You have undoubtedly heard about the Penguin algorithm update from Google and the effects it has already to have on rankings. There is increasing speculation around the Google webmaster forums that another update has just been rolled out.
Scattered communications from Google seem to indicate that this is not a new update being rolled out, and that it is not a Panda refresh either.
Regardless, there have been many reports in the forums discussing major ranking fluctuations during the last 24 hours. One user details the steps he took to recover after being hit by the latest update stating:
"I had around 30 sites hit by Penguin on the 24/4, yesterday the first one resurfaced back to number 2 for its keywords which is encouraging."
"What did I do – the site was just 15 pages, the inner pages were all thin content boiler plate stuff, so I deleted them all to see what would happen and left the home page which is 500 words of original content."
"Links – did i touch incoming links, no I am going to try anchor text dilution on some other sites where I suspect this problem but did not create any more links on the recovered site."
Barry Schwartz is in the process of contacting Google for clarification on weather this is an isolated incident related to Mother’s Day search skewing traffic and rankings or is it a legitimate algorithm change.
As with the Panda updates, several more iterations of the Penguin algorithm are inevitable and will certainly cry havoc on many sites over the coming months.
While Google retains its standoffish approach to divulging information to the public, it is comforting to have someone like Mr. Schwartz advocating on behalf of the confused millions left to the mercies of the Google gods.