Google Update Brewing? What Is Going On?

May 16, 2012 • 9:13 am | comments (34) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google PageRank & Algorithm Updates

Google Update BrewingAs of yesterday, the WebmasterWorld thread and some other forums starting lighting up again with discussion and SEO chatter around Google's search results starting the shuffle and fluctuate.

These are typically signs of an update happening in Google. Maybe a Panda or Penguin refresh? Maybe a new Google bug? Maybe a new penalty or an old one being run again? Maybe Google is testing an algorithm or update? Or maybe it is something completely different or people are on crack?

I do not know but earlier this week, when I saw similar discussion around this, I asked Google if there was a Penguin refresh and they said no. It wasn't Penguin, Panda or anything else.

So do I go back to Google and bother asking about yesterday's increase in SEO chatter?

Did you notice ranking and traffic changes between Monday and today?

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

Update: I asked Google about this also and they said there was no Panda or Penguin update.

Image credit to ShutterStock for brewing pot - I added Google logo

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05/16/2012 01:30 pm

Definitely been noticing a lot of flux. 2 days ago there was an increase in organic visibility almost across the board and the same again today. I'm not complaining though!

Brian Cox

05/16/2012 01:34 pm

Seriously, what is going on?? Sites that are legit, whitehat, full of great content published regularly keep taking nose-dives... while sites I am testing, and blasting with spam links keep rising. This is an absolute joke Google. Results are so bad, I've even started using Bing and DuckDuckGo for personal searches.

Julien Guiss

05/16/2012 01:45 pm

Completly agree with Brian...

Neil Tompkins

05/16/2012 02:02 pm

What ever the update is since the recent Penguin update results are all over the page. Search "cheap flights to liverpoo",mod=6&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8&q=cheap+flights+to+liverpool the site is listed 3 times on page 1 and 4 times on page 2 ???? What is going on ?


05/16/2012 02:12 pm

Hey Barry, Did you ever notice that the plex gets really quite when they are working on testing the crap out of something new? That's probably what is happening now. What ever they are testing is going horribly wrong. The results are very poor. I feel like it is pre-2000 and were stuck with Alta Vista again.


05/16/2012 02:13 pm

You must test your ideas with your visitors, if your site was created for people. Why test with search engine ? Do you try to crack the algo (wink) ?


05/16/2012 02:22 pm

Noticed nothing new. Probably because I'm not following keywords, but just trying to be helpful for visitors so they return back to my site directly. The overall traffic is on the same levels.

Humper Henry

05/16/2012 02:46 pm

Thats becuase they have adsense so off couse google will show 3 listings now ; )


05/16/2012 02:48 pm

I agree with you Brian.


05/16/2012 03:09 pm

I'm noticing too much fluctuation in SERPs. Especially when i do local search, in Morning i found my site #2 and in evening I can't found it even on first page. what's happening?

Brian Horn

05/16/2012 03:21 pm

I have seen a massive drop with one of my good quality sites...and a more spammy site I own (in the same niche) moved up. No sense. This site survived Panda and Penguin...but got pummeled last night. Grrrrr....


05/16/2012 04:54 pm

I noticed it mid to late last week, as I told you :-) But I watch the spammiest serps so anything they are testing would likely rip through my area first no?


05/16/2012 05:16 pm

something is happening that' for sure, but I can't put a finger on it yet. Seems like a small test, reshuffling and it is still going on. Yesterday, was very good and today seen a slight drop as compared to yesterday.

Takeshi Takahashi

05/16/2012 05:18 pm

The same thing as Rachel happened with my site. I'm wondering if perhaps there are some large complications or issues with the rollout of the Knowledge Graph?

David Melamed

05/16/2012 07:58 pm

I saw a 20% jump in traffic yesterday... after losing 40% from either penguin or panda 3.5 .

John Britsios

05/16/2012 08:44 pm

I guess it is too early to tell if it is a Panda or Penguin update. Looking at stats of different sites, I tend to believe that if it is an update of one of those two, I would say it looks more like Penguin. Someone also mentioned here the "Knowledge Graph". So who knows?

Jaspreet Chahal

05/17/2012 12:50 am

One of my websites has dropped from first page to last available page for a search term :( That happened yesterday. Darn! I am feeling so overwhelmingly frustrated and disheartened.

Matthew Forzan

05/17/2012 02:00 am

Many sites are fluctuating and have been for the past few weeks (in Australia). I don't think the algorithm changes (Penguin) was an instant "on" or immediate change and that Google are still running the sites through this algorithm change and until they're all done the results are fluctuating as a result. Things seem to have stabilised now for some SERPs I've been monitoring which makes sense if my theory above is true. Be interested to know if anyone else has had the same thoughts?

Ajith Prasad Edassery

05/17/2012 04:22 am

Between Monday and today actually my main site's traffic has gone up. However, I see a major decline from Mid April till around 10th May. Was there any 'P' algorithm updates during mid of last month? I am frustrated that some of the genuine posts are not treated well!


05/17/2012 06:04 am

Yes there is an update, i saw fluctuations just now within 2 hours and yesterday too. Its a shuffle might be. There is fluctuations also in local results.


05/17/2012 06:38 am

Yes, even one of my top Hungarian website's ranks have got down drastically. My website used to rank on top 5 but now it is not there till 100th position. It was not a spammy site but had useful info for users. This was surely a bug of Google which has given bad impact. Even, now i am using Bing for my searches.


05/17/2012 06:42 am

Agree, have also noticed some useless spammy websites in Google's Serach results.


05/17/2012 07:33 am

Theres an amazing amount of movement in the SERPS right now.


05/17/2012 11:16 am

I get a sense of deja vu when ever Google releases an algo update. Lots of people not really knowing whats going on and Google being about as transparent as mud as to the nuts and bolts of whats happening. To be honest posts like this don't help either, just further adds to the speculation and frustratoin of eveyone in the industry. My adivce will be to get your site in order, play by the rules and be patient as the most recent update is obviously still bedding in.


05/17/2012 11:33 am

I have a feeling something's happening, too. My genuine niche site was on Google SERP 1 for over a year, usually 2.-3. spot, slowly dropping down to about #7 as I haven't been posting anything new. On Mon 14.5. I was suddenly #1 for a day or two and then dropped somewhere very very deep (despite having Google PR2). I thought it was because I messed up the site when I upgraded my WP theme last week. Perhaps not. On Bing and Yahoo I'm still #1. Let's wait a few days and not panic :-)


05/17/2012 12:01 pm

Something's definitely happened yesterday. I don't know what it is, but I like it since I moved up. Maybe some type of backlinks people massively use get devalued?


05/17/2012 02:34 pm

says the guy with a Canadian RX site :)

Fede Einhorn

05/17/2012 04:03 pm

Same thing here! Our site (which is almost focused to provide quality content daily) was outranked 2 days ago by a BACKDOOR! It's title, description and any other meta is just keyword stuffing, and the content? a simple IFRAME that point to another website that isn't even ranked in the first 3 pages that I checked. How is that possible?

Josef Holm

05/17/2012 05:07 pm

It seems to me as Google is continuously trying to confuse the hell out of SEO's and mess with our minds by making everybody panic about different animals and ever changing rankings. They are trying to frustrate everybody to the point where most will give up SEO all together and move to PPC.


05/17/2012 05:15 pm

I doubt any Google update or change to their algo affects their entire database. If so, people could easily figure out how to game them based on their SERPS going up or down. Making small changes to percentages of their index at different times keeps everyone off balance.


05/17/2012 07:03 pm

knowledge graph preparation - and other mega brands being prioritized so the "spammy" affiliate niches can have "google approved" purchase spots


05/19/2012 08:52 pm

Yes I see 100% MORE spam in the results now than ever in the Google's history. Now sites with NO content, only redirects, hacked websites. All out ranking me... Google "how to get ex girlfriend back" .... 7/10 results are HACKED... yes... HACKED! How can Matt Cutts allow this to happen? How can Google allow their search engine to show low quality results under the guise of "defeating webspam"... Hello, there's MORE spam now! Wtf will it take for Google to WAKE UP?

Seo Endra

06/09/2012 10:48 am

Yes google doing random changing there algorithmic update, that's reason my web-site ranking falling down.

Donnie Strompf

06/21/2012 09:02 pm

Maybe this is a plan to incorporating Google + into their SERP.

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