In average, Google launches 600 updates every year. The release of these updates, sometimes unexpected and unconfirmed, probably became the everyday worries of SEOs. As we begin a new year, it is time for us to review the main Google algorithm updates of 2017. We hope that this reminder will help you to be clear with the current Google guidelines and updates to kick off your new 2018 strategy!
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Google Algorithm Updates 2017
Google’s Mobile First Index: Coming Soon!
Google has been talking about the new Mobile First algorithm since November 4th, 2016. It aims to rank websites based on the mobile version of their web page. Garry Illyes revealed that Google should be ready to launch the update in a few months now!
Maccabees Update: Mid-December
Google said that they released several minor improvements during this timeframe, part of their regular and routine efforts to improve relevancy. Sites with no schema data and those relying on doorway pages were the most impacted.
Unnamed Google Update: November 15th 2017 (Unconfirmed)
By November 15th, many SEOs noticed ranking fluctuations both on desktop and mobile. This update didn’t seem to be related to Penguin or Panda. Google has not confirmed anything yet.
Google ccTLDs No Longer Give Access to International Search Results: October 27th 2017
On October 27th, Google decided to deliver more local results by refusing the access to the international search results to all the Google country code top-level domain (google.co.uk, google.ca…).
Unnamed Google Update: 13th September 2017 (Unconfirmed)
Between September the 13th and September the 28th, the tool RankRanger noticed a series of one-day fluctuation spikes that could be a Google algorithm update.
Unnamed Google Update: August 19th 2017 (Unconfirmed)
Some major fluctuations had been noticed by the SEO community at the end of the summer. By analyzing the data, SEO experts seemed to think that it was a quality update which negatively impacted sites with broken UI elements, aggressive advertising or poor content.
Elevated Fluctuations Impact Bottom of the SERP Sites: 28th June 2017
According to the Rank Risk Index, a prolonged series of increased ranking fluctuations had been tracked. They determined that the most significant fluctuations were taking place for sites ranked between positions 6 and 10.
Unnamed Google Update: May 23rd 2017 (Unconfirmed)
According to the Rank Risk Index, a Google’s update shifted the rankings of some of the most notable Ecommerce sites as Amazon or eBay.
Fred Update: March 8th 2017
This update targeted websites that violate Google’s guidelines and focus on revenue instead of users. Fred mainly affected little or low-value content sites.
The Google Phantom 5 Update: February 7th 2017
On February 7th, many websites using interstitiels when loading on mobile devices have been downgraded. We still don’t have any insights from Google about this update but it seems that it was URL-based and that it only affected individual pages and/or directories.
Update dedicated to Japanese SERPs: February, 3rd 2017
Google announced the launch of an update dedicated to the Japanese SERPs. It aimed to improve their quality and to create a web ecosystem which provides users with useful and reliable content.
Possible Penguin Algorithm Update: February, 1st 2017 (Unconfirmed)
Many tracking tools showed significance turbulences around February the 1st. Websites impacted seemed to use some “Black Hat” SEO methods, more precisely an aggressive link building strategy, reminding the Penguin Algorithm.
Intrusive Interstitial Penalty: January 10th 2017
Google announced that it will downgrade websites using “intrusive interstitials” because it “can be problematic on mobile devices where screens are often smaller”.