Google’s 2017 Unconfirmed Updates Galore

Reports have been coming through recently that there has been another update. There was an unconfirmed one that occurred in February (possibly started rolling out end of Jan?), which we’ve not written about, and now some more. It’s had the SEO communities awash with ranking chatter about what it could be, who it will affect, and if there is any update at all. We review Google’s 2017 Unconfirmed Updates Galore…

Search Engine Roundtable appears to be breaking the news, but as yet, no one has been able to confirm or deny. Google’s John Mueller did respond but only to say ‘yes, we make changes almost every day’, which isn’t too helpful. And Gary Illyes confirmed saying that ‘every update, unless otherwise stated, shall be called Fred’. We don’t know whether to take this seriously of not, because, Fred?
In any case, it seems apparent that there have been a lot of changes going on this year so far. We have seen a lot of movement ourselves, but it varies from website to website, and trying to understand what the correlation is, is the challenging part. It’s been said that it is a mostly off-site update, and it’s also been said that its probably blackhat related, so perhaps we’re talking about spammy backlinks. That doesn’t make complete sense as we’ve seen considerable upwards movement on some sites that have very few ‘significant’ backlinks, so what’s the cause of that?
Here is an example of what I mean:
Google Analytics Graph
As you can see, there is quite a marked improvement in organic traffic. This occurred before any unconfirmed update. Another example of something occurring early January:
Google Analytics Graph
After January, there have been 2 unconfirmed updates, one on February 9th-ish and one just now, but neither have been reflected in what we can see, so maybe it hasn’t full rolled out yet, or maybe due to the way we carry out our work, it just hasn’t affected us yet. But one user reported:

“60% drop in traffic, 10 year old website all natural links”

This is quite significant, and is partly what keeps us SEOs pushing to find out what does and does not cause an impact. Sometimes if Google releases an algorithmic update that is sweeping, there is literally nothing anyone can do about it, apart from react accordingly, and rebuild in a way that is positive.

Have you been affected by Google’s recent unconfirmed updates?

If you have suffered a sudden drop in Google rankings or traffic and don’t know why, then get in contact with MB Web. We will be more than happy to investigate your website, and provide you with an audit free of charge. Alternatively, give us a call on 01273 478822 to speak to us direct.