Do You Need to Worry About Google Algorithm Changes?

By: | May 19, 2017 | Tags: , |

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


GoogleAuthor Bio –

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.

Host Blogger’s Comments:

Readers, please share, so other website creators curious about Google Algorithm Changes find out the information shared in this post.

Have you been affected by Google algorithm changes? Do you feel concerned when you hear about them? I look forward to your views in the comment section.

  1. Carol Cassara

    It’s a lot of info–but I’m not sure what this all means to me, though. That context is missing from this info-laden post.

    • Saumil

      Carol – I will try my best to answer your question.

      I have gone through your website and it seems that you offer digital products and consulting related to healing.

      Things that matter to you (from above gifographic) are –

      1) Mobile Friendly website. If u dont have a mobile friendly website then this will impact your search rankings. Bottom line – Have a mobile friendly website.

      2) If you are investing in paid ads ( eg – Google adwords) then google removed the right column from its search results which used to show ads. And now you are shown 4 ads at the top of the page instead of 3 ads. Its now getting cut-throat- competitive to show your ads on google.

      3) For more on Penguin-4 update please read this article to get a detailed understanding –

      4) Possum update is related to Local Seo. Eg – Hotels, local clothing store etc.
      I don’t think you have a local shop so this update doesn’t matter to you/your website.

      Is this helpful?

      • Janice Wald

        Hi Saumil,
        Thank you for providing Carol that context and for your thorough answer. You did a great job for us this week– proving information and a visual of value. Thank you!

  2. Melinda

    To be honest, I barely read any of this post. I don’t care about Al Gore, and his rhythms. (Sorry, couldn’t resist!)
    The giphy penguins, and all other moving objects were really fun!!

    • Saumil

      Penguins are good 🙂 Good Creatures. But when GOOGLE talks about ‘Penguin’ – It scares people 🙂

  3. Ramit

    User Experience is an important concern for me.
    It has been an enriching experience to learn about Google Algorithmic Updates.
    You have shared valuable information.
    It has helped me a lot.
    Excellent Post.

    • Saumil

      Ramit, I am glad you found this useful and good to know that it helped you.

  4. Renee

    Well, I just started with my new website, so I hope this change doesn’t affect me too much. Good to know!

  5. Joy Healey

    Hi Janice and Saumil,

    Thanks for a very interesting article. Having been blogging quite a while now, to be honest I’ve just given up trying to beat, or even keep up with, Google changes. I mean it’s just SO competitive, other than for local websites I wonder how can you hope to win out?

    I just do my best to provide interesting and helpful content and hope people will share it.

    Must admit I didn’t know what a gifographic was – but now I do, and I loved it 🙂 Want one!

    Joy – Blogging After Dark

    Joy – Blogging After Dark

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Joy,
      Great to hear from you this week. Thanks for your comments on my guest author’s gifographic article. On one hand, I agree with you. Search engine visibility is very competitive. However, I read an article that said it could take a year for our post to get to the top, so I try my best and hope in the long-term, it pays off in organic traffic. Thanks for writing.

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