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One of the recurring themes I’ve been seeing in the past few months, comes from web publishers trying to confirm when and where Google updates actually happen. This type of thing has been going on for years and it’s not a new topic, what is new is that Google is now confirming that there is a lot of contradictory information out there, making things more difficult for everyone. Having been around for a few years, I’d like to provide a little perspective on the current situation.

What is a Google Update

There’s a phrase from Cool Hand Luke that sums up this situation, “what we’ve got here is a failure to communicate”, or put more simply, we aren’t speaking the same language as Google. To Google the word “Update” has a very specific meaning, most likely it means a deliberate change to the way things are ranked in the SERPs. What it doesn’t mean, is a change to the underlying data that is used in the algorithm, that results in a change in the SERPs. Google is constantly crawling the web, seeing new pages, new links, new social activity, new user data, link rot, disappearing content, and hundreds of other factors, and making ranking adjustments based on those factors.


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