It certainly wasn’t a calm year for webmasters from Google search engine and almost anybody who works from home has been affected this way or the other- Since the initial Panda launch in February, throughout all of its updates over the year until the latest Freshness update about a week ago. After all that, Is it possible that we are facing a new major algorithmic change soon?
There are many reports across the web, mostly in search engines forums, from people who are witnessing major traffic changes occasionally from Google referrals or seeing a very different search results pages in Google Web Search (again, very occasionally). Additionally, there are reports (including mine) of increased Googlebots crawling activity.
New Google Index?
In a Webmaster World thread (web professional forum), many users are reporting traffic changes that occurred on October 30th-31th and keeps ongoing from time to time, for example:
– “(On) October 30/31 something happened- traffic to my sites is down 15-20%…”
– “…Since the 31st or so, its (total site’s traffic) clearly up to 10-12% of the referrals from Google…”
– “I see a few significant changes in the UK today.”
Users are also posting they are seeing two different indexes (or more) and even interface/layout changes of the whole results page. Some of them claim that the changes are a great SERP’s improvement (highly filtering spam) and some claim the algorithm has no spam filter at all.
Increased Googlebots Crawling Activity
There are also many reports across many SEO forums from webmasters who seeing an increased Googlebots activity on their sites (which i can confirm as well). However, It might be related to the new Freshness update- Google crawl the web more to provide newer results faster. At any case, here’s my Googlebot crawl stats:
As you see, it is going a little crazy lately- Suddenly spikes, goes downs, spikes again…
The big questions are: Does Google is preparing for another major algorithmic changes or it is just the “regular” testing Google is making on a regular basis? It might be possible that many webmasters are just on edge after a volatile year and every little change/experiment is making them, well, edgy… But there is always a chance Google is preparing the next big thing…