We already know that Google have told us that they are now operating on a rolling Google Panda algorithm schedule, however it seems that the changes that were seen by many across the online community across October 14th/15th have again had website owners talking about something else being at play.
The movement in organic rankings that were experienced over those two days were just short of 2 weeks after previous discussions surrounding Google Panda alterations across the board but the most recently seen changes have left website owners questioning if Google have a little more to tell us regarding what the fluctuations could relate to, with claims of a so called Zombie update or even Google Penguin-like movement being experienced.
The search engine giants have already told us that they are working on trying to roll Google Penguin, their algorithmic link based algorithm, into a similar development standard as Google Panda but comments from those within Google signal that the latest version of Penguin still isn't ready to be implemented into their live index just yet; hinting that it could still make it into motion before the end of the year though.
So with names such as John Mueller and Gary Illyes both saying previously that Penguin was still not ready as far as they were aware, we can only presume that this can rule that update out of contention for the moment, or can we?
In a post that covered the movements that were noticed over the 14th/15th October, Barry at SERoundtable.com shared a slight insight into the analytical traffic data seen on his website, claiming to have seen an increase in the number of visits by 15% and while his traffic levels seem to show a trend of quieter weekend periods, there is certainly proof that his site has benefited from whatever could be causing the fluctuation shakes that are being discussed.
Further insight into the possibility of a more powerful force at play was seen in an image that Cesar Bielich tweeted to Barry, showing a significant uplift in sessions starting from October 14th.
Google have always maintained that they perform over 500 updates to their algorithms each year and were not willing to announce each and every time that they roll out those changes, so the possibility is that although we are within a rolling Google Panda era, there could be further changes that were actioned at the same time, making it harder to be able to really confirm whether this was a more indepth Panda data update or something else.
As yet Google have failed to confirm or deny anything has been altered over that period, but with some site owners trying to figure out what could have seen them benefit or suffer from a change in their traffic levels, we are already seeing that in the past couple of days (18th/19th) there are also larger movements happening.
At the moment we are still trying to determine what the cause of the changes could be, however one theory is that Google are changing the way that they look at synonyms within their index, maybe looking at testing what their results would look like if they were to stop linking words that had the same or similar meanings, but that is based on too small of a dataset to be able to deem that a reliable observation at this time.