Was There a Google Algorithm Update in December 2016?

We have been hearing rumblings that many websites are seeing a fluctuation in search traffic in late 2016. In fact, a number of the websites in which we have access to Google Analytics have seen an upward trend in monthly traffic in December. The exact date is hard to decipher but it looks like sometime between December 8th and December 15th websites started to see an adjustment in their search rankings. So, did Google release a new “p” named animal out into the wild? Is the Google pterodactyl algorithm update now flying around the web?

From what we have seen, there have definitely been some major adjustments in the search rankings. In fact, some of these rankings are eye opening. Websites we have never seen for specific keyword phrases are now on the front page. Remember, this is the time of year when Google plays around with the search rankings because they know most people are strictly searching for retail related keywords. This gives Google a chance to test out business professional or B2B keywords as a large majority of searches are not looking for an eye doctor right before Christmas.

With this in mind, don’t get too excited if your website has jumped from page 8 to page 1 in a matter of a week. This does not mean you are going to stay there. In fact, any drastic jump is a bit worrisome. Instead of thinking your company found the best SEO guy on the Internet you may have simply found a guy that has black hat or shady practices that helped you jump for a brief amount of time. Remember that one day, or one week, a trend does not make. A website needs to rank well for many months to feel secure that the SEO has been done correctly.

The best way to determine the strength of a website is by looking at the search traffic and the link portfolio. Both of these pieces of data can be accessed through the Google Search Console or the old Google Webmaster Tools. If your website search traffic and search impressions has been consistently increasing for the last 90 days your SEO team is doing something right. If there is a drastic move higher for no reason you will have to wait to see if the search rankings remain where they are.

If you have seen your search rankings drop and would like to see them increase feel free to reach out to us at jesse@wojdylosocialmedia.com. We can help you determine the cause for the drop in search rankings and assist you in getting more business from your website.


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