In a Google Webmaster Hangout, Google’s John Mueller was asked if Google did a “heavy” update in February or March. There has been much anecdotal evidence of some kind of search results updates happening in February, particularly around the data of Valentines Day. John Mueller seemed to confirm that something happened to those who felt it. But he did not state that an update actually happen.
Did Google Update it’s Algorithm in February and March?
The question asked was direct:
“Did Google do any heavy updates in February or March?”
John Mueller’s answer was ambiguous:
“I don’t know.”
One would assume that someone who works at Google would know if something big had happened. It seems that most times, Googler’s simply say yes or no. To say that they don’t know is a little different.
John Mueller then followed up with this clarification:
“I mean, we do updates all the time. I don’t know what you would consider heavy.
It probably depends on your website. If your website was strongly affected by one of these updates, you probably think it’s pretty heavy.”
So now he was classifying any changes as part of the normal series of updates to the algorithm that happen all the time. But I have to say that the amount of changes people are seeing does not seem like part of the normal kind of update. It really does feel to a great many people as if something has changed.
John Mueller then stated that no update has happened:
“If we look at the web overall, maybe this is just like normal changes as they always happened.”
What is this Update People are Seeing?
Google has said that they aren’t doing anything out of the ordinary. I tend to believe this. Part of what is ordinary is testing a new algorithm. Could it be that Google is testing something new? Or are web publishers gas lighting each other?
There are three possibilities to explain what publishers are seeing:
Google is rolling out changes to it’s algorithm.
Google is testing a new algorithm.
Nothing extraordinary has happened. It’s just the normal changes that Google makes on a daily basis.
Watch the Webmaster Hangout here.
Screenshots by Author, Modified by Author