Google Algo Update (January 2016)
While the doom-and-gloom crowd predicted a Penguin update before the online shopping season of 2015 and a significant shift in the SERPs as a result, that never materialized (it never does before a holiday).
Reports emerged over this past weekend, however, that Google did finally roll out an update; not an update of Penguin (which impacts links specifically) as many anticipated, but rather an update of its core algorithm and the impact on search rankings seems to be quite substantial according to early reports.
Most of us live in a very white-hat world and don't panic at the thought of an update. We're good stewards of our brands (and aren't trying to manipulate ranking and site position through unnatural backlink profiles - or any other grey or black hat tactic). We're playing by the rules and for the most part can be confident that we are immune to the problems others so routinely experience. The same should hold true for this update too.
Change has come though and it will likely bring with it some interesting developments (perhaps greater real-time capabilities) that those responsible for search engine optimization must be familiar with in the coming weeks and months.
While the exact modifications Google made are not known at this point, Web professionals should commit (if they have not already) to monitoring the SERPs regularly and being proactive about acquiring useful links, developing compelling and engaging content and creating the best possible experience for users. That's the only way to achieve sustainable 'Net success.
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