It’s only fair that I start off by saying that this post is somewhat speculative and it’s still way too early to definitively say what has actually happened here. However, we have been closely monitoring our SEO software, Horizon (you can read more about Horizon here), over the past few days and we’ve been noticing some significant ranking changes, largely across the retail sector.
My initial thoughts were that the latest Penguin update had FINALLY arrived, but it would seem that was merely wishful thinking. Penguin is still likely to update before the end of the year, that much is true, but these changes look to have been caused by a separate update altogether.
The following are visibility charts across a variety of different retail sectors.
*Please note, the charts below do not necessarily depict that of any of our clients.
My thoughts are that we could be seeing a further iteration of the “quality update” which Google pushed out earlier this year in May. That said, it seems odd that ecommerce brands are the only sites that appear to have experienced changes in visibility. I would rule out a Penguin update, Google haven’t announced the update, which would be unusual, and the “Penguin-prone” industries appear to remain unaffected.
Whatever it is, I’m expecting we’ll see further speculation in the coming days, and possibly even confirmation from Google as to what has changed. It’s worth noting that in previous years, Google have been known to release updates prior to a Penguin refresh. It’s looking likely that history might well repeat itself once again.
Have you noticed any ranking movements over the past few days? I’d love to your feedback so please feel free to drop me a comment below.