How To Detect Google Update Using Semrush Sensor?

Do you want to keep your eyes on Google search volatility? But don’t know how?

This post is made for you because I am going to introduce you to a tool that can help you to keep your eyes on Google search ranking volatility and detect the Google search algorithm update.

Semrush is a bundle of SEO tools that provides more than 40 SEO tools to perform various SEO tasks such as keyword research, site audit, backlink audit, competitor analysis and many more.

Along with tools for all these tasks, Semrush does have a tool that can help you to keep your eyes on Google search volatility.

That’s named “Semrush Sensor“. In this post, I will be sharing everything that you need to know about this tool. Also, how can you detect Google updates?

What Is The Semrush Sensor?

It is an SEO tool created by Semrush to measure the volatility in Google’s search algorithm.

The tool has been designed to monitor the volatility in the Google search algorithm and warn you when there is any possible algorithm update. It tracks the volatility and gives a score out of 10, the high Sensor score means it is possible any search algorithm update is undergoing.

This tool can help you with:

  • Check your websites’ rankings volatility compared to your competitors
  • Get notified about the Google algorithm update through emails or browser push notification

Let me give a quick overview of the Sensor tool by Semrush:

Databases Available

Sensor databases

There are six databases available with the Sensor tool:

  • United States
  • United Kingdom
  • Spain
  • Germany
  • France
  • Australia

Semrush provides a separate Sensor score from all available databases. Also, for desktop and mobile search results. It makes it easy to find which kind of search results got affected due to the Google algorithm update.

SERP Volatility

SERP volatility score is given out of 10, the higher score means more volatility in the search results. If the score is low than 5, it shows that the volatility is normal as usual days.

If it goes higher than 5 out of 10, then it shows that Google’s algorithm has undergone significant changes.

Semrush sensor score

Google Algorithm Updates usually do not impact all the industries(niches), devices and countries. It only affects some pieces of search results.

Semrush makes it handy for you to find which area got impacted due to the algorithm update. Because you can track any specific category(niche) to find out how hard it got affected.

Sensor categories

Along with this, you can find scores for any specific devices(desktop and mobile) and country. Also, you can find out which SERP features got affected most by the recent Google update.

Personal Score

If you want to find your websites’ ranking volatility, this can help you in doing so… It is not available for free to use, rather you require to get any of the Semrush premium plans.

You can track your websites’ ranking fluctuations for the keywords your website is ranking for. You can get started with the Semrush pro by claiming its 14-days free trial and adding up your product for position tracking with your keywords.



The chart shows you which categories are relatively unstable on a given day compared to the monthly SERP volatility, which provides you with a clear picture of a particular category volatility trend.


Winners And Losers

In this tab, you can find all the domains which got most affected on a given day. Winners are the domains that climb up in rankings and Losers are which got dropped in rankings on the same day.

Winners and Loosers

How Sensor Score Is Calculated?

Here is what the Semrush team says…

“For each keyword, we do a per-item comparison of “today’s” results vs “yesterday’s” results. We measure how much has changed in a day using Levenshtein distance (as a basis) and normalization. The total value of the score reflects the total search volatility for the day.”

Semrush creates a list of keywords from multiple industries and monitors them at the beginning and at the end of the day to detect the volatility in search rankings.

How To Use Semrush Sensor To Detect Google Update?

It updates the volatility score every single day from the results they got from measuring volatility in rankings for their set of keywords. The score is given out of 10, if the score is high from 5 that means there is high volatility in the Google search algorithm. And under the 5 shows normal volatility.

Semrush sensor score

Note: Sensor score is currently 9.2/10 which is very high, it is because Google Product Reviews update that Google has recently rolled out.

You can also find the volatility score for the last 30 days in the form of a graph. You can see in the below image, I have marked the score 9.3(very high) on Nov 18, 2021. Sensor detected the high score and there was a Google algorithm update.

SERP volatility for 30 days

Also, Semrush shares any known information about the changes in the algorithm they detect. You can find that section at the bottom of the report page.

google updates

Semrush allows you to find a separate volatility score for any category, device and country. It is a very important feature to find out which pieces of Google’s algorithm got affected due to the new Google algorithm update. Because Google algorithm updates do not impact the entire search data, sometimes a certain category gets affected and sometimes a certain device.

So, this feature makes it easy to find which category, device or country specifically got affected by Google’s algorithm update.

Along with all these data, you can find the day-to-day volatility on specific Google search engine results features. This section can give a clear view of which type of SERP features got affected(if any).

SERP Features Occurrence

How To Get Notifications About The Volatility?

Semrush offers a notification option also that you can use to get notified about the search ranking volatility, Semrush will notify you when the volatility score goes up on a high or very high level.

Let me show you how you can subscribe for notifications:

Just go to Semrush Sensor and you can find the Subscribe to notifications button at the top-right corner.

Semrush Sensor notifications

When you click on that, you will be asked to choose how you want to receive notifications. There are two ways available, Email notifications and Browser push notifications.

Sensor notifications

I recommend choosing the email notification, just choose that and enter your email address to receive notifications about the Google search volatility. At last, hit the Subscribe button.

You will receive a confirmation email. Just click on the link available in the email to confirm your subscription.

Once you have subscribed to notifications, you will receive email notifications from the Semrush when the Sensor score jump to “high” or “very high” from a lower zone.

How To Monitor Own Websites’ Score With Semrush Sensor?

Want to monitor the keyword rankings volatility for your own websites?

Semrush Sensor personal score

If yes, then there is a Personal Score that will allow you to monitor the volatility score for the keywords you’ve set in Position Tracking inside your Semrush projects.

Personal Score is only available with the paid plans of Semrush. You can get started by claiming our 14-days Semrush Pro trial for free. With the free trial, you can use all the SEO tools offered by Semrush including the Sensor for the next 14 days.

After claiming the free trial, set up your project and also position tracking with all keywords you are ranking for. Semrush will show you the Personal Volatility score for your domain for your added keywords(inside position tracking).

Personal Score

Along with the personal SERP volatility score, it will also show you the volatility score for the last 30 days.

SERP volatility last 30 days

>> Other ways to get updated with Google Algorithm Update

Sensor is not the only way to get updated with Google Algorithm updates, but a very reliable and effective one. There are some other ways you can use to get yourself up to date with Google algorithm updates:

  • Google SearchLiaison: A Twitter account by Google’s public liaison of search, Danny Sullivan sharing insights on how Google search engine works and updating others for Google algorithm updates.
  • Search Engine Land: Official Twitter account by SearchEngineLand where they share news and analysis on SEO, PPC, Google and Bing. They also tweet about the Google algorithm updates when they occur.
  • Danny Sullivan: Danny Sullivan official Twitter account, shares insights on how Google search works.

I recommend following all these Twitter handles to get updated with every Google Algorithm Update.

FAQs About Semrush Sensor

Here are some frequently asked questions:

What is the Semrush Sensor?

It is an SEO tool created by Semrush that measures Google search volatility. You can use this tool to detect the Google search algorithm updates. You can also subscribe for its notification and receive the notification about the algorithm update.

What is SERP volatility?

SERP volatility refers to the volatility in search engine results pages whose main driver is Google search algorithm updates.

Is Semrush Sensor free?

Yes, It is available free to detect Google search results volatility. But if you want to analyze your websites’ ranking changes for specific keywords then you need to use its Personal Score. It is only available with the paid plans of Semrush.

What does SERP stand for in SEO?

SERP stands for search engine result page in SEO.

Can I get a free trial of Personal Score?

Yes, you can claim the 14-days free trial of the Semrush pro plan and use the personal score for free for the next day.

Conclusion – Is It A Reliable Tool?

There is no doubt, it is a reliable tool for detecting Google search algorithm updates. It checks the search results for a set of keywords to analyze the rankings volatility on daily basis and finds how much their rankings changed at the end of the day.

Along with the volatility score, you get many other important data such as SERP features occurrence, HTTPS usage and volatility score for the last 30 days.

The tool is available free to use but if you want to check your websites’ ranking keywords volatility score then you will need to buy any of Semrush premium plans.

>> Claim the Semrush Pro 14-days free trial here to get full access to the Semrush pro plan for 14 days…

Semrush logo

My Secret Weapon To Dominate SEO

Semrush is the tool that I’m using since 4 years back to ensure my blog’s growth on SERP. It really makes easy to perform keyword research, technical site audit, backlink audit, stealing backlinks from competitors, spying competitors and much more.

* This is an affiliate link, I might get a commission but it will not add any extra cost to you.

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About Ravi Dixit

Ravi Dixit is the founder of StayMeOnline, a full-time blogger and affiliate marketer since 2016. He helped many people in starting their own profitable blogging journey and earning decent money from blogging. Apart from blogging, he loves travelling a lot.

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2 thoughts on “How To Detect Google Update Using Semrush Sensor?”

  1. Hey Ravi dixit,

    Aadarsh this side. You have shared an excellent content to detect google update using SEMrush sensor. I really like and appreciate the way you have explained and presented things that are so true to understand. I don’t have any idea regarding SEMrush-sensor tool and never heard as well, so kindly thanks for making me aware of it.

    Your each listed tips to use SEMrush-sensor tool are so clear and easy to understand. After going through this complete guide i gain ideas and am sure that this post will surely help lots of people & readers. Lastly i would like to say that you are definitely providing good understanding to your readers.

    Very informative and keep sharing more similar post.



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