Google Algorithm Updates – What You Need to Know

Posted by on Friday, February 19th, 2016 at 10:29 am

Google Panda UpdateIn the last few weeks, did you notice your rankings change or fluctuate in search results? This may have been thanks to another sweep of Google core algorithm updates.


Core algorithm changes happen often and typically go unnoticed, but this round was different. Many feared this may be the long-awaited Penguin roll out which was delayed from its expected arrival at the end of 2015 and moved to an unknown date in 2016. Google clarified on Twitter that the fluctuations in January had nothing to do with the Penguin rollout. They were merely more core algorithm changes.


What Do I Need to Know About the Recent Updates?


While many were left questioning why these changes were happening, Google offered some clarification a week later by announcing Panda was officially added to the core algorithm. However, this doesn’t mean the fluctuations we saw in the last few weeks were related to this update.


Wait, what? We know that answer may leave further questions, but continue reading and we’ll help explain.


What Is the Core Algorithm Again?


Google’s core algorithm is a family of working algorithms that are tested, proven, and given the Google stamp of approval to function well on their own. When an algorithm joins the core (in this recent case, Panda), it means it’s considered solid and consistent. Google won’t spend time making further updates to it very often. They trust it works well on its own.


Why Is It Difficult to Track and Understand Google Changes?


In the land of Google, they don’t work in real time. They’re consistently making changes and tweaks to algorithms which may fall under experiments, samples, or broader updates. These changes or tweaks often occur daily, weekly, and monthly. Some algorithms experience updates and may not see another update until months or years later, as was the case with Penguin.


Sporadic updates and changes of this nature leave many companies on careful watch. As Google has information, they’ll do their best to share it. But it’s difficult to pinpoint which update caused a ripple effect when multiple changes or updates are made daily.


What Does This Mean for Me?


If you noticed a dip in rankings during the month of January, check to make sure your site is up to Google standards for speed, usability, mobile capabilities, proper links, good content, etc. Extreme fluctuations in rankings that didn’t bounce back may mean updates to your site is necessary.


Keep in mind, Google is working hard to make a better online search experience for all of us. These updates may affect rankings now, but they’re being made to improve overall user experience. In turn, it rewards those who are using honest SEO methods and weeds out companies using black hat methods.


As updates continue to occur, we’ll keep you up to speed with the information you need to know. If you’re experiencing a significant decrease in your search rankings, give us a call. At Digital C4, we specialize in helping companies gain a better web presence through Google-approved SEO methods and rich content.


Jason Nuss

Jason is a co-founding principal at Digital C4 and brings more than 15 years of agency experience to the table. He’s an entrepreneur with experience building companies from the ground up. Jason can be reached through his LinkedIn profile,, and he encourages you to leave a comment below to enter into the conversation.