Ever since the imminent Google Panda update release for this week was announced ‘subtly’ by the one and only master of webspam, Matt Cutts, it has put Search Engine Optimisers on their toes.
At SMX West 2013, it was prominently announced that we will ‘shortly’ be seeing some further Panda and Penguin updates in 2013. What’s more is a Panda update would be rolled out very soon (and we have yet to wait for the Penguin update). Following the announcement, there have been various rumours; circling like Chinese whispers that the update had already been released despite the anticipated Friday 22nd March activation date.
It would be no surprise if the update was rolled out before this time, but what throws I and other SEO Engineers off is that we have seen no significant changes across a variation of websites and their industry-related search queries. Yet, Search Engine Land has commented on the speculation from a number of webmasters that update #25 in fact has been released. In this case, there are two possible scenarios:
1) The update has been released and it is very subtle
2) We have yet to wait for the update and we should wait till tomorrow to see what happens; and additionally, give the update a week leeway.
At RocketMill, we have been analysing and monitoring any indications of updates since the December 21st 2012 update. And we have witnessed a few occurrences. Google have said that they would be adding Panda updates to their real-time algorithm (which has either already happened last week, or is to happen very soon) however, for an approximately 34 day time period, we saw unnatural changes to sample keyword rankings within and 8-10 hour period each day on average – in other words, ranking positions were changing 2-3 times a day on average. This could have indicated that the real-time updates were in-play a while ago, or Google plays with their changes on the live algorithm.
We have no way of telling the percentage of search queries this algorithm will truly affect and at a time like this, it’s best to avoid being hypochondriacs. And yet after this update, there will still be more. But from here on out, unannounced (or maybe not?), more noticeable and less relentless – we’ll see what happens with Panda Everflux. ‘Team SEO’ at RocketMill are remaining resistant and calm until we see any significant changes. If you happen to see any significant changes over the next few days, let us know and tell us how it may have affected your rankings. Us Search Engine Optimisers from all around may need to unite and construct a new plan of action.