Search engine giants Google have finally confirmed that there have been a series of updates to their organic rankings after days of speculation and large scale fluctuations across a number of search queries, even though they had previously stated that they were not working on anything.
The online community have been talking about positional rise and fall situations throughout the duration of the month of May with early conversations beginning as early as the first of the month, with algorithmic trackers showing that it seemed that Google were up to something due to increased movement on both 2nd May and 7th May, before further movement was witnessed later within the month.
Although we have taken a look at what seemed to be more of a Google Penguin influence on the search engine rankings, we know that the timescale of the Penguin update was simply not right for that to have been the reasoning for the earlier movements that have been seen this month and we can now confirm that Google have shed a little more information on what they have been up to.
Head of Web Spam at Google, Matt Cutts, turned to social media site Twitter to once again reveal that Google have rolled out not one, but two algorithmic updates so far this month, which could well account for the instability of the search engine rankings as you have seen them over recent weeks.
Cutts revealed last night that Google had released Google Panda 4.0 into their search results, producing a sweep of on-page checks and automatically filtering the strength of sites that have been found to be potentially in breach of their Google quality guidelines.
News of Google Panda is not often shared with the online community following the implementation of its release into a periodic monthly cycle, however there had been previous mention that Google were working on a new generation of Google Panda and the fact that Cutts chose to share its release could well be a telling sign that this latest release is bigger than we have witnessed before.
Google is rolling out our Panda 4.0 update starting today.
— Matt Cutts (@mattcutts) May 20, 2014
With Google Panda 4.0 already exposed to the world, questions were being asked regarding the fluctuations that were seen earlier within the month, something that seemed to have led to Cutts once again sharing information regarding an algorithmic change that Google had made in recent weeks, this time making reference to "very spammy queries" as he tweeted out:
This past weekend we started rolling out a ranking update for very spammy queries: http://t.co/NpUZRqpnBI
— Matt Cutts (@mattcutts) May 21, 2014
Although we now know that the changes that we have all seen within the search engine rankings are now accounted for, we have been trying to anticipate when we can expect the next Google Penguin update, taking the time to look at previous releases dates to potentially see if we can spot any roll out patterns.
Although the pattern of Google Penguin seems to run in a sequence that Dave has named ‘Mo Mo', it seems that these changes aren't related to the link based algorithm however the potential revelation that the latest Google Panda could be a new generation of release, especially with the power and impact that it seems to have brought with it.
Online auction site eBay.co.uk have become one of the biggest profile losers with the new release of the mentioned updates, seeing their organic rankings falling significantly and eliminating them from what seemed to be almost every search query that you could think of (well not literally but it certainly felt like that!) as SearchMetrics.com reveals that they have had their search engine visibility slashed by a huge 47%!
A strong indication that Google really are bigger and stronger than ever before…
Dave recently spoke at SMX London and included our findings in his presentation, calling the pattern ‘MO MO', an anagram of the months that we have previously seen the Penguin update being rolled into motion, which stands for ‘May October May October':
Our monitoring of various search queries and leading websites also seemed to show that there have been a number of websites seemingly released from potential algorithmic dampening (Google Penguin) over recent days and generally this is something that is only associated with the release of a Google Penguin roll out into the search results, leading us to suspect that this month still has a lot more to come in terms of fluctuations and announcements from Google, however we do not have official word on this.