There appears to be a large Google ranking or algorithm update happening right now in the core Google web search results. I was on the fence about covering it this morning and decided to wait for tomorrow until I heard more chatter, but the chatter is espesially hot right now and SEOs keep asking me about it this morning.
The Black Hat World forums and WebmasterWorld forums are the most active discussing it - it does seem to be focused more in the black hat space, since that thread is going insane right now. So this might be a link related Google algorithm shift, but Google has not confirmed anything and I doubt they will - I have already asked.
The first signs of this update were earlier this morning, March 8, 2017. Here are some of the comments from the threads:
A MASSIVE drop in traffic happened on my site on the 7th of March at 8pm and has continued today (8th March). I have no idea why.
I have also suffered from the 20%-40% drops in traffic in Feb
Iam also having some serious issues. My Websites dropped out of the Index around 9 hours ago. Im still trying to find out whats going on. None of them has used Black hat Methods or some other stuff. They just disappeared from the normal search index. Still the site: command shows that they are. On the upper hand some serious spam in my niche just came up from feed-scrappers and stuff. Maybe someone has an explanation.
I've noticed dramatic shifting in the past 24 hours with my website! Any one else experience the same thing?
Yes, experiencing a crazy Google dance too. At first I thought my site was deindexed!
90% of my keywords flew into oblivion. While 5% of the keywords I'm ranking have sank to deep search results; while the other 5% is still ranking as normal.
I am having the same issue. It started around 18:00 from yesterday. My traffic from google almost stopped. At that time, I was getting 70-100 users at same time and now I am getting 5-12. My small site had aprox 5500-7000 uniques day and around 13000-16000 page views/day . No black hat seo, but I have some spam links, probably from competitors. My site have almost 10 years.
I can't quote all the posts, there are just too many. The tools are not on fire, yet - I suspect some of them may show these signals tomorrow morning. So I'll probably report back tomorrow about what the tools are saying and what theories are out there regarding this update.
It seems some are saying that their rankings tanked this morning, some saw pages completely delisted, and some are reporting that around 1pm EST their rankings returned back to normal. Things are in massive flux right now.
It is hard to tell if this is solely focused on spammy links, low quality content, or something else. It could also be a Google bug for all I know.
Like I said, I am working on getting you all more details but for now, here are some more resources from the community where the discussion is actively happening now.
Update: After reviewing over 75 sites that got hit by this, I believe Google Fred targets ad heavy, low value content sites for the most part.