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In continuation to the conversation Mihai Aperghis had with John Mueller of Google about the Google core update timing, Mihai asked about why are some Google algorithm updates bold and jarring when they roll out and others more smooth. He compared the old Panda and Penguin updates that would show huge changes in a site’s rankings in a few day period compared to now where you see a slow gradual impact over weeks.

John said some algorithm updates just work that way in that if Google can smooth them out more gradually over time and make it less jarring for searchers and webmasters, they would. But not all the updates currently work that way. John said while he personally prefers a more smoothed out roll out, there are benefits of a jarring update so you know what your site was impacted by.

The conversation was extremely good, so let me share the back and forth and embed the video below:

Mihai: Just curious if these kind of updates are needed because there’s no system to kind of do this automatically ongoing. So is it like sort of the pan old Panda and Penguin updates where you kind of needed to aggregate a lot of data then kind of crunch it and then push the results into Google. And then you kind of transitioned into doing that kind of ongoing automatically. Is it kind of the same with the Core Updates.

John: I don’t think you can really compare those that well, so that’s that’s kind of one thing. The other thing is a lot of times within Core Updates we’ll have bigger algorithmic changes. So it’s not so much that we’re like changing, I don’t know, the PageRank of all of these pages kind of thing but rather we’re kind of making bigger algorithmic changes in the way that our systems show things in the search results. So it’s something where like if you change the algorithms between, with regards to how we rank things in search then sometimes you you just have kind of that jarring jump from one change to the other.

Mihai: But are these changes related to what happened between these months from the past Core Update to this one. I mean does it take any data based on you know crawling data indexing data, anything like that in order to kind of judge what the changes should be in the next Core Update?

John: I don’t know how to best answer that because I mean we do look at what what has been happening over time and it’s something where we we obviously look at the data that we’ve collected until then. And we we try to use some of that with with the next algorithmic changes. And for bigger algorithmic changes we

I don’t know, I generally prefer if we could do these algorithms a little bit smoother in that there isn’t this jarring jump from one to the other. But sometimes that’s just the way that it works out.

Mihai: This is why I was comparing to the Panda and Penguin algorithms because there was also that kind of big change overnight. So this is why I was wondering if it’s something like that in the sense that you are planning to smooth out these changes so it’s more an ongoing thing rather than all of a sudden.

John: I mean if it’s if it were just a matter of changing like the PageRank values or something like that then that’s something where you can smooth that out and easily kind of spread that out over the course of a couple weeks or so and so that it doesn’t like look that jarring. I think, I mean, sometimes also having a jarring change is useful for site owners because then you can understand a little bit where things have changed. But I know I generally prefer when things are smoothed out.

Mihai: One last thing. So are are these changes usually related to kind of you understanding the data better or are they more related to maybe we should weigh this factor a bit more or this factor a bit less. Or are is it kind of the same but oh now we better understand what this I don’t know page is about or something like that.

John: I think all of that comes together. I think there are always so many factors that are involved with with these algorithmic changes, so it’s always tricky.

Here is the video embed at the start time, which is 42:44 mark:

Forum discussion at Twitter.

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