Calculated?

Semrush records organic search results for certain keywords twice daily– at the beginning and end of the day. For every keyword, it conducts a per-item comparison of that day's and the previous day's results. It accounts for the change per day employing Levenshtein distance and normalization. The total value obtained provides insight into the total search volatility for that day.

For instance, if the score is as high as 9, it reflects that several position changes have happened in the Google SERPs. It is an indication that either there is an algorithm update or there are penalties put for offending websites.

However, it is not guaranteed that the position of your site will change by a change in volatility, but there are chances that you might see a change in the ranking of your website in Google's search engine. 

How Can I Use The Sensor To Detect Changes For My Website?

Semrush Sensor has a Personal Score tab. So, if you have a Semrush account, you check the score that reflects changes to your linked website. Those who do not have a Semrush account will have to sign up for a free trial, enter their domain and click on the "Try it" button to see the Semrush Sensor score for their website. 


The score and the report display daily volatility specifically for your website on the basis of keywords you provide to Semrush in the "Position Tracking" section. So, if you add more keywords to the system, you have a more accurate score.

Semrush also allows you to get Sensor notifications without visiting the website. Clicking on the "Subscribe to Notifications" button displayed at the top corner of the dashboard signs you up for the alerts. 


Semrush Sensor Notifications Button on the Dashboard

Semrush notifies its subscribers about any significant fluctuations in rankings. You can opt for Semrush Sensor notifications in the following two ways:

  • Email
  • Browser push notifications

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What Are Semrush Sensor Deviations?

Next to the "Personal Score" tab, the Semrush Sensor dashboard also has the "Deviations" tab. Clicking on this tab displays deviations that represent the difference between a specific day's volatility and average monthly volatility. 


Semrush Sensor Deviations Report

It allows you to determine which tracked categories have been unstable (i.e., deviating) from the average volatility score.

Semrush Sensor - Winners and Losers

Next to the "Deviations" tab is another tab that displays the "Winners and Losers" for the day. The data is derived from domains tracked by the Semrush Sensor. You can use this information to research which domains have suffered/benefitted the most from a Google algorithm update.


Semrush Sensor Winners and Losers Report

How Else Can I Stay Informed About Google Search Algorithm Updates?

Google constantly updates its ranking algorithm with evolving search behavior and trends.  The updates can happen on a daily basis; around 500-600 times a year. While some may be major, others are minor everyday updates. The major updates are officially confirmed ones and are said to be Google's Core updates. Anyone can visit the Google Search Central Blog to find official Google Search core algorithm updates, SEO best practices and new Google Search features. 

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Semrush Sensor can be one of the most valuable options in your SEO tool stack for monitoring daily SERP fluctuations. Take your SEO understanding a step further by acknowledging the cause and effect of search engine volatility— the main force behind ranking changes. Also, if you wish to get certified in Search Engine Optimization, visit Simplilearn and enroll yourself right away to transform yourself into a full-stack SEO professional. 

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