For the past 48 hours, I’ve been hearing some rumbles around Google algorithm updates and sites dropping. But the chatter was not that drastic, making me think it hits a specific subset of users and niches on the internet.
The interesting thing is that most of the tracking tools show an update over the past 48 hours but again, the normal webmaster chatter is somewhat low. The black hat forums were way more active around this update than others.
It is the black hat forums, including BlackHatWorld that is calling this out as an update that target PBNs, private blog networks.
I have asked Google but they are not confirming or denying any update around this, which is typical of their behavior around algorithm updates these days including ones targeting black hat techniques.
It seems that webmasters using PBNs, not all, have expressed most of their concern over these ranking changes starting around February 1st. There may have been some webmasters who do not use PBNs that got hit also, like with any algorithm update. But I suspect this one is more link focused than the other algorithm updates.
The overall black hat theme is that there is a longer delay for these PBN links to kick in. It may be true or it may be that Google is discounting these links better forever? It might be Penguin got more classifiers to find and discredit these types of links?
Here are some of the comments from both BlackHatWorld and WebmasterWorld:
Anyone noticing that new domains expiring/expired are just refusing to index. Like a new age filter on re archived sites. Just wondering if its only me or somebody else experiencing this too.
I’ve noticed as well that everything is moving in slow motion with G. It is working, but in slow motion. It seems that TIME is now one of the most important factors.
Everything definitely seems to have shown down with G recently. I am currently starting a few case studies to see how long it takes for different stratergies to kick in opposed to a domain with zero backlinks just being left to do its own thing.
We have had a couple pbn sites get the boot from the index over the last few days, maybe penguin on the loose in our neighborhood?
We built around 100 sites this week and managed to get around 75 indexed in the first few mins. The remaining 25 are still taking a while to get indexed. If anything, things are just working slower these days and you require more patience than before.
I’m noticing shifts in rankings from yesterday to today. Even from 12 hours ago to now. I’m monitoring many industries in Canada. Some moved up, some moved down. Not huge drops or increases – just minor tweaks
Here are some of the automated tracking tools:
All the theories are very raw and early now. My gut, Google updated Penguin or released a new algorithm targeting links to find more links that should be discredited and it hit PBNs and links that are similar to those. Of course, there may have been false positives.
Forum discussion at BlackHatWorld and WebmasterWorld.