There may or may not have been a Google algorithm update or refresh last week.

Google keeps quiet on algorithm update

to read

Matt Cutts TweetLast Thursday, December 13, 2012, webmasters and SEO experts claimed Google unveiled a new and major algorithm or index update. According to many sources, the update was thought to be the size of something like Panda or Penguin, but new reports suggest the event didn’t have anything to do with either of the animal-themed algorithms.

A Google spokesperson confirmed to Search Engine Land that the earlier reports were false and that no Panda refresh occurred on or around that date. Nevertheless, sources like Search Engine Land still believe an adjustment of some kind happened, with tools from MozCast, SERPmetrics and all showing changes. Matt Cutts also suggested it was a separate algo change via Twitter (see right).

This isn’t the first time Google has forgotten to report the weather. Back in November, Google quietly unveiled Panda 22, and waited to tell anyone until people started asking detailed questions. More, Brafton has reported that Google rolls out one to two algorithms per day, and many are not officially reported.

With ranking algorithm changes happening at a steady pace, business owners should remember to evaluate their search marketing and content marketing campaigns. Professionals shouldn’t wait until Google releases a new algorithm or refresh to make sure their strategies follow white hat SEO guidelines.

Ted Karczewski
Ted Karczewski is an Executive Communications Associate at Brafton. He works to develop his own voice and apply his passions to the evolving world of SEO and content marketing, but he doesn't shy away from writing for fun. After graduating from Suffolk University, Ted used his Communications degree to test out Sports Journalism before Marketing at Brafton.


  • RizzoMB

    Quite Positive there was an update, saw 27% decline in a site I follow. Surprised Google hasn’t said why.

    • TedKarczewski

      Thanks for the comment RizzoMB.

      I agree that the fluctuations in both traffic and PageRank had to be from some kind of update, especially with sites noting such significant changes. While Cutts (above) said it wasn’t a Panda update, he also noted that Google releases ~500 algos a year, and the company doesn’t comment on everyone. I would say that it’s safe to assume some type of update was introduced or at least tested, and we can expect more to come our way in the future.

      Thanks for reading!

      Ted Karczewski

  • Ranking Signals

    Multiple people have alerted us to significant changes in website traffic (that appear to be unrelated to the season). Some initial data we’ve seen suggests that sites with a high percentage of keyword rich anchor links (vs. branded terms) experienced the most significant drop.

    • Springboard SEO

      That data is based on the multiple people that alerted you, or do you compile your data independently?

  • Product Photography

    Sometimes silence tells a lot of things. There are always changing in algorithm and its really tough to follow all of them.