Expected softer updates actually hit harder, with further flux felt this month
Since our last blog post, we’ve waited and waited in anticipation, expecting to see the SERP changes as a result of the release of the so-called softer Panda algorithm update promised by Google’s Matt Cutts back in March, 2014. But where is it?
The SEO community is in unanimous agreement that a major update was released last month which is still very much an unknown quantity. In expectation of a toned down and kinder algo update to Panda, we (in actual fact) got a harder hitting, punitive update that really spanked some sites where it hurts. And yet no-one from Google has confirmed an update even took place; let alone disclosed the details of the update or it’s intentions.
Sadly, we suspect that news will not be forthcoming any time soon.
More flux has been felt during May 2014
Since May 2nd and shortly afterwards on 7th, 2014, more search engine flux has been felt by a large body of folks within the SEO world. Various spikes and shifts in search result positioning was felt and reported by the likes of MozCast, SERPS.com, SearchMetrics and Algoroo.
It is incredibly rare for these sites to all report changes at the same time to such a large degree. In fact, it never happens so to see a cohesive viewpoint on the current search landscape must determine unquestionably that Google is up to something. But what?
Well frankly, no one knows and some search marketers are reporting that a roll-back may also be taking place as some ranks had returned to positions previously seen. So chances are, Google could be running some real-world experiments to see the effects of a possible future update that might be permanent.
Google as always, are not releasing any information and are in fact, denying that updates are taking place! Well known SEO aficionado Barry Schwartz of SEORoundTable even took the step to contact Google and ask them what exactly has been rolled out. And the answer they gave him was… nothing is happening!
So what are we supposed to make of it all?
Well it’s no secret that Google are looking at ways to rank sites with less and less reliance on back links but that change is a long, long way off yet. Matt Cutt’s of Google’s Web Spam team confirmed in a recent video post that “back links still have many, many years left in them” so this clearly is not an update to change the behaviour and ranking factors overnight, surely?
Google’s lack of information creates a culture of distrust
The SEO world is full of deeply cynical people towards Google, mostly gained by the fact that information released tends to be contradicted by their actions. Now, whilst I’m not a full member of the Google cynics club, this latest round of obvious updates is just another indicator that Google is not willing to work with the internet marketing industry to create a better search engine landscape for all.
What they are up to is still very speculative but what is for certain is that they are very much on a continual path for change. Whether you’re an SEO, a link builder, a marketer or a web developer; this lack of clarity and transparency from Google only adds to our increasing frustration that they are playing a game with us without disclosing the rules.
By denying that anything is actually happening when it clearly is seems pretty downright deceitful but let’s just hope that they aren’t trying to keep us all distracted whilst they make some pretty major changes that affect us as professionals and our clients businesses.