SEOs reported a major update that seemed to strongly favor big brands. Matt Cutts called Vince a “minor change”, but others felt it had profound, long-term implications. This time, real-time search was for real- Twitter feeds, Google News, newly indexed content, and a number of other sources were integrated into a real-time feed on some SERPs.
Google announced they would be encrypting search queries, for privacy reasons. Unfortunately, this disrupted organic keyword referral data, returning “” for some organic traffic. Google rolled out another post-“flux” Panda update, which appeared to be relatively minor. This came just 3 days after the 1-year anniversary of Panda, an unprecedented lifespan for a named update.
MozCast and other tools tracked a massive, multi-day spike that kicked off around May 17th. This preceded a sustained period of high algorithmic flux that may not have settled down for months. Rankings showed a spike in volatility around February 20th, which quickly settled down, sometimes signalling a targeted algorithm update.
The timing was unclear, but it seemed to roll out just prior to Penguin 2.0 in the US and possibly the same day internationally. After months of speculation bordering on hype, the 4th Penguin update (dubbed “2.0” by Google) arrived with only moderate impact. The exact nature of the changes were unclear, but some evidence suggested that Penguin 2.0 was more finely targeted to the page level. This was not the “everflux” many people had expected after Panda #25.
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