Every year Google makes around 500-600 changes to its search engine algorithm. While many of these changes go undetected and are quite minor, they do occasionally roll out major updates. Whether you have been working in SEO throughout the past year or are just looking into it now, these updates could help explain changes in your rankings. Below, we have listed some of the major updates that have resulted in the biggest impact for websites.
April 22nd 2015 – Mobile Friendly Update “Mobilegeddon”
In an unfamiliar situation, Google pre-announced that their mobile rankings would differ based off the mobile-friendliness of a site. We detected and wrote about the importance of a mobile-friendly website back in March.
May 3rd 2015 – Quality Update
Back in May, Google confirmed a core algorithm change, impacting “quality signals”. This update seemed to have a broad impact for websites but Google was not able to specify the nature of the impacted signals.
July 17th 2015 – Panda 4.2
This summer, Google has rolled out their latest Panda update. This update was most likely a data refresh and as recent as October, they confirmed that it was still rolling out. As a quick refresh, Panda is designed to lower the rank of “low-quality” websites.
October 26th 2015 – RankBrain
The latest of Google’s major 2015 announcements revealed that machine learning has become a part of the algorithm and is the 3rd largest influential factor. The new AI system will be used to teach itself to deliver the most relevant results for complex search queries.
Each year there are several major updates that transform and alter Google’s algorithm. It’s important to be informed and adjust when needed. Google is constantly working on new improvements and we look forward to seeing these big updates in 2016.