Unconfirmed Google updates…what causes them?


This week, Google celebrated Valentines Day with an unconfirmed search algorithm update. Various tools which track changes in the search results reported a high level of volatility, although there was no confirmation from Google that there was an update under way. It is quite common to notice an increase in the volatility of the search results when an update is rolling, as Google only confirms the update once its effects start becoming noticeable.

However, what’s happening when an update is never confirmed by Google? The reality is that Google launches hundreds of updates to its search algorithms every year, practically on a daily basis. Many are relatively small and most won’t be noticed by users. A recent comment by Gary Illyes from Google was very interesting when he stated that very often when public search monitoring tools report big changes in the search results, they don’t align with any significant updates that Google has made. In other words, they don’t know why these tools would be reporting any major changes in the results. They remain a mystery…even to Google!


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