December 27 & 28 Update Likely Just Corrections

by Clint Butler, Digitaleer

(SEO This Week) - There have been rumblings in some SEO circles that there was possibly another update on or around the 27th of December.

Truth be told, this kind of thing isn't new, rather it should be expected at this point.

Google's update process has been the same for years. First, they roll out an update in an obscure version of the search engine, i.e. overseas. They are looking to see if there are issues with the algo that need to be addressed.

Then, they launch the update in the US, specifically, for They then use the quality raters to determine the quality of the search results. i.e. did what happened with the search results do what we expected it to do? If the answer is no, they go in and fix it.

But it's not real-time, they have to wait for the changes to get applied to a lot of different search results to see if the issue is sitewide or if it's unique to a couple of keywords.

So what we've been seeing is, Google will launch an update, it will get propagated through the datacenters and search results, and then they will fix issues. This typically is a month-long process.

Ted Kubaitis of has put together a visualization and analysis tool of all the SEO weather tools into a simple curated graph that better identifies changes in the search results.

In the graph, we can see the visualization of the November Core update and the December Product Review update. The lull we see on and around Christmas indicates when the Google team was not applying fixes as the update propagated throughout the search terms.

So when we see changes on the 27th and 28th of December, it makes sense that the Google team is back at work and applying more fixes from the two previous updates. Of course, these fixes have to propagate through the datacenters as well then get applied to searches, so this "storm" in the search results seems to continue for quite some time.

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