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Google Remains Vague Regarding Possibility of Several Algorithm Updates

After nearly a week of turmoil, Google has finally broken its silence about a potential algorithm update by confirming that an update did in fact take place. Well, sort of.

Google didn’t exactly come out of the woodworks to announce an algorithm update, however, Google Public Search Liaison, Danny Sullivan, responded to a discussion on Twitter by stating:

So, while Sullivan didn’t outright say that an update took place this week, by linking to a previous Twitter thread from the Google Search Liaison account confirming several updates that had taken place back in November, he potentially revealed some insight into the reasoning behind Google’s silence this week. Confused yet?

The thread stated that:

“Sometimes, a particular update might be broadly noticeable. We share about those when we feel there is actionable guidance for content owners. For example, when our Speed Update happened, we gave months of advanced notice and advice….If we don’t share about them, there is no particular actionable guidance to follow nor changes to make other than to keep focused on great content.”

So, What Does This All This Mean?

So, what can we gather from all this?

Based on the series of Google Search Liaison Tweets and Sullivan’s comments, it would seem that several updates rolled out this week, causing rankings to fluctuate like crazy. However, Google didn’t feel the need to announce them like they would with a broad core algorithm update.

What appears to be confusing about Google’s “stance” is that there was a very noticeable impact noticed by many within the SEO community along ranking tools which reported serious fluctuations since last weekend. And especially considering the fact that this supposed update has lasted longer than most previous unconfirmed updates.

Adding further insult to injury is the fact that there really isn’t anything actionable you can do to offset the impact of the updates, except continue to produce quality content.

So, what gives?

Barry Schwartz from Search Engine Round Table has some theories, stating that this could have either been a search algorithm update unrelated to the core updates or just a bug released somewhere that was reverted.

Either way, Google is remaining tight lipped and has provided no other information to squash the rumours, so we’ll never really know what actually happened, except for the fact thank ranking tools went wild across the board.