Google Algorithm Updates 2019 - Latest News & History

The latest news on major and minor Google Algorithm and Search updates. We cover everything Small Business Owners and SEOs need to know about the most recent changes in Web Search.

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Latest SERP Volatility (updated daily).
Latest SERP Volatility (updated daily). © SEMrush

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”.

Webmaster Trends Analysts, John Mueller and Gary Illyes confirmed that Google makes “changes almost every day” and that they “have 3 updates a day in average” respectively.

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:

Search Console shows a site being hit by multiple updates over the past year.
Search Console shows a site being hit by multiple updates over the past year. © The Webmaster

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.

2018 Updates

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.

2017 Updates

June 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

November 2016

September 2016

May 2016

April 2016

March 2016

February 2016

January 2016

December 2015

November 2015

October 2015

September 2015

August 2015

July 2015

June 2015

May 2015

April 2015

March 2015

February 2015

January 2015

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 @ The Webmaster

. 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.