Google September 2022 Core Update
September 12, 2022
On September 12, Google announced the release of the “September 2022 Core Update”. The rollout will take two weeks.
Google Helpful Content Update
August 25, 2022
On August 25, Google announced the rollout of the “Helpful Content Update” has begun. The rollout has been completed by September 9, 2022.
» Google Helpful Content Update
Google May 2022 Core Update
May 22, 2022
After over a week of speculation from the SEO community, Google announced its May 2022 Core Update on May 25. 2022.
» Google May 2022 Core Update
Google December 2021 Product Reviews Update
December 1, 2021
On December 1st Google has announced that a December 2021 Product Reviews Update will be rolled out.
» Google Product Reviews Update December 2021
Google November 2021 Core Update
November 17, 2021
On November 17, 2021, Google announced that they were releasing a broad Core Update. According to Google the rollout has been completed by November 30th.
» Google November 2021 Core Update
Google June/July 2021 Core Update
July 1, 2021
The rollout of the second part of the Google June/July 2021 Core Update started on July 1st, 2021 and ended on July 12th.
» Google June/July 2021 Core Update
Google Page Experience Update
June 15, 2021
The rollout of the Page Experience Update and the introduction of the new user experience metrics Core Web Vitals began on June 15, 2021 – and, according to Google, will drag on for two and a half months and not be completed until the end of August 2021.
» Page Experience Update & Core Web Vitals
Google June/July 2021 Core Update
June 2, 2021
Google has announced a two-part summer update. After the June update we can see losers in the fields of Thin Content or YMYL. Some of the winning pages are older pages and some were losers in the past after the December or November 2020 updates.
» Google June 2021 Core Update
Google December 2020 Core Update
December 3, 2020
Google is announcing its third Core Update 2020, and we can see some clear shifts in rankings in typical areas related to E-A-T and content – music, health, news, and ecommerce.
» Google December 2020 Core Update
Google May 2020 Core Update
May 4, 2020
In the midst of the corona pandemic, Google is announcing its second Core Update 2020, and the changes resulting from this Core Update appear to affect many industries; from prescriptions to health to finance.
» Google May 2020 Core Update
Google January 2020 Core Update
January 13, 2020
The first official Core Update of 2020 was rolled out on 13th January 2020. There is not yet any information regarding its impact. With this update, Google continues its communication strategy of (pre-)announcing Core Updates on Twitter.
» Google Update January 2020
Google November Update 2019
November 7, 2019
Webmasters in the USA who run affiliate sites have observed massive changes in the travel, food and health sectors. Google has not commented on the changes, but SEO experts have described the update as “aggressive”.
» Google Update November 2019
Google BERT Update
October 24, 2019
It’s the biggest change to Google’s algorithm for five years, affecting one in ten search queries. With the Google BERT Update, Google aims to improve the interpretation of complex long-tail search queries and display more relevant search results.
» Google BERT Update
Google September 2019 Core Update
September 24, 2019
The September 2019 Core Update was rolled-out globally, starting on the 24th of September. This Google Update focused on improvements in the content quality in the SERPs. For the second time, Google pre-announced a core algorithm update in advance.
» Google September 2019 Core Update
Google Rich Snippet Review Update
September 18, 2019
Star-ratings for websites, which Google had previously shown in the SERPs, were drastically reduced. With the update, reviews are no longer displayed in the SERPs if generated by the websites themselves. Google called this a “self-serving” mark-up which was not adding value for users.
Google June 2019 Core Update
June 3, 2019
Google set a new precedent with its “June 2019 Core Update” by, for the first time in the history of Google Updates, announcing the roll-out of a major core algorithm change in advance. This update was the second major update of 2019 altering the core algorithm, and was rolled out on the 3rd of June, as preannounced.
» Google June 2019 Core Update
Google March 2019 Core Update
March 12, 2019
In this global core algorithm update, there were ranking shifts for keywords related to health and other sensitive topics. The algorithm was also adjusted to favor trust and expertise, as well as user signals.
» Google March 2019 Core Update
Google Halloween Update
Early November 2018
Fluctuations in the SERPs at the start of November 2018 point to an unofficial quality update. The timing of this update led to the name, “Halloween Update”, although it was not officially confirmed by Google.
Early October 2018
This adjustment of the E-A-T Update saw health sites that had profited from the first E-A-T Update lose visibility. Similarly, some website that had been negatively impacted by the first E-A-T Update experienced a recovery.
Google Birthday Update
Unofficial Google update that affected many domains previously affected by the August 2018 E-A-T Update; often with an inverse trend.
Official Google update that rewards Expertise-Authority-Trust websites, especially for YMYL (Your Money or Your Life) keywords.
» Google E-A-T-Update
Mobile Speed Update
Since 9th of July 2018, a website’s load time is an official ranking signal for Google’s mobile search results. According to Google, the Speed Update only impacts websites that provide the slowest user experience.
» Google Speed Update Analysis
Video Carousels on Desktop
Google has started showing video carousels for desktop searches. At the same time, many organic video rankings disappeared. This has led to Visibility fluctuations for websites with a lot of video content like YouTube or Vimeo.
Rollout of Mobile-First-Index
March 26, 2018
After a year-and-a-half of preparation, Google announced that the mobile version of websites would, for the first time, be used to create its Google Index. This switch to Mobile-first indexing initially only affects a few websites, with Google not revealing how long the rollout is expected to last or when it should be completed.
» Rollout of the Mobile-First Index
Core Algorithm Update
March 12, 2018
In November 2017, many webmasters suspected that a Google-Update had taken place. These suspicions were confirmed with the official Core Update, which was rolled out on 12th March 2018, leading to major fluctuations in the search results. Winning websites from autumn 2017 received another boost; losers saw further decline.
» Core Algorithm Analysis
Update Snippet Length
November 30, 2017
This update saw Google increase the length of meta descriptions displayed for many search results. The maximum length used to be 155 characters; with the update it (nearly) doubled to 300.
User Localization Update
October 27, 2017
Since October 2017, users are given search results based on their current physical location, regardless of the top-level domain (e.g. Google.com/Google.co.uk) they enter into the address bar.
» Localization Update Analysis
Chrome HTTPS Warning
October 17, 2017
The release of Chrome 62 also includes the display of a warning for websites that request user data but that fail to implement HTTPS encryption correctly or completely.
June 25, 2017
In June 2017, an update created (more) Visibility improvements for dictionary domains. URLs for dictionaries improved their rankings, mainly for short-tail keywords that could have various different user intents.
» Dictionary Update Analysis
March 3, 2017
The update was not officially confirmed by Google. The name comes from Gary Illyes, who jokingly said that all updates would now be called “Fred.” Pages most affected were those with low-quality content without any real added value for users. The update is thought to have targeted excessive use of advertising banners, meaning it can possibly be considered an iteration of the so-called “Interstitial Penalty.”
Yes and no
Phantom V Update
The heavy impact observed on rankings suggested that adjustments were again made to the Phantom Update. The update was not confirmed by Google. Nevertheless, the pattern of results pointed to this being a “Phantom.”
» Phantom V Analysis
January 10, 2017
This update was supposed to primarily target pages that made aggressive use of interstitials and pop-ups because of their negative impact on user-friendliness.
Penguin Update 4.0
September 27, 2016 to October 6, 2016
This large update of the Penguin algorithm was carried out in several steps, lasting around two weeks. In the second phase, websites had the chance to escape the Penguin filter and regain rankings by having penalties removed.
» Penguin 4.0 Analysis
Mobile Update 2
May 12, 2016
This update gave increased weight to websites’ mobile-friendliness when evaluating rankings for the mobile Google search. Websites that had not yet been optimized for smartphones at the time of the first Mobile Update had the chance of regaining rankings they had lost in the mobile SERPs.
» Mobilegeddon 2 Analysis
Phantom Update IV
May 10, 2016
The pattern of this unconfirmed update was similar to previous Phantom Updates, with the traffic on a number of the same websites being affected. It is therefore assumed that this was the fourth iteration of this algorithm adjustment.
» Phantom IV Analysis
Yes and no
Google Core Update
Pages with high-quality, holistic content were the big winners for many keywords. But it was not just the amount of content that was decisive in determining rankings. far more, it was the question whether the content was relevant for fulfilling the user intent.
» Google Core Update Analysis
Phantom Update III
After a change to Google’s Quality Rater Guidelines, webmasters and SEOs across the world saw changes to their rankings. Various analyses found that the update primarily addressed user intent and content quality.
» Phantom III Analysis
October 26, 2015
RankBrain is a self-learning system that is, first and foremost, supposed to deal with search queries that Google is not yet familiar with. Every day, more than 15% of searches made by users are new to Google.
» RankBrain Analysis
Google Panda 4.2
The latest Google Panda came ten months after the previous one, again focusing on content quality, redundant, irrelevant content and spam. However, with long roll-out times (approx. 8 weeks) of updates, and (near-)simultaneous algorithm changes, it was not always clear for webmasters which updates were affecting their traffic.
» Panda 4.2 Analysis
This update, which Google did not confirm, primarily affected search queries related to trending keywords and information-related keywords. Media websites benefited most from this roll-out.
» Newswave Analysis
The Quality Update
While Google confirmed that changes were made to the ranking signals for website quality, no further details were provided. For this reason, this update was dubbed “Phantom.”
This second iteration of the Phantom Update (after the first in May 2013) caused extreme fluctuations in the SERPs, and led to some websites losing half of their traffic. The impact of this algorithm update was felt worldwide.
» Phantom II analysis
Yes and no
Mobile Update (“Mobilegeddon”)
April 22, 2015
Google used this update to turn websites’ mobile-friendliness into a ranking factor for mobile search. It was the first update that Google explicitly announced before rolling it out.
» Mobilegeddon Analysis
Brand / E-Commerce Update
A possible update to Google’s algorithms sent waves through the rankings of brand websites and online shops. The update focused on keywords with a high search volume.
» eCommerce Update Analysis
Pirate Update Version 2 (DMCS Penalty)
October 21, 2014
This is an improvement to the Pirate Update. Above all, this is supposed to recognize and penalize copyright infringements better. Google confirmed this iteration.
» Pirate 2 Analysis
Google announced another Penguin Update, yet the changes caused by this latest one were neither obvious, nor did they seem to happen all at once. Overall, less than 1% of search queries were affected, over the course of several weeks, making the impact of this Penguin on websites’ traffic much less than other that of other iterations.
Panda Update 4.1
September 23, 2014
In particular, pages lacking in content were affected. Google stated that the update affected up to five percent of all search queries.
» Panda 4.1 Analysis
HTTPS / SSL Update
August 6, 2014
This update saw HTTPS encryption become a ranking signal. For Google, the update was an important step towards increasing security when using websites worldwide. It was not immediately clear how strongly this would actually influence rankings.
» HTTPS Update Analysis
Panda Update 4.0
May 19, 2014
7.5% of English-language search queries were affected by Google’s Panda Update. The fourth generation of this algorithm again adjusted the quality demands placed on websites.
» Panda 4.0 Analysis
Payday Loan Algorithm Update 2.0
Estimated around May 16, 2014
This update improved Google’s capability of filtering out pages with spammy search queries from the search results. This was intended to greatly improve the user experience for people searching on Google. At the same time, it became more difficult for spam-heavy domains to achieve good rankings.
Page Layout Update Version 3 (“Ads above the fold”)
February 6, 2014
This update saw Google take a stricter approach towards websites with too much advertising “above the fold.” Such ads make for a vastly inferior user experience, so Google penalized the affected websites.
Penguin Update 2.1
October 4, 2013
The Penguin Update was adjusted, with a moderate impact on the search results. The first iteration of the second generation tweaked what was already well-known and did not cause too much havoc in the SERPs.
August 20, 2013
The Hummingbird Update improved the semantic search and extended the Google Knowledge Graph. Since Hummingbird, Google to recognize relationships between search queries. This update can be considered the predecessor of RankBrain.
» Hummingbird Analysis
Pay Day Loan Algorithm
June 11, 2013
This Google Update targeted niche websites that are frequently affected by span, like pornography or credit sites. The update was announced on 11.06.2013.
Penguin Update 2.0
May 22, 2013
The algorithm of this update was overworked and greatly improved, in order to advance the fight against link spam.
» Penguin 2.0 Analysis
Phantom Update I
The first version of what would become known the Phantom Update. Google did not confirm the precise nature of the algorithm change but the industry certainly felt the impact of this, and later Phantom Updates.
Pony Update (Panda Update Nr. 22)
November 21, 2012
This update, which was confirmed by Google, seems to have basically been a data refresh. Nevertheless, it led to major drops in rankings for many websites.
» Pony Analysis
Page Layout Update Nr. 2 (“Ads above the fold”)
October 9, 2012
Google did confirm this update but it is not clear whether it was simply a data refresh or something bigger.
Penguin Update 1.2
October 5, 2012
Only 0.3% of all search queries were affected by this Penguin Update.
EMD-Update (Exact Match Domain Update)
September 27, 2012
The EMD Update considerably lowered the importance of Exact Match Domains. Since then, the relevance of keyword domains is no longer as high as it used to be. Together with the Panda Update, implemented at the same time, this created noticeable changes in the search results.
Pirate Update (DMCA Penalty)
August 10, 2012
The introduction of this update saw pages punished that are guilty of copyright infringement and e.g. offer pirated material. The assumption is that websites were affected who had previously been reported to Google via so-called “DMCA Takedown Requests.”
April 24, 2012
This update is also referred to as a “Webspam Update” because it targets webspam measures like keyword stuffing and first affected 3.1% of all English-language search results.
» Penguin Analysis
March 50-Pack Update + Tweaks to handling of anchor text
March 23, 2012
Google stated that this update affected around 1.6% of all search queries.
Page Layout Update (“Ads above the fold”)
January 19, 2012
Following this update, websites are punished if they display too much advertising above the fold. This is seen as inhibiting the user experience.
November 3, 2011
Google announced that this update affected 35% of all search queries. The adjustment to the algorithm dealt primarily with how up-to-date websites are.
» Freshness Update Analysis
Panda Update 2
October 14, 2011
According to Google’s Matt Cutts, this update to the Panda Algorithm affected up to 2% of all search queries.
August 12, 2011
This Panda Update was rolled out worldwide on the same day, and did not just affect English-language search queries. The only languages not affected were Korean, Japanese and Chinese
Expanded Sitelinks Update
Google tested the roll-out of expanded sitelinks, which greatly increase the size and visibility of a result in the SERP, over a few weeks. Eventually, Google settled on maximum six expanded links for a result, each with the URL and short snippet.
June 2, 2011
In an unusual act of cooperation, Google, as well as two other major search providers, Yahoo and Microsoft, made joint steps towards encouraging the use of structured data. Websites that use Schema markup can have more information shown on the SERP in the form of a Rich Snippet.
June 8, 2010
This was a major change to Google’s indexing structure to include news, blog posts and other updates in its search results faster. Google stated that Caffeine meant that “50% fresher results ” were provided thanks to the rollout of Caffeine.
May Day Update
This update was intended to improve the quality of search results. Mostly longtail keywords were affected.