Going through changes
A significant update to the Google algorithm is thought to be on the way, as talk amongst webmasters reveals significant unexplained ranking decreases.
Conversation regarding these dramatic drops peaked on August 21 and September 4, suggesting that an algorithm update could well be in the process of being rolled out over an extended period of time. Comments on the Google Webmaster Help Forum follow a similar pattern, indicating that these changes are widespread enough to be considered significant:
25 per cent drop here since Thursday 29 Aug. No WMT messages, no idea why. All I can see is that Google has turned up the preference for brands.
Another webmaster commented:
We've noticed this morning that the site rankings dropped significantly (about 80 per cent). I've checked the manual actions in WMT for a penalty, nothing; I've searched for a major Google Algorithm update...nothing. I have no idea what's going on, especially that this site is seven years old, the traffic before this major drop was between 20k and 30k daily visitors. We've done n0 link spamming and the only thing I found wrong so far is that some spam websites copied our content in full. We did several DMCA reports on that but that shouldn't be the cause of this major drop. We have no clue what to do.
While speculation increased with further support for these claims:
Yes we are seeing same in several high traffic sites, about 50% decrease at exactly same time, must be going something very big.
Google keeps quiet
So far there has been no response from Google to any of the issues raised, but popular search result monitoring tools such as Algoroo, Mozcast and SERP Metrics all support the belief that a significant update is in process.
Natalie Booth, head of search at theEword remarked: "While there has been no official confirmation from a firm Google source, it certainly appears as if the first major update since Penguin 2.0 could be on the way. For now, all webmasters can do is to keep a close eye on their rankings, and be prepared to adapt to any changes which may arrive in the near future which could have an impact on their website."