The Google Algorithm Changes tool shows fluctuations in the Google search results. It matches these with recent algorithm updates, showing their impact on both the rankings and the visibility of the websites included in the data set.
The changes are calculated from the rankings of approximately 8,500 keywords and 420,000 URLs, across various industries. The data is updated daily and shows the severity of the changes.
The Top 50 - Top 10 sections show the number of websites for which the ranking positions changed (compared to the previous date) and the percentage of affected websites (how many websites changed positions from the total number of websites monitored). The more websites are affected, the higher the importance of the algorithm updates.
Depending on the number and severity of ranking changes, the bar chart color changes from green (fewer changes) to yellow (moderate changes) and red (major changes).
The blue line shows the organic visibility of all the websites that we track in AWR Cloud. If the organic visibility increases, it means that, on average, the websites we track are experiencing higher rankings in Google search results.
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Starting around June 22, pretty high ranking shifts in SERP were reported, indicating that a new update to Google's search algorithm was rolling out. Despite this seemed like one of most volatile updates recorded in the last 6 months, the SEO community was relatively quiet at the beginning. As the days passed, more and more SEOs out there took notice that their websites were hit by this update, but nothing stood out as a potential cause of the massive fluctuations. It remained uncertain towards which aspects of the search algorithm the update was directed to.
Significant signs that a large Google algorithm update was rolling out have been recorded starting May 17 - May 18. Even though the automated tracking tools light up massive changes in the positioning of rankings, there were not much industry complaints neither from the white hat or black hat webmasters and SEOs, which made the rankings fluctuations even more difficult to understand. It remained unclear whether this was an actual algorithm update or whether the drop of Featured Snippets from SERP is the culprit.
Strong signs of search volatility and increased industry chatter indicate a pretty big algorithm update in early March. Even though initially Google did not announce a change to its algorithm, on March 23, more than two weeks after its launch, Gary Illyes confirmed the Fred algorithm update. The update seems to target low-value content websites focusing more on link quality aspects.
Significantly high ranking fluctuations, beginning with February 1st, indicate that a new algorithm update potentially targeting spammy practices took place. The SEO industry heavily debated about this, but as Google neither confirmed or denied there was indeed a change, it remained unclear whether the shifts were caused by an other normal unconfirmed update or a tweak on how Google Penguin detects and discounts spammy links.
On January 24, elevated fluctuations in Google search which pointed towards a new algorithm update produced increased chatter within the SEO industry. Even though this one-day event was believed to be a minor update, Google has once again nothing to comment.
Following the August 2016 warning announcement, a penalty update, confirmed by both Google's Gary Illyes and John Mueller, was rollout on January 10, to punish intrusive interstitial and pop-ups that may cause a disrupted experience for mobile devices users.
It appears that a significant update rolled out on December 15, massive shifts being continuously recorded until the end of the month. Again, Google did not confirm the update, even though there was quite of chatter in the industry and multiple tracking tools showed movements starting the middle of December.
The industry chatter started around November 10, when many people reported the first shifts in Google search. Our tool recorded the movements starting with November 16, the most significant ones being recorded on November 19 and November 23. Even though the SEO industry chatter was high during this interval, Google did not confirm anything, keeping it unclear if the affected websites were impacted by a new quality update, a mobile-first index experiment or just a bug in Google's search results.
Google announced that the Penguin update is now part of their core algorithm. The changes made to the websites will be taken into consideration very fast by Penguin, as the refresh is real-time. Also, this update is granular, meaning that it's more likely for spammy pages to be penalised, rather than the entire website. SEL coverage here.
Although not confirmed by Google, the update affects the local listings by filtering these results based on a spam score. SEL coverage here
Google Webmaster Tools expert John Mueller announced that Google finished rolling out the second update on mobile searches. The rankings impact is expected to be minor, especially for the mobile-friendly websites. SEL coverage of the update here.
Google representatives confirmed 'common core ranking algorithm updates' that ran for more than one week. It was also officially confirmed that the update 'It's not Penguin', 'nor Panda', although it could technically be connected to Panda given it's recent integration into the core algo. SEL coverages here and here.
Panda was announced to no longer be a spam filter but one of the ranking signals, part of the core algo. It seems though that Panda scores do not run in real time, but on their own and at different intervals. The precise date when Panda was incorporated is yet to be known. SEL coverage here.
Although numerous ranking fluctuations were reported across the industry, no official confirmation of a Google update was received, other than the usual 'We make 100s of changes every year'. SEL coverage here.
As scheduled, Google announced they're starting the global rollout of their mobile-friendly update, affecting only search rankings on mobile devices. The update introduces mobile-friendliness as a ranking factor and applies to individual pages, not entire websites.
After being criticized for a long time for not doing enough to fight piracy, Google finally announced an update its long neglected filtering system. Near the end of the month torrent tracker websites took a dive in the search results marking the rollout of the Pirate Update. SEL coverage of the update here.
Google made a change in the display of the News-box results, and later announced they had expanded the news websites links set, including Reddit feeds. SEL coverage of the update here.
Google announced a new Panda update, that would 'slowly rollout' in a two weeks interval. The new update aims to identify low-quality content more precisely and would affect 3 to 5% of queries, depending on location. SEL coverage of the update here.
Following several months of testing, Google officially announced their decision to start using HTTPS as a ranking signal. Currently the update would affect less than 1% of queries, but we should expect for HTTPS to gain weight over time and lose its 'very lightweight signal' status. SEL coverage of the update here.
A major local algorithm update was released, aiming to improve local search results. Although the core changes brought by the new algo are 'behind the scenes', Google announced that it 'ties deeper' into their core search algorithm. SEL coverage of the update here.
Google announces the drop of profile photo and circle count from authorship in search results, as consequence of their decision to clean up the visual design of search results. SEL coverage of the update here.
Soon after Payday Loan 2.0, Matt Cutts announced the third version of the algorithm, designed to go after different signals. While 2.0 is targeting specific websites, spammy queries are the objective of this new update.
Matt Cutts announced the release of a major Panda update, affecting different languages to different degrees. For English-language the amount of affected queries revolving around 7,5%. SEL coverage of the update here.