Did Google fool us with a new update before April Fools Day?

In Google Update

There are times when Google search results seem contentious and recently, we had a small glimmer of light when we found many of our in-house and client projects showing positive signs of recovery during the last week of March ’14. So this begs the question – Did Google roll out its new algorithmic update or did our SEO efforts finally started bearing fruit?

We noticed some anomalous spikes in organic and visitor traffic in one of our client sites in March ’14, just before the April Fools Day. The positive signs remained so for a week, before everything went back to normal. Our doubts were solidified when we saw a similar trend in many of our client projects as well. Consider the following Google Analytics data, it belongs to one of our most important projects–

Organic Traffic – March 2014


Visitor Traffic – March 2014


Notice the unnatural spikes after March 22, 2014 that eventually dropped back to the normal situation on March 29, 2014.

This begs the big question – Did Google roll out its new algorithmic update, before removing it a week later?

Well, I’m not sure but we found similar data for our own website as well. After handling 500+ projects, our SEO experts are certain that something is definitely going on at the Google headquarters. The same thing happened when Hummingbird was rolled last year, and empirical data suggests that Google could have tested a new stuff or an algorithmic, albeit just for a week.

Many keywords that were non existent on the SERPs, emerged during this period and are still showing good signs of recovery. I’m not sure just what triggered their arrival back in the Google rankings, but something definitely was going on. To be honest, we had lost all hope in recovering ranking on these keywords, but it is still hard to crack the nutshell- just what Google did that affected rankings and organic traffic during the last week of March ’14?

From both the graphs you can see that post March 22, there is an uncharacteristic rise in organic and inbound visitor traffic. It may be possible that something we did that triggered such response, but when we look at our projects that are handled by different teams and managers, they all witnessed similar spikes.

We have dealt with a great number of cases, situations, Google penalties and recoveries. Hence, if Google has something up its sleeve then we know the best way is to stay proactive and ready for everything. Empirical data suggests things differently, so we checked data from MozCast and SERPmetrics.

Like most avid SEO enthusiasts, I have developed a great deal of liking for the MozCast and SERPmetrics. Hence, if something contentious appears in the SEO arena, MozCast is the place to be for getting a clearer idea if anything is happening in the real global scene. Please notice the screenshot of today’s MozCast report below.

In this image, there are unusual spikes after in the last week of March before everything is settling to normal. All this action before April 1, begs the question – Why and Does Google really has something profoundly effective towards altering search rankings in its kitty?


Now consider this sinusoidal SERPmetrics Google’s first page flux for the past 30 days. The variations seem ominous.


It is still too early to comment on whether Google is ready with its new algorithmic update or not. But looking at the signs, even if they seem like a long shot at the moment, we have to pull up our socks and stay ready for everything that is about to come our way. The best part is that we have found those signals with positive signs so far, and if all goes smooth at Google’s end, SEOs will finally catch a good round of sleep!

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