So after reporting a Google update on May 1st, then waiting and watching the community over the weekend to say – oh boy, there was a Google update rolling out over Friday through the weekend – we then had Google tell us there was no update. I used a Panda bear giving an evil stare because most of us knew something changed.
And Google, after a bunch of arm twisting, finally gave me/us confirmation, which I posted on Search Engine Land.
Google told us this was not an update for web spam, but a normal Google core search quality update. That is what I said earlier but I didn’t have it on record. I assumed it wasn’t related to Panda, Penguin or core spam, but rather a normal Google search core algorithm update and it was.
I am not sure exactly why Google wouldn’t confirm it back then but now they are and hopefully in the future they will as well. So the 10% of you that call me out as a traffic whore (or whatever you call me) for being the first to report on any possible update – I am sorry.
If you saw a change in traffic starting around May 1st, you are 100% not going crazy, Google made an update that was more noticeable than previous core search updates.
John Mueller actually addressed this in a Google+ Hangout yesterday after Google sent out official confirmation. He said at the 35:30 mark:
Essentially this is something where we are not, I don’t know, calling this anything specific.
This is essentially just a normal algorithm update that we make all the time. And sometimes that is something that affects more sites and sometimes that is something that affects fewer sites.
But essentially, we are working on trying to increase the relevance and the quality of the search results. And that is essentially just a normal update that was happening there. Nothing really specific.
So if you are seeing changes within your sites traffic, impressions that are coming from search, I think that is something where you can work on your web site in general and for most cases it is not something where there is any technical issue that you need to focus on and you would see that in Webmaster Tools obviously. But it is not the case where there is, oh this one line of HTML that you need to swap out these two letters and suddenly you will rank much higher again.
We do these algorithmic updates all the time and for some times it goes up and for other sites it goes down. Our general goal is to make sure that the quality of the search results are really as high as possible.
So if you’d like to us to be more visible about these updates, focusing on your site and making it the best it can possibly be, is always a good strategy.
I realize that is not an easy answer…
You can listen to the whole thing over here:
Glad we got confirmation.
Forum discussion at Google+ & WebmasterWorld.