All is not well in the SEO land as forums and Twitter community is going berserk with reports of SERP fluctuations and dramatic fall in keyword rankings on January 17, 2013. While most of the fluctuation reports are coming from UK, webmasters from other parts of the world too are crying foul. The web melee created from such reports has started talk about the next big Google update.
On being approached by a news based website (Search Engine Roundtable), Google refused any direct association of reported fluctuations with Panda or Penguin. The point Google made in its brief response was that they introduce more than 500 algorithmic changes per year. In such a scenario, it is hard to point finger on one specific update.
Some webmasters are holding EMD update responsible but, clearly, it is difficult to come to a consensus in such a scenario. Interestingly, automated monitoring tools don’t show any major fluctuation but if one looks at the stream of comments on blogs and forums, it is hard to believe nothing has happened.
Comment section of SEO blogs are laden with reports of ranking loss from disgruntled web users.
In the entire ruckus, two observations clearly stand out;
First, ranking-loss reports from country specific websites
Second, downward plunge of keywords with bulky backlink work
There are plenty reasons to believe that website owners of UK have witnessed the strongest SEO tectonic shifts. While the loss suffered may be hard to calculate, there is plenty of remorse in the business world.
Such an outcry at the very beginning of 2013 is perhaps a wake-up call for websites that depend heavily on link building work to rethink their SEO strategy. Keeping focus on web page elements and making them keyword relevant could be a better approach to protect one’s website from such fluctuations.
So, is it a sign of Google’s upcoming update or just good old Panda, Penguin and EMD? Hard to tell at present but FATbit will keep you posted as our web experts analyze incoming reports.