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Wednesday, October 19th, 2005

Google Jagger Update

 

In case you haven’t noticed, there is a fairly significant update happening at Google right now. As with all other major updates, Brett Tabke from WebmasterWorld has given it a name, Jagger.

Jagger is keeping true to previous Google updates and is wreaking havoc on the nerves of many webmasters, SEOs and small businesses who’s placements seem to have vanished overnight. Starting sometime over the weekend, Google started showing results that looked somewhat different from the results shown earlier.

The changes actually started with a string of back-link updates that began in early September and continued into the first week of October. Two weeks later, the information Google has in regards to links directed towards a specific website is likely different than the information it had two months ago. That is likely the cause of immediate changes to the SERPS.

The most important advice in dealing with any type of Jagger is simple; don’t panic.

Like temporary hearing loss, effects suffered by a visit of the Jagger Update will likely dissipate over time. What you are experiencing right now is the flash of the live-time update show in which everything is bigger (like the big-boxes who dominate the rankings right now), and badder (like the spam that rises to the surface before sinking).

Google updates happen in phases and tend to take a few weeks to fully work themselves out. If your website has suddenly lost rankings for no reason whatsoever, there is likely a simple explanation. It tends to happen during updates. More often than not, the site moves itself back up again as it and its document histories are reweighed against sites with similarly themed content.

During the infamous Florida Update , the StepForth site dropped to the mid 100′s and then to the 1000′s before bobbing back up to the #6 spot it holds today.

That’s not to say a sudden loss of ranking is ok by any stretch. If your site loses its placement overnight, there might be a problem it shares with other sites that lost placements at the same time.

According to Google Engineer Matt Cutts , the changes stem from a series of back-link updates starting in early September. Obviously, that’s where we are looking when investigating client sites that have been adversely affected by this phase of the update. We have noticed that some clients sharing similar outbound link pages have dropped in rankings. While stopping short of advising clients to immediately remove those pages, we are looking very closely at the link-paths established by our clients to try to judge how Google is looking at those links.

We hope to have concrete information to print in our blog in coming days but it will take a while to really see how Jagger is going to play out. In the meantime, we will have advice for our clients in coming days.


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