At the very beginning of 2016, while all the webmasters and SEOs were patiently waiting for something that could potentially be the next generation of the Penguin update (which is known as an anti-spamlink part of search engine ranking modifications), we all have become witnesses of something that undoubtedly will remain a historical event in Google’s algorithm update continuity. This was a series of core algorithm updates, which was responsible for considerable SERPs fluctuations in the first two weeks of January. They were described by Algoroo tracking tool as the biggest ever.
A little bit of background
Late Autumn 2015, Google announced that the Penguin update (which was planned to be rolled out by the end of the year) is going to be postponed for a couple of months and could be expected in the first months of 2016. Even if the date was to be March of 2016, the information had influenced the SEO world greatly. That is why when first SERPs moves occurred two weeks ago, people started guessing that it was all about Penguin 4.0, which had started to mess things around. There was no official announcement from Google, just a few broad words via Twitter.
— Zineb Ait (@Missiz_Z) January 12, 2016
It is happening again!
The first serious SERP flux was perceived on the second weekend of 2016. People dealing with organic search results coming back to work on Monday, 11th of Jan, were either shocked or pleased with what had happened. Regarding of data from across the Internet coming from different social media, communities, blogs and analytics systems, the information was the same: something had happened. But it was not the end.
Nearly one week later, again, we experienced even bigger SERP fluctuations noticed by a number of renowned position tracking systems. The organic status of many domains had begun to resemble that of a rollercoaster, others – dropped a lot. Finally there was an official update from Google that confirmed what was happening is the core search algorithm change.
Since then we have learnt a couple of useful things. They are what the SEO branch is heated about at the moment and will certainly be an interesting discussion for the days to follow.
- The January series of updates had something to do with brand terms positions, Yoast claims it has not such a big impact on traffic in itself
- Panda update has become a signal of the core search algorithm
- The core search algorithm is something automatic, what Google search engineers do not have to care about in terms of manual control
- Google’s Penguin update is still going to come in the approaching weeks.
- Innovation Visual clients are safe when it comes to updates like this one, since fluctuations did not hit their domains, dropping them down in Google SERPs. This indicates that the strategy we determined is the right one for moving forward.