A Google Update Brewing?

Apr 23, 2014 • 9:09 am | comments (84) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google PageRank & Algorithm Updates

Google Update BrewingThe ongoing WebmasterWorld thread has been pretty active with webmaster chatter since Sunday, when I went offline for two days.

It also appears that the automated tracking tools are seeing nice spikes over the past couple of days including Mozcast, SERPs.com and SERP Metrics. Although algoroo doesn't seem to agree.

About ten days ago we thought we saw a Panda refresh but Google would not confirm it.

Are you noticing fluctuations in your Google rankings and referrals?

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

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Alexander Hemedinger

04/23/2014 01:12 pm

We are starting to see a good fluctuation in our branding terms in rankings. It's weird how it went from position 1 to 7. Then a day later around 3. Just bouncing all around.


04/23/2014 01:33 pm

This Google Dance occurs to most of the websites. Let's see what will happen!

John Britsios

04/23/2014 02:54 pm

To me it looks like a Penguin. Lets fasten our seat belts...

Stuart David

04/23/2014 03:55 pm

Maybe Google Images related? They have pushed out a complete make over on Mobile devices, looks pretty solid too (Compared to previous design, they still hotlink mind, which can really slow devices down / prevent people from visiting sites)

Kyle Risley

04/23/2014 04:36 pm

I've seen several sites lose substantial (40-60%) of their organic visibility starting the 18th and continuing through the weekend. Very severe drops for large sites.

Taher Chowdhury Sumon

04/23/2014 04:51 pm

I have found significant traffic changes on some of my websites. After 17 April, till now it's is almost double. Surprisingly all are from SE. It might be a simple data refresh. Lets wait to see what happen next!


04/23/2014 04:58 pm

I just pulled all my rankings... No big event but... It looks like pages that dropped on the 18th are returning to normal now. Brand and product keywords are largely unaffected. Mostly category keywords in flux in my data... Maybe a rollback on something that went live on the 18th? Not a big effect... an upward swing on 5-10% of my category pages... The interesting pattern is the drop on the 18th and a rebound today. Everything in motion today has that pattern in my data.

David Hoegerman

04/23/2014 05:45 pm

Similar pattern over the weekend... down than up... but its very likely that is due to the Easter weekend


04/23/2014 05:50 pm

traffic flux sure, but rankings in SERPs?

David Hoegerman

04/23/2014 05:59 pm

very minor ones... noticed 3 pages look re-penalized but vast majority are unchanged

Glenn Gabe

04/23/2014 07:58 pm

Barry, there were two large algo updates pushed out in April. The first was on 4/5 and the second was on 4/18. The updates eerily resembled the February updates that incorrectly hit some movie blogs (like SlashFilm). During the April updates, the song lyrics niche got hammered, with several sites losing 50%+ of their traffic overnight. And just like in February, some recovered just a few weeks after getting hammered. It looks like Google rolled out that second update on 4/18. In addition, and I believe this is related, mp3 websites were hit starting on 3/30. I cover that aspect of the story in my post (listed below). It was an extremely volatile April, to say the least. You can read my analysis here -> http://www.hmtweb.com/marketing-blog/april-2014-google-algorithm-updates-song-lyrics/

Barry Schwartz

04/23/2014 07:59 pm

Thanks, I’ve asked Google about this.

Glenn Gabe

04/23/2014 08:12 pm

No problem Barry. I'm eager to hear what Google has to say about the updates. This is the second time in a few months that they pushed out two updates very close to one another (that were tied together). It was fascinating to analyze.

Loren Mckechnie

04/23/2014 08:16 pm

SearchMetrics.com a SEO visibility tool, has biggest losers on their homepage. Many of the top 10 are lyrics sites today.


04/23/2014 08:27 pm

Maybe the Knowledge Graph has something to do with this huge hit on the lyric sites? Seems like when you type in songs/artists keywords the knowledge graph pulls the music video.


04/23/2014 08:36 pm

After 9 months of -90% penalty, I had 3 days of happiness. Now again -90%. From the new info I've gathered yesterday, it seems a duplicate content penalty :/ If I search for keyword + sitename, is "funny" how I'm the last on the page and a lot of scrappers are in front of me...


04/23/2014 09:06 pm

Makes a lot of sense to me... Google wants people who invest in content to also invest in clicks. That sounds more like a negative SEO attack. I'd check GWT and look at 404 crawl errors. If there are URLs there that make no sense then people are probably pointing toxic domain names at your homepage. If this is the case then disavow the whole domain instead of individual URLs. I had this problem and it took about a week to clear up. There are a number of duplicate content attacks that can be thwarted by properly using canonical tags too. Use canonical tags on every page religiously. Last check for duplicate titles and descriptions under HTML improvements... if there is a lot of duplication then you may have to ignore url parameters or figure out where the duplicate URLs are originating from. Your indexed page count should roughly match the number of pages your site has... anything more than 2x should be signaling a problem with the site. If you changed your entire URL structure you would expect 2x for a while. If you see 5x or 10x then something is very very wrong with your site.


04/23/2014 10:12 pm

rapgenius appears to have benefited slightly from the update on the 18th according to semrush.

Glenn Gabe

04/23/2014 11:19 pm

Brandon, no it definitely wasn't that. Their rankings plummeted. Some of the sites I analyzed lost 50%+ of their traffic overnight. I listed several possible reasons for that drop in my post. You should check it out.

Glenn Gabe

04/23/2014 11:21 pm

Yes, you're right. I analyzed many sites in the lyrics niche and some simply benefited based on the others dropping. But some did show significant increases (which is due to being rewarded based on the signature of the algo update).

Glenn Gabe

04/23/2014 11:27 pm

They are right! :) The lyrics niche got hammered during the April updates. I saw some get hit during the 4/5 update, and then a number during the 4/18 update.


04/24/2014 07:30 am

I noticed a decent change on the 18th too but pretty much all month there's been activity. I doubt Google will give us any answers though. I check the fluctuations here: http://www.rankranger.com/rank-risk-index

Springboard SEO

04/24/2014 08:22 am

I hope you're right, John. Some of my competitors are abuuuuusing inbound sitewide exact match in the hundreds of thousands from authority sites. Here Penguin Penguinnnn.


04/24/2014 09:04 am

In last 7 days I am also seeing a drop for local queries by 5-7 places in average...


04/24/2014 09:57 am

Yeah nothing happened.


04/24/2014 10:58 am

google want to display only their own sites and content scrappers. They not need quality sites which produce HQ content in the organic serp. Reason is easy - money. It why they penalize everything, and I constantly see negative seo attacks.


04/24/2014 11:04 am

i think google out of money again...

osman musa

04/24/2014 11:13 am

Mine started on the 15th and is at a high right now and I pray it stays like that and doesn't go down. I just hate it when I loose traffic because I lose money too.


04/24/2014 01:01 pm

Happy penguiversary!


04/24/2014 03:22 pm

So is it a Penguin or Panda or a Raccoon update ..Anyone willing to tell me what is wrong with my website :( I was trying every rule but it does not seem to work correctly

osman musa

04/24/2014 04:10 pm

They are tweaking their algorithims for best performance.

Bill G

04/24/2014 06:32 pm

It's the adwords revenue missed targets so lets roll out a algo update to move everyone to paid...

Osama busa

04/24/2014 07:28 pm

ya , even ur spike is temporary , will go down eventually :)

osman musa

04/24/2014 07:32 pm

How are you sure my spike is temporary? Last time I went 1 year without going down and this time I bet I will go longer without going down if not indefinitely. Don't speak your mouth before you think.


04/24/2014 08:12 pm

When search is slow, this is always an easy topic to write about, eh Barry?


04/24/2014 09:19 pm

When search is slow the Google Doodle makes the headlines... not there yet.

Alex Ion

04/24/2014 09:30 pm

I can somehow back this up, as well, except that I got hit around the 7th of April (some 10% down), and I gained it back (about 7% up) around 20-21st of April. It's weird how some sites lost on both "updates" or call them refreshes?

Durant Imboden

04/25/2014 01:18 am

At least it's a safe topic. Leave the story up long enough, and eventually it will come true.


04/25/2014 05:27 am

Ranking of one of my site went down on 16th and bounce back on 20th. Don't know what it was. :)


04/25/2014 06:25 am

Correct... adwords revenue increases whenever they updated his algo ...


04/25/2014 07:43 am

Big update on 16, BUT partial reverted on 21... FUBAR....

ishant chutiya

04/25/2014 08:46 am

hi indian spammer :)


04/25/2014 10:05 am

Might be penguin, April 22, 23 did showed some high activity

Glenn Gabe

04/25/2014 10:37 am

Alex, can you send me your domain? I'd like to check it out and compare to the sites I have analyzed hit by the April updates. I saw some sites hit hard earlier in the month (starting on 4/5) and recover during the second update (starting on 4/17). But I did see some sites hit by both updates! Harder with the 4/5 update and then seeing more impact on 4/17. You can check out my post for more details. Anyway, it would be interesting to check out your situation in greater detail.

Stuart David

04/25/2014 11:39 am

It's not slow though, clearly some major movement going on. Barry is correct in reporting as it opens up the discussion for people to freely share information


04/25/2014 12:37 pm

Any updates?

Barry Schwartz

04/25/2014 12:38 pm



04/25/2014 12:41 pm

shutup mate, im sick of whatever you say, its always pedantic and pathetic.

F1 Steve

04/25/2014 01:19 pm

Did you know an Anagram of Durant Imboden is "A Bunted Nimrod"! Now google irony!


04/25/2014 01:59 pm


Barry Schwartz

04/25/2014 05:04 pm

Google just responded with a no comment.

Barry Schwartz

04/25/2014 05:04 pm

Google just responded with a no comment. :-/

Glenn Gabe

04/25/2014 05:15 pm

Thanks for the update Barry, and that's not a surprise! I wish they would have elaborated a little bit about the algo update. Something significant went down, and just like in February, they rolled it out again just a few weeks later. I hope this doesn't become a trend. Scary stuff. The trending I provided in my analysis says it all. :)

Michael Feiman

04/25/2014 10:21 pm

Transparency is soooo 2011.


04/26/2014 05:19 am

update 21 april

musa kusa

04/26/2014 06:05 am

ya , ur site traffic will go down , don't worry , if it has gone down earlier significantly there's something not in the league you are practicing , wait and watch your traffic plummet :)


04/26/2014 07:11 am

What type of content, what niche?

osman musa

04/26/2014 08:45 am

Jackass I flagged your comments since you are making fun of my name and being an idiot. Your just a troll.


04/26/2014 08:49 am

same behavior here, WMT and GA showing a major update between 16 to 22, http://mozcast.com and http://www.rankranger.com/rank-risk-index presents the best picture, other tracking tools are really off

Michael Martinez

04/27/2014 02:57 am

An anagram of "F1 Steve" would be "Feets v1". Now google "non sequitur".


04/27/2014 06:01 am

Ok all Traffic came back. Duno what was that.


04/27/2014 07:48 am

when (what day) exactly? Saturday I got a new hit!

F1 Steve

04/27/2014 11:10 am

An anagram of "Michael Martinez" would be "A Male Zinc Hermit". Now google "an alternative to olan mills" .;)

Michael Martinez

04/27/2014 02:15 pm

I see Chattanooga Coca-cola bottling company in the results. Thank you, O Google Hummingbird.

F1. Steve

04/27/2014 05:35 pm



04/28/2014 12:35 pm

update 26 april :| ... traffic back


04/28/2014 02:00 pm

Thank you for the update, is really apreciated


04/28/2014 02:03 pm

Osman, any update on your site?, hope it keeps the positive update. I think your comments always adds to know the overall situation of the updates, it will be really interesting get any picture update from your site.


04/28/2014 03:06 pm



04/28/2014 03:07 pm

Mine looks the same )

Monto Roy

04/28/2014 03:27 pm

Any idea on Google update on 24th April 2014? It seems that these tools are showing there was some? Also after 24th the organic traffic and search queries to my site has gone down.


04/28/2014 10:40 pm

As usual, no info from google, but I have some data that indicate "duplicate content" and scraper action.

osman musa

04/29/2014 02:52 am

Thanks bro, it is still high traffic stable. I discovered a local chiropractor that pays Google for adwords always ranks high on various terms. Turns out AdWords usage is one of the ranking factors in googles algorithm. My site is passing the 1 year old mark so I think the older it becomes the less likely I will be penalized.

Monto Roy

04/29/2014 06:37 am

@Cezar2014:disqus - Any source?

Monto Roy

04/29/2014 06:44 am

@rustybrick:disqus - Did you get any update from Google ?


04/29/2014 07:55 am

Yes, a lot of sites were penalised for duplicate content, especially those with structured data. Now I see the usual rolling Panda update.

Barry Schwartz

04/29/2014 09:55 am



04/29/2014 06:36 pm

i lost more then 80% traffic

Gracious Store

05/02/2014 01:48 am

I did not notice anything!

Vidi Ocean

05/03/2014 11:22 am

just tired from these updates


05/04/2014 03:09 am

As usual with this blog yet another post with zero info


05/04/2014 09:05 am

update ... google traffic drop - increase and drop - ....


05/11/2014 04:40 am

My traffic drop 50% http://www.ejobslk.com

Alan Luis

05/11/2014 12:50 pm

Exactly there is no info about update :(

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