Google knows how to keep busy. They are constantly fine-tuning and updating their algorithm to improve how users search and find information.
These Google SEO updates provide a better search experience and results for users. Unfortunately for marketers and webmasters, Google also announced that many of their updates have been rolled into the core algorithm. Those updates are adjusted often, but without the announcement of major changes as was done previously.
How can you tell if an update may have happened when Google is so unlikely to confirm it? Well, sites like Search Engine Land and Moz keep track of possible Google SEO updates,so you can check there to stay updated. Also, many tracking tools will show significant fluctuations, which can indicate an update has taken place. Following industry conversations by webmasters and SEO experts about major ranking changes, for good or bad, provides further evidence.
Here are the recentGoogle SEO updatesyou need to know.
March 2017 “Fred”
This unconfirmed update appeared in March. The name comes from Gary Illyes of Google, who suggested that all updates be named Fred as a joke. Well, the name stuck for this one. This update seems to target link quality within Google’s algorithm, according to Search Engine Land. This follows another spammy link update in early February, also unconfirmed.
Content Quality Update
This update came on February 7, and targeted content quality, which seems to be related to Google Panda algorithm. Many sites reported significant changes in ranking. Panda is now part of Google’s core ranking algorithm.
Possible Penguin Update
Google’s Penguin 4.0 algorithm, which was launched in September 2016, runs in “real time.” While previous versions of Penguin could keep a site from recovering between updates, this latest version affects only single pages, not the whole website, and recovery takes place during a site recrawl. Penguin 4.0 also devalues spam, rather than penalizing the overall site ranking.
In early February, there appeared to be a Google SEO update to Penguin, according to Spinutech. This update focuses on spammy links and private blog networks, so most websites have nothing to worry about.
Other mobile-focused algorithm updates have been introduced. In January 2017, Google confirmed that non-mobile friendly sites would receive penalties for interstitials such as pop ups or ads that blocked users from reaching the actual content of a site immediately.
Search Result Emojis
Google used to support emojis in search results on mobile, but stopped in 2015. They made a comeback on all devices on February 15. Maybe it’s time to add some smiley faces to your headlines.
Stars In Local Search Results
Also in February, businesses who have only received one review will have those stars show up in local search results. Previously, a business would need to have multiple reviews before their stars would show up.
Not sure you can keep up with all of these updates and "know-how's". Let the experts handle it for you!