As far as Google’s major updates are concerned, the search engine has, for some time now, been relatively quiet.
Until last weekend.
News of the interstitial update (to be rolled out in January 2017) hit the marketing community not too long ago, and in the meantime, marketers have this little upheaval to get their heads around. The difference between this and the interstitial update is that Google haven’t given anyone any idea of what this one actually is.
Google tend to keep algorithm updates quiet these days, all as a result of shifting from once large, relatively centralised algorithms to what Michael Gray terms “lots of little formulas that are built into one big result”. Interestingly, John Mueller has openly stated that this is not a Penguin update or refresh as has been speculated. A number of marketers are already assuming it has something to do with Rankbrain. So far, the update appears to have largely affected European search results, with roll-outs to the US happening slightly later.
What do we think it is? Similar to everything that Google does, they certainly aren’t forthcoming with their information. Trying to establish the inner workings of the world’s most advanced search engine without actually working there is nigh-on impossible even with exhaustive external testing and data. As far as our own clients are concerned, we have (fortunately!) seen relatively positive movements so far (data from Moz).
We’ll aim to do a follow-up post later this month once the dust has settled, to see if there are any further changes.