Each year, Google changes its search algorithmic program around 500–600 times. whereas most of those changes are minor, Google often rolls out a “major” algorithmic update (such as Google Panda and Google Penguin) that affects search leads to vital ways that.
For search marketers, knowing the dates of those Google updates will facilitate justify changes in rankings and organic web site traffic and ultimately improve computer programme optimization. Below, we’ve listed the foremost algorithmic changes that have had the largest impact on search.
“Medic” Core Update — August 1, 2018
Google confirmed a “broad core algorithm update,” with wide reports of massive impact. It rolled out over the period of about a week, but peaked on August 1-2. This update seemed to disproportionately affect sites in the health and wellness vertical, although large-scale impact was seen in all verticals.
- Google’s August 1st Core Update: Week 1 (Moz)
- Google Medic Update: Google’s Core Search Update Had Big Impact On Health/Medical Sites (SER)
- The August 1, 2018 Google Update strongly affected YMYL sites (MarieHaynes.com)
Chrome Security Warnings (Full Site) — July 24, 2018
After warning users of unsecured (non-HTTPS) forms months earlier, Chrome 68 began marking all non-HTTPS sites as “not secure.” The changes rolled out on July 24, but rely on users installing the latest Chrome version, which can take weeks or months.
- A milestone for Chrome security: marking HTTP as “not secure” (Google)
- Chrome starts telling users HTTP sites are not secure (SEL)
Unnamed Update — July 21, 2018
Algorithm trackers and webmaster chatter signaled heavy rankings flux, but Google did not confirm. MozCast recorded its highest temperature in 2018 at 114°F.
Mobile Speed Update — July 9, 2018
Six months after announcing it, Google rolled out the mobile page speed update, making page speed a ranking factor for mobile results. Google claimed that this only affected the slowest mobile sites, and there was no evidence of major mobile rankings shifts.
- Using page speed in mobile search ranking (Google)
- It’s Live: Google Speed Update Now Rolling Out (SER)
Video Carousels — June 14, 2018
Google moved videos from organic-like results with thumbnails into a dedicated video carousel, causing a shake-up in results that were previously tracked as organic. At the same time, the number of SERPs with videos increased significantly (+60% in MozCast).
- Google Is Replacing Video Thumbnails with A Desktop Carousel (RankRanger)
- Trapped In Google’s New Video Carousels – A Dangerous SERP Feature For Some Ecommerce Retailers (GSQi)
Unnamed Update — May 23, 2018
Algorithm tracking tools and webmaster chatter showed heavy activity, but Google did not confirm an update. MozCast showed very high temperatures over a 3-day period, peaking on May 23.
Snippet Length Drop — May 13, 2018
After testing longer display snippets of up to 300+ characters for a few months, Google rolled back most snippets to the former limit (about 150-160 characters).
- Google confirms it shortened search results snippets after expanding them last December (SEL)
- How to Write Meta Descriptions in a Constantly Changing World (Moz)
Unnamed Core Update — April 17, 2018
MozCast picked up heavy algorithm flux that peaked on April 17 and continued for over a week. Google later confirmed a “core” update, but didn’t provide any specifics and the update wasn’t named by Google or the SEO community.
- Google confirms rolling out a broad core search algorithm update earlier this week (SEL)
- Google Ranking Algorithm Update Continues On For Over A Week (SER)
Mobile-First Index Roll-out — March 26, 2018
Google announced that the mobile-first index was finally “rolling out.” Since the index has been in testing for many months, and Google has suggested they are migrating sites gradually, it’s unclear how much impact this specific roll-out had on the overall index. Webmaster should begin to see notifications within Google Search Console.
- Rolling out mobile-first indexing (Google)
- Google begins rolling out mobile-first indexing to more sites (SEL)
Zero-result SERP Test — March 14, 2018
On a small set of Knowledge Cards, including some time/date queries and unit conversion calculators, Google started displaying zero organic results and a “Show all results” button. A week later, Google stopped this test, but we believe it is an important sign of things to come.
- Zero-Result SERPs: Welcome to the Future We Should’ve Known Was Coming (Moz)
- In-Depth Look at Google’s New Zero Result Search Results (SEM Post)
“Brackets” Core Update — March 8, 2018
Google confirmed a “core” update on March 7th, but volatility spiked as early as March 4th, with a second spike on March 8th, and continued for almost two weeks. This may have been multiple updates or one prolonged, rolling update. The “Brackets” name was coined by Glenn Gabe; no details were provided by Google.
- The Brackets Update – Analysis and Findings From The March 7, 2018 Google Algorithm Update (GSQi)
- Google Confirmed Weekend Algorithm Ranking Shift As “Core Update” (SER)
Unnamed Update — February 20, 2018
Rankings showed a spike in volatility (across a number of tools) around February 20th, which quickly settled down, sometimes signalling a targeted algorithm update. Google did not confirm any update in this time period.