One of my sources has shown me that as of March 2018, Google is indeed testing an algorithm change.
This is a change which is not evident to most people in the SEO world as the algorithm is being tested outside of the United States. In fact, the testing is not affecting anyone in North America.
At the same time, the algorithm IS changing here but what we’re seeing here are just various quality tremors, not a major update which will get the SEO world excitedly trying to figure out which algorithm was tweaked.
Update: Within 24 hours of this post going live the March 2018 algorithm hit!
Fred or Penguin?
At the moment it is not known what type of algorithm change this is or when it will hit. Big algorithm changes could come in just days after this test, or the big rollout may not occur until November 2018.
Real Time Penguin
In 2016, Google announced that Penguin is now part of the “core” algorithm, meaning large changes are not “pushed” out in a single big event. However, it still makes sense that large shift may be felt if that portion of the algo is tweaked significantly.
Don’t sweat the algorithm
Algorithm changes are usually a good thing. As of 2018, I have seen a significant amount of sites ranking on page 1 which just shouldn’t be there. I personally welcome algorithm changes.
Additionally, the algorithm changes around 1,500 times each year.
If there is a large Fred or Penguin change that can be pinpointed I will update this article when the time comes.