Rewind back to a few weeks ago, when the Farmer and Panda Updates hit North America. Rankings dropped, SEOs were flummoxed and panic ensued. There was much wailing, pulling of hair and gnashing of teeth. Most people you talk to now are still trying to sort out the details of the update and to determine a strategy to recover from it.
A few months later, we are told that the update’s next area of implementation is to be the U.K. There have been scattered rumors that it has hit already, but nothing more. Other than a couple of threads on Webmaster World saying it has hit the UK, there have been no other concrete reports. Some webmasters say it has hit, while others say it has not…and many others are left in the middle wondering what to do to prepare for it.
My feeling is that it has not hit the U.K there yet. Simply based upon what the multitudes of websites in North America experienced; the extreme fluctuations in rankings and panic it caused. I believe it will be a scenario where people keep asking, "Is this it?" and "Has it hit now?" right up until the moment it does hit; and then everyone will say a collective "Ok…now it has REALLY hit." If it is anything like what we experienced here, there will be no doubt about it when it hits.
Of course at this point only Google knows for sure, but it does raise a few interesting questions. Should Google be more forthcoming with information when preparing to release such a major update? Would this not allow SEO and online businesses to be better prepared, rather than trying to glean what they can from half whisper rumors and hope for the best?
I see SEO as having a symbiotic relationship with Google (and search engines in general), it seems to me that more communication might be in everyone’s best interests…especially when the update has such a colossal affect to the ranking algorithm and has impacted so many thousands of websites so dramatically.