Is Google Getting Ready for a Big Algorithm Update?

nothing-to-see-hereThere have been a lot of people noticing some significant volatility in the search ranking for the past several weeks.  It led several SEOs to start speculating that Google had released a major new update.  However, when Google was contacted about this, they clearly said that they had not done any major updates.

Now, the question is whether Google was testing an update, trying to work out the kinks.  In which case, Google may be getting ready to do a major update.

I’ll tell you about this and other news with Google and Bing in this month’s SEO update video:

*Update 05-21-2014*
Google just announced that they released an update of Panda (not a refresh, but an update to the algorithm) that affects about 7.5% of US queries.  They also released an update of their Pay Day Loan algorithm, targeting “very spammy queries”.

Full Transcript:

Hi.  I’m Kurt Steinbrueck with OurChurch.Com and this is your monthly SEO update, keeping you informed on what’s going on in the search engines.  And this month’s winner is Google, so we’re gonna go ahead and start with them.


Google Local-Aware In-Store Products
They have launched a few additional features that we haven’t seen before.  One is a Google local aware in-store product feature where they would basically notify you if you’re passing a store that has a product that you’ve been searching for.  So if you’re logged in, you have your Google account set up and you also have it on your phone, if you’ve been searching for a certain product, maybe a specific model of a dishwasher or something like that, and you drive by a store that has that model of dishwasher or whatever product you’re looking for, then you would receive a notification on your phone that that store has the product you’ve been looking for and you can go ahead and buy it if you want.

So, it’s kind of a neat feature.  It could certainly make things a little easier not having to go into all the different stores to find the specific model you’re looking for.  To me also just a little bit creepy that now I search for something and Google’s sending me notifications on my phone as I drive around the city.  But it’s a neat feature in some ways certainly.

KnowledgeGraph in Google Maps
Google has also started putting their knowledge graph information into Google Maps now, incorporating that into certain cities where, basically, if you search for something in that city, a little card will pop up that has just some quick facts about the city, population and things like that.

Ranking Advantage to HTTPS Sites?
Google has also said that they are considering the idea of giving a ranking advantage to secure websites.  These are sites that use the https urls.  So they are talking about maybe giving them a little bit of advantage because they want to be sending people to sites that are more secure that they can feel safer about.  I’m not sure if this will pan out.  They’re just talking about it right now and I’m not sure exactly how this will work for sites that don’t sell anything.  Is there really a reason to have a secure site if you have no transactions going on?  But we’ll have to keep an eye on that.

If you are a retail site, you might want to start looking into making sure that your site is secure, the entire site.  Maybe not even just the payment processing side.

Major Google Update Coming?
And then one other thing with Google, and this is completely unofficial, but there’s been some fluctuation going on in some of the rankings that we’ve been seeing.  And when you see these kinds of significant fluctuations sometimes it means that there has been an update or there is one coming up.  And Google has said very clearly that there has not been an update as of this point, so you may be seeing an update coming up in the next couple of weeks, a significant one.  But it may just be some random fluctuations.  You never know with Google, but just something to be aware of and to kind of keep your eye on what’s going on out there.  That’s it for Google.


Personalized Cards
For Bing, there’s really only one thing to mention with them.  They have a new feature for if you make Bing your homepage or something like that, you can add little cards to the bottom of Bing that is personalized for you.  So when you log into Bing you can have things like news and weather and stocks and information like that in cards at the bottom of the page.

And that’s pretty much it.  There are really no big algorithms, updates to talk about or anything like that, but remember we do live in this Internet age and it is so important to stay strong in the search engines so that you can achieve your mission online.  And, hey, we’re here to help you with that both with information and services if you’re interested.

So have a great day and God bless!

What Do You Think?

  • Have you seen movement in your rankings?
  • Do your think Google’s new product reminder an awesome new feature or kinda creepy?

15 Responses to “Is Google Getting Ready for a Big Algorithm Update?”

  1. There you have it. Google has now released two major updates. Will there be more to come?

  2. I definitely saw Google search traffic fluctuate about a month ago (~50% decrease). I've only been blogging for about a year, so this was my first experience with it. Assuming it was from an algorithm update, will the traffic gradually rebuild or should I be changing something I'm doing to regain it? I'm scouring for every DIY SEO technique I've not already done, but still no significant recovery of search traffic! :/

    • Whether your traffic will rebound really depends on why you lost the traffic. If you lost the traffic because an algorithm update determined your site was using manipulative techniques or was too spammy or low quality, then you're going to need to correct the problem before you'll see any positive change. If your site just got caught up in the ranking churn, then you may see the traffic come back.

      I always recommend waiting a month or so after a significant algorithm update to decide to "fix" anything. There's usually a good bit of ranking movement and sometimes it all just works itself out. That's what I refer to as getting caught up in the ranking churn. If after a month you still see your rankings and traffic down, then it's time to analyze the situation, figure out exactly what caused you to lose the rankings/traffic, and then fix the problem.

      • Thanks so much for the reply, Kurt. I'm really at a loss as to how to proceed. To my knowledge, everything on my site is on the up and up, and I'm having a really hard time determining the cause of the drop, which happened a month ago now. Since that time, I've had some fluctuation in organic search traffic, but definitely no significant upturn. Would love any resources you'd recommend to help me diagnosis and repair the problem!

        • The only thing I can recommend for diagnosing a sudden loss of traffic or rankings is an SEO audit. I offer them through OurChurch.Com and I know other SEO's also offer this kind of service. Unfortunately, there are no tools for something like this. When you have a mystery loss of traffic, it takes some real person detective work to figure out what happened and how to correct it.

          If you submit a consultation request, I can give you a call and we can discuss what would need to be done.

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