Google has a tendency to tweak its core algorithm so often that most adjustments do not really qualify as news. Indeed, the search engine itself has said on several occasions that hundreds of minor to moderate modifications are made each year.
But when an unannounced and unconfirmed update results in thousands of reports of devastated rankings, you instinctively take note; particularly if your own website happened to be affected.
Taking a look at the various monitors used to track SEO turbulence, the number of significant updates Google has rolled out as of late is astonishing. None of the updates have been confirmed by Google, but seem pretty apparent with the kind of chatter among webmasters right now.
Specifically, major alterations appear to have taken place on the following dates:
- October 9th
- October 6th & 7th
- October 2nd & 3rd
- September 24th & 25th
- September 16th & 17th
- September 9th – 12th
- September 4th
- August 11th
- August 6th
It is worth emphasising that these are not just the minor and generally inconsequential updates Google is rolling out all the time. These were all the kinds of updates that result in huge alterations to SERP rankings and organic traffic for thousands of businesses.
“Search is -49% this morn, USA traffic is -61%, UK is -70% at 10am,” commented one frustrated website owner via WebmasterWorld.
“They’ve been rolling out the page changes with so many new ads and features that organic is almost useless now. I don’t see how this will not affect users as the page is just a jumbled confused mess. Most people simply do not want to click ads that are shoved in their face, so I can’t see that they won’t start abandoning Google search with so much garbage on the page.” Whether the whole thing stabilises over the coming weeks remains to be seen, but Google has yet to pass comment on whether anything that has taken place as of late is permanent or otherwise.