Last week saw some unrest from Google, around the 20th and 21st October we saw some huge fluctuations in clients sites. This means one thing and one thing only, a Google update.
SEL reported these updates and unofficially have named this the Google Zombie update in reference to Halloween later this week. However what is going on and how does it affect websites?
Google Zombie Update or Panda?
We know that Google is slowly updating the Panda algorithm, this is a slow update and at Falkon Digital we have been observing some signs of this since the 14th October.
The Panda update mostly affects poor quality content and many small and medium sites with good content and links see an uplift in traffic from the Panda update, therefore something many of our clients have no issue with. It has been rolling out since June this year and we have seen some fluctuations from this overtime but they have mostly caused a slight increase in traffic.
The movement on the 20th and 21st October seemed different to this so it is believed that this update is separate to the Panda update. Tools like SERP Metrics and Mozcast all show huge unrest on these days, it also looks to be world wide rather than just localised to the UK.
After this unrest most sites seem to have recovered, some may have had a drop in traffic but as this coincided with a dip in traffic for the weekend we still need to see if this means they have been ‘hit’. It seems separate as well to the Malware update which was released around the 4th October hitting a small number of sites that are being hit by malware.
We have seen some long tail traffic get hit, whereas more generic terms are improving significantly. The fluctuations are too unsettled at the moment to make any assumptions on how the traffic will stay. These big jumps have settled almost as quickly as they arrived which makes me wonder if this is a preliminary test to an update later on in the month.
Some SEO’s believe the movement was a test for a Penguin, but so far Google have neglected to comment, denying any major update but putting the movement down to tweaks in existing algorithms.