Unconfirmed Google Algorith Update

On Friday there seemed to be some movement within many tracked rankings. My automated tracking software was sending me alerts every few hours, so as you can imagine, my inbox was rather full come Monday morning. It seems I wasn’t the only one to notice these changes as there is chatter in the SEO forums, so it seems like we had some sort of unconfirmed update.  

Earlier this month, on April 22nd The Product Review Update completed rollout so perhaps these fluctuations are due to this. However, it does not seem likely. The chatter caused by Friday’s change is definitely louder than that of the Product Review Update, so personally, I feel the two are not related. 

It does seem that Google is not indexing certain content recently, though I have not encountered this issue personally so I cannot guarantee who or what this is affecting.

2 days ago a webmaster on Reddit was complaining that the Google Search Console feature-   Request Indexing was “not working” Gary Illyes of Google, replied to the comment saying that the feature does work but even if you “request” the indexing, Google might not index the page. This is a blow to SEO’s as this means we can no longer guarantee to speed up the process of getting new landing pages indexed. 

Illyes explained it as “mind you, it’s not a guarantee. the content still has to pass quality checks to get selected for indexing.” Perhaps this is why certain pages are struggling to get indexed in a timely manner. Maybe this update impacted what Google will index and the quality threshold was changed? Of course at this point this merely my own guesswork and speculation. 

Here are screenshots from the tracking tools; most show changes as early as the 22nd or 23rd. 

As Barry Schwartz of SEO Roundtable highlighted, last saturday was the 9 year anniversary of the Google Penguin Update – is that just a coincidence?

So what is going on:

Honestly, at this time it is unclear,  I doubt that the current movements are related to the Google Product Review Update. I suspect it is a Quality change google has made that may impact indexing as well as the local search side of rankings as well. As of yet all of these changes are unconfirmed by Google and seems to be mostly affecting the US SERPs.

I will post updates here once I know more.

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