Historic Google Algorithm Updates

One thing with being an SEO is that there are so many external influences when it comes to search engine ranking. What your competitors do is one thing, the other is the affects of Google Algorithm updates.

For my own personal use I’ve catalogued recent updates in a manner that suits my methodologies, i.e. having as much information as possible so that I can understand and pass on this data to my clients.

March 26th 2018

Google’s Mobile-first Indexation

Google announced that they’re moving toward indexing mobile sites rather than desktop versions due to the fact that users are “primarily mobile” if we interpreted that 100% correctly. They say this is after some 18 months of testing.

In the developer documentation, Google state:

“Since the majority of users now access Google via a mobile device, the index will primarily use the mobile version of a page’s content going forward”

So that clarifies that Google are indexing mobile sites first and foremost and integrating that result into the general SERPs. There is apparently no desktop and no mobile versions of the SERPs. There can be only one 😉

March 9th 2018

Broad Core Algorithm Update

After a few days of volatility in the SERPs, as discussed on Webmaster World forum, Google officially confirmed on Twitter that this was a “broad core algorithm update”. What else we learned from this was:

  1. Google usually releases at least one change a day to improve their search results.
  2. Some changes focus on specific improvements
  3. Some updates focus on broad changes
  4. Broad core algorithm updates are made routinely several times a year
  5. If your pages have dropped in the SERPs Google says “there’s nothing wrong” with them and said that the changes “are benefiting pages that were previously under-rewarded”

Personal thoughts: On point 5, if you’re ranking lower because everyone else is doing better then that still indicates an indirect or implicit penalty.