Google updated its algorithm this week

Google Updates overview

Video carousels for desktopJune 2018Google started showing video carousels when searching on the desktop. At the same time, many organic video rankings have disappeared. This leads to fluctuations in visibility for websites with a lot of video content such as YouTube or Vimeo.NoRollout of the mobile-first indexMarch 26, 2018After a year and a half of work, Google announced that the mobile version of websites will be used for the first time to compile the Google index. This changeover to the mobile-first index initially affects only a few websites; It is not yet known when the rollout will be completed.

»Rollout of the Mobile First Index

YesCore algorithm updateMarch 12, 2018As early as November 2017, many webmasters suspected a Google update. The assumptions were confirmed with the official core update, which was rolled out on March 12, 2018 and led to major changes in the search results. Fall 2017 winning websites continued to grow; the losers continued to lose.

»Core Algorithm Update Analysis

YesUpdate snippet lengthNovember 30, 2017With this update, Google has extended the number of characters available in the meta description for many search results. If the maximum length of the snippet descriptions was 155 characters before, the update doubled it to 300 characters.YesUser localization updateOctober 27, 2017Since the end of October 2017, users have been shown search results based on the respective physical location by default, regardless of the top-level domain entered (e.g. Google.de/ Google.com).

»Google User Localization Update Expert Survey

YesChrome HTTPS warning17th October 2017The release of Chrome 62 also includes a warning if websites request user data but offer no or incorrect / incomplete HTTPS encryption.YesDictionary updateJune 25, 2017This update increased the visibility of dictionaries and lexica domains. The URLs of dictionaries or encyclopedias are particularly ranked for short-tail keywords that are supposed to cover multiple user intentions.

»Google dictionary update analysis

NoFred update13.03.2017The update has not been officially confirmed by Google. It got its name from Gary Illyes, who jokingly called it "Fred". Pages with inferior content with no real added value for users were particularly affected. Presumably, the update also targeted the excessive use of advertising banners. Perhaps it is also an iteration of the so-called "interstitial penalty".Yes and noPhantom V updateFebruary 2017The strong impact on the rankings led to the conclusion that the Phantom Update had to be adjusted again. The update has not been confirmed by Google. Nevertheless, the pattern suggests the well-known “phantom”.

“Phantom V analysis

NoInterstitial penalty10.01.2017The main goal of this update is to penalize sites that use aggressive interstitials and pop-ups. These overlays prevent a high level of user-friendliness.YesPenguin Update 4.027.09.2016The major update of the Penguin algorithm took place in several steps. In the second phase, websites had the chance to get out of the Penguin filter and get back rankings by removing penalties.

»Penguin Update 4.0 analysis

YesMobile Update 212.05.2016With this update, the mobile-device friendliness of websites has been given even greater consideration for the rankings in the Google mobile search. Anyone who had not yet optimized their website for smartphones during the first mobile update can use this iteration to regain lost rankings in the mobile SERPs.

»Mobile Update 2 analysis

YesPhantom Update IV11.05.2016Google confirmed that changes have been made to the signals for the core algorithm. The patterns were similar to the Phantom updates before. Therefore, the fourth phantom adaptation is assumed here.

»Phantom Update IV Analysis

Yes and noGoogle Core UpdateJanuary 2016High quality and holistic content is the winner for many keywords. However, it is not the sheer amount of content that is decisive for the ranking, but the question of whether the content is relevant for fulfilling the user's intention.

»Google Core Update Analysis

YesPhantom Update IIIDecember 2015In the course of adapting its Quality Rater Guidelines, webmasters and SEOs worldwide have noticed changes in the rankings. According to various analyzes, the update mainly related to user intention and the quality of the content.

»Phantom Update 3 Analysis

NoRankBrain26.10.2015RankBrain is a self-learning system that is primarily intended to answer previously unknown search queries. More than 15 percent of these queries are sent to Google by users every day.

»RankBrain analysis

YesGoogle Panda 4.2Mid-July 2015More than half a year after the Panda 4.1, Google has carried out another iteration of its algorithm. This time, however, there were no typical patterns. The rollout took place over several months and affected almost three percent of all search queries.

»Google Panda 4.2 analysis

NoPhantom II updateMid-June 2015A further adjustment of the Phantom Update caused strong fluctuations in the SERPs and resulted in traffic losses of over 50 percent for some websites. The effects of the algorithm adjustment were felt worldwide.

»Phantom II update analysis

Yes and noNewswave updateMid-June 2015The update presumably rolled out by Google affected inquiries with trending keywords and information-oriented keywords in particular. As a result, media websites in particular benefited from the rollout.

»Newswave update analysis

NoThe Quality Update03.05.2015Google has confirmed that changes have been made to the ranking signals for the quality of websites. However, there were no further details on it.Yes and noMobile Update ("Mobilegeddon")22.04.2014With this update, Google has made the mobile device friendliness of websites a ranking factor for mobile search. It was the first update whose date for the rollout the search engine group had explicitly announced in advance.

»To the background and to the analysis of the mobile update.

YesBrand / E-Commerce UpdateFebruary 2015A possible update of the Google algorithms has caused strong fluctuations in the rankings of branded websites and online shops. The focus of the update was, among other things, on keywords with a high search volume.

»Brand / E-Commerce Update Analysis

NoPirate Update Version 2 (DMCS Penalty)03.11.2014This is an improvement of the Pirate Update. This is intended to better identify and punish copyright infringements on websites. Google has confirmed the iteration.

»Pirate Update 2 Analysis

YesPenguin 3October 2014The third version of the Penguin update has been officially confirmed by Google. However, the effects are less clear this time because the rollout took several weeks and less than 1 percent of the search queries were affected.YesPanda update 4.129.09.2014Pages with thin content are particularly affected by the update. According to Google, the update affects up to five percent of all search queries.

»Panda Update 4.1 analysis

YesHTTPS / SSL update06.08.2014With this update, https encryption becomes a ranking signal. For Google, the update was an important step towards more security when using websites worldwide. How strong the ranking signal actually had was initially left open.

»HTTPS / SSL update analysis

YesPanda update 4.019.05.2014The Google Panda update affected 7.5 percent of English-language search queries. The fourth generation of the algorithm has readjusted the quality requirements for websites.

»Panda Update 4.0 analysis

YesPayday Loan Algorithm Update 2.0Probably around May 16, 2014The update strengthened Google's ability to filter out pages with spammy search queries from the search results. This is intended to significantly improve the user experience for Google users. At the same time, the chance of good rankings for spam-laden domains decreases.YesPage Layout Update Version 3 ("Ads above the fold")06.02.2014With the update of the update, Google took even stricter action against websites that use too much advertising “above the fold”. This significantly worsens the user experience, which is why Google devalues ​​the affected websites.NoPenguin Update 2.104.10.2013The penguin update has been adjusted, with a moderate impact on search results. The first adaptation of the second Penguin generation readjusts what is already known and ensures moderate movement in the SERPs.YesHummingbird update20.08.2013With the Hummingbird update, the semantic search has been improved and the Google Knowledge Graph expanded. Since then, Google has also been able to establish relationships between search queries. The update can thus be seen as a kind of preliminary stage for RankBrain.

»Hummingbird update analysis

YesPay Day Loan Algorithm11.06.2013This update was primarily aimed at niche sites that are often hit by spam, such as porn sites or credit sites. The update was announced on 06/11/2013YesPenguin Update 2.022.05.2013The algorithm of the update has been fundamentally improved and the fight against link spam has been promoted.

»Penguin Update 2.0 analysis

YesPhantom Update IMay 2013This first version of the Phantom Update has not been officially confirmed by Google, and the exact specification cannot be precisely defined either. However, webmasters reported at the same time of immense distortions in the SERPs, similar to the other Phantom iterations.NoPony Update (Panda Update No. 22)21.11.2012The update confirmed by Google seemed to have been more of a data refresh. At the same time, however, there were significant ranking losses on many websites.

»Pony update analysis

YesPage Layout Update No. 2 ("Ads above the fold")09.10.2012Google has confirmed the update, but it is unclear whether it was actually just a data refresh.YesPenguin Update 1.205.10.2012Only 0.3 percent of all searches were affected by this update of the penguin.YesEMD-Update (Exact-Match-Domain-Update)01.10.2012With the EMD update, the importance of exact match domains has been significantly reduced. Since then, the relevance of keyword domains for the ranking is no longer as high as it was before. The Panda update, which was carried out at the same time, had a noticeable effect on the search results.

»EMD update analysis

YesPirate Update (DMCA Penalty)10.08.2012With the introduction of this update, sites that violate copyright law and, for example, offer pirated copies will be penalized. It is assumed that pages are affected that were previously reported to Google via the so-called “DMCA takedown requests”.

»Pirate Update Analysis

YesPenguin update24.04.2012The first Penguin update is also known as the “Webspam Update” because it is aimed specifically against webspam measures such as keyword stuffing and initially affects 3.1 percent of all English-language search results. With its iterations, Penguin is one of the most famous Google updates.YesMarch 50-Pack Update + Tweaks to handling of anchor text26.03.2012With this update, Google has mainly renewed the evaluation of anchor texts. In addition, the image search has been optimized with this update. Local search queries were also affected by the implementation of the update.YesPage layout update ("Ads above the fold")19.01.2012Since this update, websites that use too much advertising "above the fold" are penalized. It affects the user experience.YesFreshness update03.11.2011Google had announced that this update would affect 35 percent of all search queries. The algorithm adjustment primarily evaluates the topicality of websites.

»Freshness Update Analysis

YesPanda Update 214.10.2011According to Matt Cutts, up to two percent of all search queries will be affected by the update of the Panda algorithm.

»Panda Update 2 analysis

YesPanda update12.08.2011The Panda Update will be rolled out all over the world on this day and does not only affect English-language search queries. Only Korean, Japanese and Chinese queries are excluded. This update aims to improve the quality of the search results; Affected by this update and its numerous iterations were websites that offer little original and useful content.

»Panda update analysis

YesExpanded Sitelinks UpdateAugust 2011With this update, additional space was created in the SERPs, especially for brand queries. In this way, not only a URL - for example the homepage - can be displayed, but also relevant, important sub-pages.YesSchema.org updateJune 2011In an unusual cooperation, Google, Yahoo and Microsoft announced that they can read out the schema.org awards during indexing and thus display additional information such as rich snippets in the SERPs.YesCoffee an updateJune 2010With this change, the indexing architecture was changed to the extent that news, blog posts, and other article changes could be indexed and incorporated into search results more quickly.YesMayday updateMay 2010This update should improve the quality of the search results. Long-tail keywords were particularly affected.

»Mayday update analysis

Yes