SEMrush Sensor Guide- Everything You Need to Know!

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SEMrush is an all-in-one digital marketing software that helps digital marketers research, manage, and optimize digital marketing campaigns.

SEMrush consists of multiple tools with different features mainly targeting PPC, SEO, content marketing, and social media marketing campaigns.

The SEMrush Sensor is one of these tools.

In this post, you will learn about SEMrush Sensor, and how to use it for SEO.

Let’s get started!

SEMRush Sensor
SEMRush Sensor guide- learn how to use it for SEO

What is SEMrush Sensor?


What is SEMrush Sensor?

SEMrush Sensor is a tool that leverages the daily rankings of millions of keywords to measure Google’s search algorithm volatility.

This tool is built for any digital marketer who wants to keep up to date with any Google Algorithm modifications.

You will know exactly when and by how much your website’s traffic is impacted by any major algorithm changes.

SEMrush Sensor in a broad sense also shows you how your SEO activities are impacting your website’s rankings. This will help you know whether you’re heading in the right direction or not.

How is the SEMrush Sensor Score Calculated?


In short, SEMrush uses the Levenshtein distance and normalization approach to calculate scores.

So, twice a day (at the beginning and end of the day), SEMrush uses its bot to crawl the web and records organic search results for millions of keywords they track. Then a comparison is conducted against the previous day’s results. The value gotten provides the search volatility for that specific day.

For example, a high score like 9 indicates multiple position changes in the SERPS. This is usually a result of a significant Google algorithm update or some kind of widespread penalties affecting a huge number of websites.

You should note that the sensor score is not a guarantee that your search engine ranking position will change. But rather the possibility that you might experience changes in your rankings.

How Does the SEMrush Sensor Detect Changes in Google’s Search Algorithm?


SEMrush ranks search volatility on a scale of 0 – 10. The higher the score, the more volatile the SERP changes.

Here is a breakdown of the volatility score:

  • 0 – 2: Low volatility;
  • 2 – 5: Normal volatility;
  • 5 and above: High Volatility.;
  • 8 and above: Very high volatility.

Scores from 5 and above indicate that there is an algorithm update. Google algorithm updates can be a change in a specific area or the whole algorithm (Google core updates) which usually impacts all Google search results, and for every language.

The SEMrush Sensor is updated every day and every time it detects changes, it shares a report. The reports include data for the past 30 days.

SEMrush Sensor 30-day volatility report

You can filter and compare scores in 25 categories. The categories include;

  • Autos and Vehicles;
  • Beauty and Fitness;
  • Arts and Entertainment;
  • Books and Literature;
  • Computers and Electronics;
  • Food and Drink;
  • Games;
  • Health;
  • Home and Garden;
  • Online Communities;
  • Business and Industrial;
  • Hobbies and Leisure;
  • Internet and Telecom;
  • Jobs and Education;
  • News;
  • Finance;
  • Law and Government;
  • Shopping;
  • Science;
  • People and Society;
  • Pets and Animals;
  • Travel.
  • Sports;
  • Real Estate;

To identify more specific algorithm updates, filtering results according to categories, location and even devices can help.

Additionally, you can also check for changes in SERP features like:

  • Featured snippets;
  • Top stories;
  • Site links;
  • Carousel;
  • Local pack;
  • Shopping Results;
  • Knowledge panel;
  • Top ads;
  • Instant answer;
  • People Also Ask,
  • Images;
  • Featured Video;
  • Bottom ads;
  • No SERP Features.

SEMRush Sensor tracks Google SERP features too


Yes. Just like how results may differ in different categories, data in specific countries do too. So high volatility in the US does not always correlate to high volatility in Australia.

SEMrush Sensor Guide FAQ- Your Questions Answered!


SEMrush Sensor FAQ
SEMrush Sensor FAQ- Your Questions Answered!

My SEMrush sensor guide would be incomplete without a thorough FAQ section answering questions on SEMrush Sensor guide and how to use this free tool for SEO.

#1- Do SEMrush Sensor Databases Differ for Different Countries?

Yes. Just like how results may differ in different categories, data in specific countries does oo. So, high volatility in the US does not always correlate to high volatility in Australia, etc.

#2- How to use SEMrush Sensor to Quickly Detect a Coming Google Update?

Here’s how to use SEMrush Sensor to quickly detect a Google update.

First, make sure you follow this Twitter account. It’s from Barry Schwartz, one of the most knowledgeable and well-informed people in the SEO space. He’s usually the first to break when an update is coming or is already going live.

Barry Schwartz twitter account

Second, go to the Semrush Sensor tool and verify for yourself. Especially pay attention to your industry and how it’s impacted.

Third, don’t forget to check every day as SEMrush Sensor updates daily.

#3- How to Respond to Google Update When Detected by SEMrush Sensor?

My advice is to just wait. Wait before the update is over before doing anything. Then once you know the update is done, wait another month to see if Google will reverse the changes. Most of the time, they do either a partial or full rollback or the last update.

So you might get your ranking back by literally doing nothing.

#4- What a SEMrush Sensor Winners and Losers?

SEMrush Sensor Google update winners and losers report shows which domains were most affected, positively or negatively.

#5- What Does a Low Score Mean?

A low score within the SEMrush Sensor means the day is stable, i.e., the rankings are stable with very low volatility.

#6- What Does High Score Mean?

A high score within the SEMrush Sensor means the day is volatile, i.e., the rankings are jumping around with very large volatility.

#7- Do I Need Open a Free SEMrush Account to use SEMrush Sensor?

You do not need to open a free SEMrush account to use SEMrush Sensor.

SEMrush Sensor is a free tool you can use as much as you want during the day.

#8- Do I Need to Activate SEMruh Free Trial to use SEMrush Sensor?

You do not need to activate SEMRush free trial to use SEMrush Sensor.

It’s a free tool you can use forever.

SEMrush Sensor Guide (Conclusion)


To have a better ranking on search engines, you need to be on top of your SEO game. SEMrush Sensor is one of those tools that help you do that. Use the SEMrush Sensor for your daily SERP monitoring to take informed and timely steps in your SEO strategy.

If you have any questions or comments about SEMrush Sensor, I would love to hear them in the comment section below.

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