Google keeps rolling out various updates for webmasters to ponder on, improve websites as per the guidelines & stay alive in the cut-throat competitive web arena.
Change is the rule of nature & people who don’t change face consequences as they have to perish sooner or later.
Same is true for websites & things that control their existence & thriving. The major authorities for website’s existence are a search engine that makes or break them.
With Google being the boss of search engines, it becomes quite dutiful for websites to either follow guidelines laid by it or stay dormant on the tenth page of the search results (rarely anybody goes there, right?).
Thus, in the same context, let’s see some of the major updates rolled out by Google so far (As on November the 8th, 2016).
Major Google Updates In 2016
Unnamed Update – January 8, 2016
A lot of tracking tools reported large ranking movements, which even Google later confirmed as a ‘core algo update’ & not a penguin update. However, the details of this unnamed update remained sketchy.
AdWords Shake-up – February 23, 2016
Google went ahead & made various major changes to AdWords. The major part of this update was the removal of right-column ads totally & releasing 4-ad top blocks on numerous commercial searches.
Although it must be noted that it was a paid search update, it had significant consequences for CTR for paid & organic results, especially on keywords that were of competitive nature.
Unnamed Major Update – May 10, 2016
Google weather trackers showed a rare week-long pattern of algo activity, including a 97-degree spike. However, Google did not confirm this & no details are available currently.
Mobile-Friendly 2 – May 12, 2016
Almost exactly after a year after the roll-out of the official mobile-friendly update, Google released ranking signal boost to benefit mobile-friendly sites on mobile search. As a majority of sites that we track are already mobile-friendly, the impact of this update was small.
Possum – September 1, 2016
Still unconfirmed by Google, MozCast recorded extreme temperatures of around 108* & a drop in the local pack & even the local SEO community registered a major shake-up in pack results. Various sources suggest that this update heavily impacted organic results as well.
Image/Universal Drop – September 13, 2016
A 50% drop in SERPs with the image (vertical/universal) was recorded. This universal result shake-up opened up an organic position on the 1st page, leading to vital ranking shifts, but it’s expected that this was included as a part of a major & much larger in scale update.
Penguin 4.0 (Real-Time) – September 23, 2016
Finally, Google announced a long-awaited (almost 2 years) Penguin update. Google even suggested that the new Penguin is now real-time & will affect the core algorithm. However, initial effects introspection was astonishingly small, with almost no reports of recovering from Penguin.
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