Was That A Google Update Or Wasn’t It?

google-g-logo-2012Over the past week or so, I’ve been hearing reports via the forums that Google’s search results have been in a state of flux. Typically when I see such a level of discussion about fluctuations in Google, I expect Google to announce a algorithm update.

This morning I saw a spike in that communication and chatter in the forums and I am fairly confident Google is testing and about to release a significant update.

I emailed Google for confirmation or more information and Google has not responded. Google normally responds to us within 24-hours with a confirmation or denial of an update. The lack of communication makes me suspect Google is testing something and is not ready to comment.

The last time we had a Penguin update was on May 26th, Penguin 1.1, over three months ago. We know the next Penguin update might feeling jolting and we have to expect Google has been working up something pretty significant on the Penguin side – since it has been over three months.

Again, Google has not confirmed any of this. It might be pure speculation or normal Google ranking shifts but typically, based on the level of webmaster chatter I see, it does look like a Google update is being tested and possibly rolled out.

Postscript: A Google spokesperson responded but did not confirm or deny the update. So there is not much new I can add to this post after speaking with Google.

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Related Topics: Channel: SEO | Google: Algorithm Updates | Google: SEO | Top News

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About The Author: is Search Engine Land's News Editor and owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry's personal blog is named Cartoon Barry and he can be followed on Twitter here. For more background information on Barry, see his full bio over here.

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  • http://twitter.com/skyhighlnkr Sky High

    Google must have updated the SERP for our keywords, and at the same time experimenting for another release of Google Panda update, crossed-fingers hoping websites will be on the same ranking if any updates will be released.

  • http://www.eyes4tech.com/ Arsie

    I actually felt on my blog sites as well.

  • http://twitter.com/HyperTexted Kevin Gerding

    I don’t see any changes across the sites that I monitor. I suspect it is because none of them have were penalized in any way.

    Possibly what is going on is an expiration of manual penalties. As I’ve noted elsewhere, JCPenney was hit hard with a penalty for unnatural link building that lasted just 90 days. Many of those that received unnatural link warnings in webmaster tools have been penalized for 150-180 days for doing nearly the same thing as JCPenney, but on a much smaller scale. This uneven application of manual penalties has fueled the belief that Google favors big corporations and is anti-small business. Who could blame them when presented with the facts?

    I suspect manual penalties are expiring and many are witnessing a rebound because of this. Since so many websites were using unnatural links to inflate ranks, penalizing these sites in large numbers left Google’s serps extremely thin. But since the sites I monitor do not engage in these practices, it would explain why I have not witnessed any major changes.

  • http://www.facebook.com/drew.pokoj Drew Pokoj

    I completely agree, but take it one step further; even if your site did not directly receive a penalty maybe some of the sites that got penalties lifted are now sending out “higher quality link juice” to the sites they link to…creating a rather large flux in overall rankings, but not BIG rank adjustments for each keyword (at least in my vertical)… but its just a theory, thoughts?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1012450033 Joseph Chambers

    Looking on http://mozcast.com – saturday was a hot day. I have seen some changes as well in the SERPs both positive and negative.

  • Alan

    serps is some verticals I watch moved around a lot over the weekend but then settled down by tuesday.

  • http://www.facebook.com/pups4sale David Smith

    Over the last 24 hours I saw Google performing what looked like a Google dance of old in our field (canine websites). When search results were checked every couple of hours on the same key phrases, you could almost see the deck being shuffled & a cascading series of changes being made. However sites in our field that we monitor that engage in keyword stuffing were not penalised at all, suggesting if it is an “attack of the Penguin”, it is targeting other areas. It seems the algorithm change has finished being implemented now.

  • http://twitter.com/Turn_The_Page1 Online Marketing

    We have noticed a significant change in SERPs when you search by company name. There is now a increased Social component, including Facebook (with Likes and activity), Company LinkedIn and YouTube with placement among the top 10 results which are numbered. These results change substantially if you search with a specific location. It seems Google has (or is considering) changed some of its focus on Local results from Directories when there is not a location specified in the search.

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