Every year Google introduces from 500 to 600 modifications of a search algorithm. Although, vast majority of them are minor and without a serious influence on search results, from time to time there’re updates that make a fuss.
What changed in 2015?
App Indexing – that’s how personalisation of search results started. Google began using data from indexed apps that became a ranking factor for queries typed by logged users.
Doorway Pages – tightening fight against doorway pages commonly used for affiliate programs.
Mobilegeddon – tightening criteria for mobile friendly websites. The main goal is to give priority to websites that display well on mobile devices.
Quality Update – modification of the main search algorithm in the field of assessing the quality of websites.
Panda 4.2. – modification that gives priority to websites with valuable content.
Hacked Page – a moment when the fight with spam posted on websites by hackers has begun.
App Interstitial – Google introduced sanctions against mobile websites using giant app install interstitial ads.
HTTPS Update – a moment when all the websites started being indexed in HTTPS.
Changes introduced in 2016
Mobile-friendly 2 – update of Mobilegeddon giving even greater priority to mobile and responsive websites in mobile search results.
Pingwin 4.0 – an update that caused much controversy and fear long before its actual implementation. The update was expected to fight against forbidden link building tactics. Instead of this, it simply ignores spam links.
News from 2017
Grounghog Update – SEO experts think that on 1. February another update was introduced. Its task is to assess the quality of links leading to a website and decline their PageRank power or even ignore them. Google didn’t officially confirm the update.
Phantom – Google robots were expected to check the quality of ranked websites even more thoroughly. And they do. Update of Phantom called Quality Update was introduced. Dates of following updates – May/June 2015, November 2015, June/July 2016, February 2017 – show that the modification is still updated and we can expect another version within next six or seven months.
Fred Update – an unofficial update that hit content websites gaining profits from ads. After Fred was introduced websites overfilled with AdSense ads without valuable content lost their ranks. SEO experts said websites with competitions using clickbait techniques had also lowered their positions.
What’s next? – a few words to sum up
All of the last updates are part of Google policy, which is to improve the quality of search results. We can conclude that the upcoming changes and updates of the algorithm will follow the same direction – to increase users satisfaction with search results. It means that websites with poor-quality content will keep losing their ranks.