I hate to cover these things over the weekend but just like the massive fluctuations we saw last weekend, which turned into a core ranking update as confirmed by Google, we are seeing higher fluctuations over this past weekend.
The forums and social media are a mess with weekend chatter. The automated tools that track the fluctuations are also a mess. But Google's Gary Illyes and John Mueller were responding to such chatter over the weekend saying, or implying, it was not Penguin.
Gary Illyes said on Twitter, ""no" to the original question (to the best of my knowledge anyway). " The original question was "Google testing or #penguinupdate?" So no.
Dr. Pete Meyers from Moz wrote on Twitter:
Marie Haynes wrote on Twitter:
Lots and lots of chatter re big SERP changes again today. Still doesn't look like Penguin to me.— Marie Haynes (@Marie_Haynes) January 17, 2016
Here are some charts from the various tracking tools:
What is going on? Gary Illyes said it is not Penguin but could they be testing Penguin? Potentially. Could it be modifications to the core update from last week? Sure.
There is 100% a lot of signs of a pretty big update but those signs seem to not lead to a Penguin update.
Update: Gary Illyes said on Twitter Monday morning it is a core algorithm update, as he suspected yesterday:
@AdilAdilrehman core algorithm. Not penguin— Gary Illyes (@methode) January 18, 2016