As usual, this past week has had SEOs on edge as there was speculation of some turbulent search engine results. With Mozcast forecasting stormy weather and some webmasters reporting an increase in rankings, it was hard to tell if an official update had indeed rolled out. But as Matt Cutts revealed, this wasn’t actually a Google Panda update.
This slight update was meant to return diversity of domains in search result. Previously for example, some users complained as they searched for a term like “vacation in England”, search results returned contained links that were nearly all from the same domain. Check out an example here.
To be fair to users and businesses, it makes sense that this diversity update has rolled out. But it’s a shame that it couldn’t have happened sooner. Reported upticks in traffic or search queries could be explained as more sites are showing up on the first page of results that were previously dominated by major players. Bigger brands were more likely to receive these favorable search results, not to mention that it helped them when Google is/was experimenting with displaying 7 results per page instead of 10. On the other hand, businesses who were benefiting from less-diversified results could not be suffering from more competition.
It’s been 145 days and counting since Penguin first rolled out and the second update is definitely welcomed by some, who have been working fervently to regain their rankings. However, the next update is sure to be feared by most. We’ll just have to wait and see!