Google Update Underway?

Google Update Underway?

There’s been some chatter lately around a possible Google algorithm update. I had been seeing some significant fluctuations across a number of client sites here at Beanstalk over the past couple days before stumbling on the post from Barry Schwartz over on Search Engine Roundtable that I’m not the only one. There’s significant changes in traffic being discussed over on Webmaster World with some webmasters reporting changes as high as 75% and with significant fluctuations.

On my own side most of the sites we’re working on have fared well however a couple did drop. Prior to looking to an algorithm update I had believed the difference to lie in the backlinks built recently however from what I’m reading now and seeing in the forums and re-evaluating those conclusions it may well also be in the technical SEO (including but not limited to the more advanced use of markup) or in the niches impacted (those being the only other common threads).

SERP.watch is showing the following:

Global SERPs On Desktop:

Google Update Underway?

Ecommerce SERPs On Desktop:

Ecommerce Desktop Results

Financial SERPs On Desktop

Financial SERPS

Travel SERPs On Desktop

Travel SERPs

And this is matching pretty closely with what we’re seeing as well.  I am seeing some changes in ecommerce but far less than in travel.

What About Mobile?

Unfortunately the SERP.watch results seem to be broken on mobile with over-reporting across the board.

To be fair and transparent, Algoroo is not reporting above-average fluctuations, the Mozcast is a couple days behind so not giving us yet the data we need nor is SERPmetrics so right now I’m really only able to base my conclusions on one tool combined with anecdotal data. The tool and the anecdotal data match so my sincere belief is that we’re seeing some type of update and while I believe it lies on the technical side it is far to early to confirm anything like that.  Of course – if you run off and starting dotting your technical Is and crossing your markup Ts you’ll still be doing yourself a favor.

4 Comments

  1. Penguin 4.0 will be really huge. Another step forward to eliminating any spammy content on the Internet. Hopefully, it will arrive until the end of March.

  2. Monica says:

    Possibly related to the SSL requirements. Perhaps the algorithm is changing in order to recognize the websites which are upgraded to https thereby encouraging others to follow. You are the expert Dave. {it’s been sometime since my SEO days. Pardon if am way off the mark on this one}

  3. Hey Monica.

    No apologies necessary – a frank discussion and questioning of what might be going on is always healthy in this industry. Right now I don’t ahve enough data to conclude anything and with the Chrome warnings coming up and folks getting the notices in their Search Console about HTTPS that’s a decent guess and something I’ll definitely consider when looking into it in more detail when it’s confirmed that things have stabilized into the new position.

    Thanks for stopping by and always feel welcome to share any thoughts/guesses you might have on pretty much any topic. 🙂