Has there been a major update in Google?

By | November 7, 2010

Has Google updated its algorithm in a big way recently? This is a question being asked by many webmasters ever since Oct 21 and continuing right up till today. In the more than two weeks period, many webmasters have noticed a few things going on with Google that may indicate something big went on behind the scenes.

For starters, many sites were not indexed or lost their number of indexed pages sometime beginning around Oct 21. I’ve certainly experienced this when some sites of mine that used to be crawled and indexed very quickly now take a day or two to get indexed. While Google certainly wasn’t “broken,” it certainly made for a catchy headline. This glitch was admitted by Google (and also claimed to have been resolved) at their webmaster forum.

Since then, crawling and indexing has more or less improved back to pre Oct 21 levels. But the number of reduced indexation reported by many still seems to be maintained, and some sites still report a few days before their new pages are indexed.

While the glitch improved, many sites reported big drops in traffic after their pages dropped in Google’s search results (SERP) ranking starting around Oct 29. This wasn’t isolated, but seemed to affect many sites across the Web. Even the guys at Alexa confirmed this too, although you’d need to be aware that when some rankings drop, others go up to take their places, so it is all relative in the end. Those whose traffic dropped would certainly be more likely to report it compared to those whose traffic went up.

What’s odd is some old and large sites got dropped for many of their search terms; there seems to be a preference in Google now for big labels and brands to be listed nearer the top, phasing out many small and “thin” sites that Google possibly now considers redundant. These changes indicate some kind of update with Google (that is probably here to stay). Whether it is still an ongoing glitch or a definite update, remains to be seen in the coming months.

The take home message? If you’re depending on Google (as virtually all webmasters are), you have to get used to these Google quirks, and roll with the punches – It’s a given. If you’re a webmaster, your focus should always be on creating useful, accurate, and engaging content; that’s about all you can do to stay as close to the “middle zone” as far as is possible.

Share This: