There are a few sites we watch to track Google algorithm updates. One of them is called Algoroo. Watching algo changes is a great way to keep an eye on what Google has been tweaking to improve the results and defeat spammers. It was a way to judge what Google likes and what they do not. When we would see a spike in flux we would evaluate the SERPs to see what sites come and go with different changes, evaluate those sites and discern which algo tweaks are being made and to what degree a particular algo update impacts the results. Google would often release something draconian then scale it back in a series of pendulum swings until they got it where they liked it. Until now the changes have been so drastic that it’s been fairly easy to tell what they were doing. It seems that all changed changed in January after three major spikes in SERP flux. Perhaps Google has eliminated the need for the pendulum-like testing of the results? If that’s the case, I’m sure they had one heck of a party because that’s a really big deal. I suspect that the huge unnamed, unannounced update in January that spiked bigger flux than anything ever recorded was them launching what’s in place now; a subtler much more refined Google. If that’s true, diagnostic / reverse-engineered SEO just got lot harder. You won’t really know where the cliff is until you fall over it. (no, we don’t spam, but it was really nice to know the limits)
The screenshots above were snapped on Algoroo.com Check out that page for an explanation of what you see in the graphs.