With Google’s extensive personalization of search results for users, it has gotten harder and harder to tell when a major shakeup happens thanks to changes to Google’s algorithms. That hasn’t stopped people from guessing a major algorithm shift has occurred when they notice significant changes to how sites are performing across the board.
This happened last week when many major authorities in SEO speculated Google unleashed a major algorithm update. Of course, Google won’t confirm that any major changes happened, but Webmaster Trends Analyst for Google, John Mueller, did take the time to remind everyone “we make changes almost every day.”
Yes, we make changes almost every day.
— 🍌 John 🍌 (@JohnMu) March 9, 2017
Google’s Gary Illyes took the stance even further, tweeting “we have 3 updates in a day average. I think it’s pretty safe to assume there was one recently…”
we have 3 updates a day in average. I think it's pretty safe to assume there was one recently…
— Gary "鯨理" Illyes (@methode) March 9, 2017
The truth is, the days of the major Google algorithms like Penguin and Panda upending the search world overnight are largely over. Instead, Google has shifted to a model of constant evolution, tweaking and changing things perpetually.
When there is a new important algorithm, such as recent mobile-friendliness algorithms, the company tends to warn businesses ahead of time. Even then, these recent algorithm updates have been benign, only affecting a small number of websites.
The best plan isn’t to be on constant watch for unannounced shifts, and react. Instead, take a proactive stance by making sure your site follows all of Google’s latest best practices and provides value to searchers. If you do that, you should make it through any changes Google throws at you any time soon.