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Google Update May Have Occurred Last Week, Not Penguin Related

Google Update May Have Occurred Last Week, Not Penguin Related

There has been some discussion amongst SEOs as to whether or not a Google algorithm update occurred last week. Concern was raised when multiple SEOs reported seeing alarming fluctuations in the sites they monitor. MozCast, a tool which reports on unusual activity in the Google algorithm, lit up to a 30-day high of 108 degrees on Thursday but has been on a steady decline since then.

Did Google update its algorithm last week? The closest thing we have to an answer is a statement from Google’s John Mueller, who addressed the question in a Google Webmaster Hangout (at roughly the 4:55 mark).

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The question was asked as follows:

“There has been a lot of chatter regarding an update over the weekend. Can you confirm if this was Penguin related, or another core algorithm update?”

Here is Mueller’s response:

“It wasn’t Penguin, but we do roll out a lot of updates over time, sometimes multiple updates… This isn’t the kind of update that we would announce. It wasn’t Penguin, so you can, I guess, cross that off your list. There are lots of different updates that we do, we make thousands of updates every year, and most of them we don’t give specific names. We don’t call out and announce each one.”

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The only thing we learned from Mueller’s statement definitively is that a Penguin update has not rolled out recently. It’s possible that another kind of update, or multiple updates, have rolled out — but definitely not Penguin.

When these questions are asked to Google reps, which they frequently are, the company typically responds by saying: unannounced algorithm updates occur all the time, the fluctuations you’re seeing are likely related to one of those.

Sounds like business as usual at the Google camp. The company rolls out updates whenever and however it pleases, and our job as SEOs is to learn from them and adapt accordingly.


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Matt Southern

Lead News Writer at Search Engine Journal

Matt Southern has been the lead news writer at Search Engine Journal since 2013. With a degree in communications, Matt ... [Read full bio]

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