Confirmed: Another Google core algorithm update
January 18, 2016
Over the past couple of weeks, many SEOs have been reporting stronger SERP fluctuations. Talk on Twitter, Facebook and other social media channels was of a possible update, specifically a Penguin Update which has been expected for some time, although Google have yet to annouce an official roll-out date. Any future updates are to be integrated into the core algorithm and therefore rolled out gradually – meaning there won’t be any more classic Penguin Updates. The speculation was therefore that the time had finally come and that the Penguin was now active in the core algorithm.
However, Google’s Gary Illyes confirmed a few days ago that the fluctuations are down to changes in Google’s core algorithm – and are not related to Penguin.
— Gary Illyes (@methode) 12. Januar 2016
This explains the ranking changes, although it’s important to remember that not all changes are a result of a new update. Just as with any update, SERP fluctuations can be caused by something completely unrelated. Google has not provided any information regarding the exact nature of the changes and what areas they affect.
On the same day, Google Switzerland’s John Müller also confirmed that the changes had nothing to do with a Penguin Update.
@dawnieando It’s not penguin; not “confirmed-ish” just “confirmed” :-).
— John Mueller (@JohnMu) 12. Januar 2016
Speculation quickly turned to whether the fluctuations were instead linked to a Panda Update, prompting TheSEMPost’s Jennifer Slegg to ask Gary Illyes directly on Twitter. Here’s what followed:
It was confirmed that the current fluctuations have nothing to do with a Panda Update – nor with any animals in the Google Zoo (Penguin, Hummingbird, etc). Illyes did mention that Panda is a part of Google’s algorithm but made it clear that neither it nor any other “animal” issues have been changed.
And so the wait for the next Penguin Update continues. It was initially announced towards the end of 2015 but was postponed several times – most recently due to the winter holiday period in the US. But it is coming, so much is certain. And search engine optimization remains as exciting as ever.