Google has made too many significant changes in their algorithm in the last three weeks. It all started with the Google Panda Update 20 on September 27, 2012. This is the 20th update of Google Panda since it’s first update on February 24, 2011(which impacted 11.8% of English search queries). Google confirmed that the new Panda algorithm update is not just a data refresh but an algorithm update.
This was one of the major Panda update as it impacted 2.4% of English search queries and a smaller impact in other languages (for example, 0.5% in French and Spanish).
New exact-match domain (EMD) algo affects 0.6% of English-US queries to a noticeable degree. Unrelated to Panda/Penguin.
— Matt Cutts (@mattcutts) September 28, 2012
Then, Google announced the Exact Match Domain(EMD) update on September 28, 2012 that is targeted to remove the low-quality exact match domain sites from ranking well and higher in Google search.
So, if you see any changes in your traffic around September 27 or 28 – chances are that your site has been punished by any of these updates.
Then came the Google Penguin Update 3 on October 5, 2012 that will impact search queries across multiple languages including 0.3% in English. This is the third update of Google Penguin since it’s first update on April 24, 2012(which impacted 3.1% of English search queries).
Google confirmed that it’s just a data refresh of Penguin algorithm and not an algorithm update.
Minor weather report: Update of goo.gl/OpIDL launching today. ~0.7% of English queries noticeably affected.
— Matt Cutts (@mattcutts) October 9, 2012
The most recent change is Top Heavy Update 2 which was rolled out on October 9th, 2012 which impacted 0.7% of English search queries. Top Heavy update, which was first announced in January, 2012 is targeted at web pages with too many ads “above the fold,” also known as Google’s ‘Page Layout’ algorithm.
Apart from these changes, Google also announced changes in their YouTube algorithm last week. YouTube will now reward videos with higher engagement in their search rather than videos with just more clicks.
So, if you see changes in your web traffic in the last three weeks – your site is most likely affected by any of these changes. In that case – you can follow our guide about “How To Survive Any Google Panda or Penguin Updates”.