Zineb Ait Bahajji (in French), Gary Illyes and John Mueller of Google have confirmed on Twitter that what webmasters were seeing over the weekend was not the Penguin update we are expecting, but rather a core ranking algorithm update.
On Friday, I noticed early signs of an update, and then, over the weekend, I called this a “massive update.” I asked Google for confirmation, and on Twitter they confirmed it was a core ranking algorithm update.
Google rarely confirms core algorithm updates. They did confirm one back in May 2015 for us, but it is rare that they confirm these. So it is a big thing for Google to go on record that this update webmasters were seeing was related to the core update.
Webmasters are still waiting for the Penguin update that was delayed and expected to be pushed sometime during this month. So there was a lot of confusion, with SEOs and webmasters thinking this update was Penguin-related.
But the signs didn’t point to Penguin; it seemed more core search- or Panda-related. Now we know it was core search, and potentially also Panda, which is now baked into the core search algorithm. More on that in a few minutes over here.