When Barry asked me about “position 6″ in late December, I said that I didn’t know of anything that would cause that. But about a week or so after that, my attention was brought to something that could exhibit that behavior.
We’re in the process of changing the behavior; I think the change is live at some datacenters already and will be live at most data centers in the next few weeks.
So everything is fine now. Matt penalizes the position-six software glitch, and lost top positions will revert to their former rankings in a while. Well, not really. Nobody will compensate income losses, nor the time Webmasters spent on forums discussing a suspected penalty that actually was a bug or a weird side effect. However, kudos to Google for listening to concerns, tracking down and fixing the algo. And thanks for the update, Matt.
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