Last year, Google rolled out another one of its algorithm changes.
Were you aware?
Were you concerned?
Were you affected?
Often, when there’s a Google algorithm change, website creators panic over possible new Google penalties that might cause them to fall down in Google’s search engine results pages [SERPs].
Do you need to be concerned that you’ll lose traffic in search engines as a result of the recent Google algorithm changes?
Today’s guest author, Saumil Shah, is here with his impressive Gifographic, the first Gifographic ever to be published on this blog, to let you know.
Google’s Biggest Search Algorithm Updates
by Saumil Shah
With improvements in user experience and mobile-friendliness being of topmost priority, Google rolled out a series of algorithm updates last year to address them. As compared to earlier updates like Mobilegeddon, algorithm changes do not result in massive shifts in rankings anymore. This could be because webmasters are already aware of the key ranking signals that Google focuses on.
The year 2016 began with a core algorithm update on January 8th that saw major volatility in SERPs [Search Engine Results Pages]. Google has stayed mum on the update, but has denied that it has anything to do with Panda integration, which happened at around the same time.
The AdWords placement update on February 23rd was one of the most important ones that Google rolled out last year. Right-column ads were removed and the top ad block on pages now accommodates 4 ads. This further pushed down organic results and caused volatility in rankings.
The Accelerated Mobile Page (AMP) listings update strived to make searches more mobile-friendly by placing AMP results in a special carousel, or by placing the pages in special places or with the AMP ‘lightning’ designation.
The May 12th update increased the effectiveness of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal, but because most websites were already compliant, there were not many fluctuations in rankings.
The Possum update in September aimed at diversifying local results and removing spam. In an attempt to be more inclusive, physical city limits were widened to pull in more businesses, businesses having similar address were filtered out and the searcher’s location became more influential in deciding results.
The Universal Results Shakeup update that came later in the month dropped image results by 50% in searches. In many cases, image results were moved to the second page, thus opening up an organic position in the first page. This caused much flux in rankings. The update could be linked to the Penguin 4 rollout, but was not confirmed by Google.
The much anticipated Penguin 4 update rolled out on September 23rd. The Penguin is now a part of the core search algorithm and is applied on real-time basis. The new update ensures that pages with spammy content or links are devalued, but the sites as a whole are not penalized. The algorithm is applied on a page-by-page basis. Since the algorithm is applied in real time, devalued pages can expect to climb rankings as soon as corrective action is taken.
Check out our GIF to get a good idea about what was happening on the Google updates front in 2016.
Google’s Biggest Search Algorithm Updates Of 2016 – a visual representation by E2M
Saumil Shah is a Digital Marketing Executive with over 3 years of experience. He currently works with E2M, a digital agency. He is passionate about Marketing and has a keen interest in politics. Saumil Shah is an Engineering graduate who fell in love with Marketing. He has worked in various roles ranging from Customer Support to Business Development.
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