Google Ranking Flux Probably Just A Hiccup

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Everybody stay calm. Go on with your usual SEO business. What looked like a President’s Day weekend Google algorithm update was most like a tiny ripple in cyberspace.

A handful of bloggers were asking "did you see that?" referring to a sudden, and brief, fluctuation in keyword positioning in the Google search results. SEObook’s Aaron Wall begins the discussion:

[A] number of keywords I watch I have seen large authority sites get demoted in favor of smaller niche players with spammy keyword rich backlink profiles. I am seeing things like spammy new(ish) lead generation sites outranking fortune 500s and long standing industry association sites.

Commentators in the peanut gallery say they saw it too as positions slipped from the top to as far as ten pages down and then returned to normal, as if it were just a Google hiccup. Many suspect it was a "data refresh" rather than a full update.

Michael of GoogleOrganic.com submits:

[I]f it was an update there would be serious movements on these keywords for me by now. With that said a data refresh would seem possible.

I have noticed over a long period of time that while a data refresh is very important, it usually goes through a "cycling" period with minimal shifting, but seems to "bounce back" to a more normal flux within a week.

But commentator "Cygnus," thinks it’s more specific:

I see a few things that can probably be summed up as one change…the sandbox/trustbox was modified to be less restrictive on age and theme. I’m betting it’ll tighten up again, but hopefully just on the theme.

To me, this was their way of tackling the ever-growing .edu spam. A lot of that is gone from some of the SERPs I watch.

Well, whatever it was, it’s over and everybody can get back to their Anna Nicole Circus coverage.

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Google Ranking Flux Probably Just A Hiccup
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