Google uses a number search algorithms and signals to govern the way it ranks relevance for queries in the search engine results pages (SERPs).
Gary Illyes, Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google, confirmed that “most algorithm updates go unnoticed, but we may communicated about he named ones, like mobile friendly”.
Keep informed about the latest Google Updates.
This Google algorithm update resource page keeps you informed about:
- Confirmed Updates: These are updates what have been officially confirmed by Google.
- Unconfirmed Updates: These are algorithm changes reported by SEOs, Industry Experts, and SERP tracker. There was no official confirmation.
Use your Search Console to identify traffic \ visibility drops, and compare them with the algorithm change history.
You can view the Performance of your site for the last 12 or 16 months in the Google Search Console to identify the date of any falls in clicks or impressions. You can then compare those dates with our algorithm history and read up on what updates affect your site.
You may find that you have been hit by one, or multiple updates:
2019 Google Algorithm Updates (Latest)
February 7, 2019 - ‘Unnamed’ Update
Possible E-A-T \ Quality Update
Early chatter in the SEO community hints at this Google Algorithm Update mainly targets UK-based queries. The SERP trackers indicate a global update, although the nature of the update does appear to differ between the UK and US.
Initial information indicates that the update in the UK appears to target sectors that are vulnerable to E-A-T updates, such as Health and Finance.
January 6-14, 2019 - ‘Unnamed’ Update
Possible Quality Update
SERP tracking tools show a spike in volatility between the 6th and 14th January, 2019.
This update appeared to disproportionately affect websites in the Science, Jobs & Education, Law & Government, Pets & Animals, and Autos & Vehicles verticals, but most verticals have been affected.
Initial indications are that this is a quality update, although there are some reports of recoveries for sites that have undertaken a link audit.
It is likely that several different updates were rolled out over this time period.
December 16, 2018 - ‘Unnamed’ Small Update
Possible Quality \ E‑A‑T Update
SERP tracking tools show a spike in volatility on January 6, 2019.
This update appeared to disproportionately affect websites in the Food & Drink, Law & Government, Beauty & Fitness, and Jobs & Education verticals.
Initial indications are that the update targets site quality and trust. Several sites hit previously by E-A-T have shown recoveries after extensive work, and you will find several case studies in the linked article.
November 30, 2018 - ‘Unnamed’ Update
Possible Reversal of the 16th Update
The SERP tracking tools show a spike in volatility on the November 30, 2018, which is of similar intensity to the 16th.
Indications point to this being a reversal of the previous update on the November 16, 2018.
November 16, 2018 - ‘Unnamed’ Update
Broad Core Algorithm Update
There is a lot of chatter in the SEO community of an Google update on November 5, 2018, with some indications that the algorithm change was reversed on November 30th.
The update appeared to benefit news-based sites, with social media and reference based sites suffering declines.
August 1, 2018 - ‘Medic’ Update
E-A-T \ YMYL Update
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.
August 1, 2018 - ‘Mobile Speed’ Update
Mobile Speed Update
Google confirmed that page speed is now a ranking factor for the mobile search results pages.
Google has stated the update will only target the slowest websites. The affect on the SERPs has been limited.
There is major chatter in the SEO community of a Google Update. The SERP trackers also show some significant volatility. We take a look and come up with some basic conclusions.
There is major chatter in the SEO community of a Google Update targeting Links, and also possibly content quality as well.
Gary Illyes revealed at the recent Friends of Search conference that they are moving toward the launch of the Mobile First Index, but may still be a few months out.
There are rumors of another update during the first week of February that targets Private Blog Networks, Links, or possibly a Penguin related tweak.
There has been an uptick of chatter that a Google Update has recently been rolled out. A specific date of the 24 January has been mentioned, but the volatility appears long-running.
Rich Cards, the new mobile search result format for Recipes and Movies, has now been extended to cover Local restaurants and Online courses.
Google has confirmed that they will be publishing a detailed post about the new Mobile-first indexing changes in due course.
Google’s Gary Illyes is actively hunting for spammy Exact Match Domains, or EMD’s that are ranking in Google Search.
Google has announced that they will now crawl and index the mobile version of the web page when indexing your website. We discuss what this means for you and how to prepare for the new Mobile-first index.
Google has officially confirmed on their Webmasters Blog that the launch of Penguin 4.0 has now started rolling out.
There is a lot of chatter in the SEO community that a large Google Update has just been rolled out, with some SERP trackers showing significant movement.
We have been paying close attention to the SERP trackers over the last few days, as increased volatility in the Search Results seems to be taking hold.
The SERP trackers showed a spike in volatility around the 13th - 16th April, with either change to the core algorithm or some kind of testing suspected.
MozCast showed a massive spike in volatility on the 28th March which indicates that a Google Update may be rolling out.
In a recent announcement, Google has confirmed that beginning in May 2016 they will increase the effect of the mobile-friendliness ranking signal.
Gary Illyes will no longer indicate when we may expect the latest Google Penguin Update as he has been wrong about its launch date several times already.
In a Google Hangout, John Mueller confirmed that he still has not heard anything about an announcement date for the next Penguin Update.
Google’s John Mueller said in a Hangout that the Panda Algorithm is rolling out pretty much continuously.
As of Wednesday (24th February 2016), the new AMP pages have gone live and are now appearing in the SERPs. The roll out seems to be gradual.
Google said they did not want to clutter the search results with too many Rich Snippets, a day before a ~33% drop in the number of Review snippets showing.
Google has recently confirmed that the latest Google Penguin Update is still a work in progress and that they do not know when it would be rolled out.
It looks like (from looking at SERP Trackers) there were some minor Google algorithm changes this last weekend, after a very calm start to February.
There are some reports that Google is testing a larger ranking boost for mobile-friendly websites.
Google has announced they are aiming to launch the new Real-Time Penguin algorithm Update this quarter but it was weeks, not months away.
A massive Google Update hit on the 16th January and lasted all weekend. The fluctuations in the SERPS were off the charts.
The recent changes are a Core Update, and while Panda is part of the Core Algorithm, the recent update does not include any Panda changes.
Google has confirmed that the recent SERPS volatility that got SEO’s and webmasters all talking over the last few days is not a Penguin Update.
SERP trackers are off the charts. Is this an extension of previous volatility or something new? Looks like just Google Testing stuff.
We are seeing some chatter that the Penguin 4 Real-Time Update may be starting to roll out. We do, however, have our doubts this is the case.
Google has recently indicated that the new Penguin Real-time update will be delayed further until they have finished testing it properly.
Despite the HTTPS update explaining some volatility in the SERPs, Google confirmed the continuing 19th November Update is also to blame.
In an update on the 4th December, Google’s John Mueller confirmed that Google’s Real-time Penguin Update will not launch this year.
There are increasing reports of major movements in the SERPs this week (19th November) with some indicating that it may be content quality related.
Google’s Gary Illyes has just confirmed that there is still time to clean your backlink profile before the Penguin Algorithm is refreshed.
Google’s new Artificial Intelligence “RankBrain” is Now Part of the general Search Algorithm helping to improve the results for previous unseen queries.
SERP trackers indicate a significant Google Update commencing on the 17th October. Google has indicated it a result of changes to the Core Algorithm.
An update to the Google Panda algorithm was likely rolled out this week, starting on the 28th August and continuing into September.
Google has recently launched Google Panda 4.2. The update affects 2-3% of all search queries and is expected to take several months to complete rolling out.
Google have recently said that their Panda Update \ refresh has been delayed for Technical Reasons, although it is still said to be ‘coming soon’.
The Google Update seen on the 16th June appears to have benefited News sites, or those sites with a lot of fresh content.
With one of the biggest SERP Fluctations ever reported, all signs point to Wikipedia changing to HTTPs and a possible boost to other HTTPs websites.
Google’s Gary Illyes has recently confirmed that Google’s New Mobile Friendly Algorithm has now been fully rolled out but pages will need to be recrawled.
Both Gary Illyes and John Mueller at Google have said that there was no update this last weekend despite large SERP movements being witnessed.
There are signs that Google released a Google Panda Update on the 1st May with many SERP trackers showing massive movements, and SEO chatter a buzz.
Was there a Google Update on the 24 April 2015? Is it still rolling out? Check out the SERP Trackers and what the SEO community has to say.
Was there a Small Google Update on the 8th April 2015? We have seen quite a few changes in the Mozcast Metrics that indicate some changes are afoot.
Google has updated their Doorway Pages Algorithm to weed out pages created solely for search engines.
Google have recently announced that the upcoming Mobile Friendly Google Update in April 2015 is to be their biggest update yet.
Major Google Update Happening? - 4 February 2015 - Find out the latest Gossip and updates here.
Google Updates FAQ \ Glossary
How do you know if there has been a Google Update?
We cover news of the latest Google updates (including Penguin and Panda) and rumors which may effect your ranking in the Search Engine Results Page (SERP’s). Unfortunately, due to the secretive nature of Google (to help prevent Black Hat SEO’s gaming the system) it is not always easy to understand or see the changes Google makes, especially as Google tweaks its algorithm daily.
By keeping a track of the changes in the SERP’s in combination with your own rankings as well as feedback both in the SEO community and Google itself you can sometimes extrapolate what you need to do on your website to increase your website’s ranking.
The typical sources we use to gauge this information are as follows:
- SERP Trackers – Trackers such as the Mozcast, Algaroo and Rank Ranger can identify when movement happens in the SERP’s allowing us to investigate possible causes.
- Google Announcements – On occasions announcements or snippets of information are made by Google either directly (via blog posts) or indirectly by their employees (i.e. John Mueller who does the Webmaster Central Hangouts).
- Forum Chatter – A great way to determine whether an update or algorithm change has hit is by monitoring popular forums where webmasters hangout.
- Other News Sources – We keep an eye on other news sources to see if they have either picked something up we missed, or even been privy to exclusive conversations with Google or its employees.
Jonathan Griffin. Editor, Hosting Expert, SEO Developer, & SEO Consultant.
Our goal is to help you #MasterTheWeb, and helping to make your website optimized for the search engines is a great way to do this. You will see the latest Google Volatility Chart above produced by SEMrush.
This will help you ascertain whether movement in your rankings or traffic is the result of a wider algorithm change, or whether it is more likely to be a an issue with your site specifically. You will also find a full history of all the Google Algoithm changes below.