Content complements of: https://yoast.com/google-update-january-16-17-2016/

Hot on the heels of last week’s update, we had another Google update this weekend. Looking at the data there are some outliers, probably due to individual issues with sites, but most of all it seems like Google is changing the branding results all the time now.

Another Google Update

Google updates galore

I wrote 3 posts last week, all to cover Google core algorithm related updates. If you haven’t read them and this is the first you hear of all these changes, you might want to read them, in order:

Real time Penguin? Or something else?
Google Panda part of Google’s core algorithm
Google core algorithm update: brand terms

As I covered in my brand terms post, this Google update mostly seems to be changing the results for specific brand related terms. This weekends update was no different. What’s surprising is the enormous amount of SERPs (search engine result pages) that were updated.The volatility in the SERPs is huge though, as evidenced by all the screenshots in Barry’s post. The update was dubbed “Burj Khalifa” by Dan Petrovic over at Dejan SEO, although I honestly think Petronas Towers would have been a better fit, given that the volatility the next day was just as high.

We’re still analyzing the patterns of this update. In part, it looks like last weekend added some news results back in to the SERPs that had been taken out the weekend before. Some of the “winners” this week were losers last week, but none of them recovered their entire visibility. Results didn’t quite return at the same spot and there were definitely some other tweaks. It seems Google is searching for a balance of sorts.

Another core algorithm update

This was definitely not Penguin, you can see that based on what changed, but also because Googler Gary Ilyes confirmed it:

@AdilAdilrehman core algorithm. Not penguin

— Gary Illyes (@methode) January 18, 2016

From the type of changes SearchMetrics shows, it’s clear that it’s “more of the same” compared to last weeks update, with an emphasis on “more”.

Changes in SEO? We'll keep you up to date with our newsletter. Subscribe and never miss a post »

Theories are forming

We’re seeing some first theories form around the web as to what this is, but I honestly have a hard time believing any of them, which is why I’m not linking them yet. The only thing that is painfully clear when you look at the changed results is that URLs seem to be more important than I think they’d ought to be. But this could still just be correlation, I have no proof for causation yet.

Have you been hit by these changes? Are you seeing anything particularly weird? Let us know in the comments!

Read more: ‘Google core algorithm update’ »