Google confirms updates to their core search ranking algorithm

January 12, 2016

Google high-ups Zineb Ait Bahajji, Gary Illyes and John Mueller sounded off on Twitter today to acknowledge that that some changes in search rankings over the weekend weren’t an accident, just business as usual.

Google frequently updates their core search algorithm, but rarely do they confirm that a change has been made on a specific date. In this case, Zineb Ait Bahajji was asked specifically what Google planned to name this update. Would it be an update to Penguin, as some SEOs had anticipated? Would Google pick a new alliterative animal to represent a new type of ranking factor?

Zineb Ait Bahajji responded on Twitter with the phrase “pas de nom. Il s’agit simplement d’une de fréquentes quality updates,” which roughly translated, means “no name. It’s simply one of many frequent quality updates.”


Gary Illyes and John Mueller then confirmed speculation resulting from this tweet that a change had indeed been made over the weekend.


So what’s inside of this “core algo update,” as Gary Illyes so eloquently put it?

Probably not Penguin, for one thing. Since most SEOs have been waiting for a significant Penguin update, it’s almost certain that they would have called it as such, instead of calling it a – and we’re gonna use it again – a “core algo update.”

Barry Schwartz noted that it looked like a “massive” update at the end of the day on Friday, but at the moment it seems to be much smaller, and more focused on quality of content.

While it’s definitely a big enough change to get a confirmation from Google, it at least doesn’t seem to be big or threatening enough for Google to warn us about ahead of time, like they did with their Quality update and Mobile Friendly update earlier last year.

We’re currently analyzing our client’s traffic to determine for ourselves what has changed.

Stay tuned for more updates!

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