Here of the most significant changes to the Google Search Algorithm Updates of 2017
With content and link spam reducing rapidly, google is getting very effective in maintaining the quality and integrity of the web. However, they continue to keep webmasters and marketers in the dark when it comes to the nature of specific changes to the algorithm. Check out our graphic dissection of these updates!
Intrusive Interstitial (10th January 2017)
The year started with a rare update for which Big G had provided fair warning as well as confirmation of the roll out. Mobile sites that showed interstitial covering the content when users clicked through from web searches were penalized.
Unconfirmed Update (1st February 2017)
This was a tweak that changed how Google dealt with links. Some speculated that it was a change to Penguin that helped the algorithm detect and devalue spam links better. Black hats also reported losses in the effectiveness of PBNs. Google remained mum on this.
Unconfirmed Update (07th February 2017)
Exerts ventured to say that this was an update to the core search algorithm. Since Google updated their Search Quality Raters guidelines around the same time, this could have been related to content quality.
Fred (8th March 2017)
This was another update that hit sites with low quality content, which focused more on revenue generation than helping users. Gary Illyes of Google jokingly called it Fred on Twitter (while refusing to confirm it happened), and the name stuck.
Unconfirmed Update (17th May 2017)
Another wide-ranging quality update hit the SERPs in mid-May. Glenn Gabe suspected it might be a core update while Rank Ranger saw wide movements in rankings of ecommerce sites.
Unconfirmed Update (25th May 2017)
Industry experts noticed huge fluctuations in site rankings across different country domains of Google. Rank tracking tools heated up, but John Mueller of Google denied that anything special happened.
Unconfirmed Update (19th August 2017)
This was another volatile update related to quality. Sites with poor UX, technical SEO issues, disruptive advertising and large number of category or tag pages having no unique content dropped like stones. Google, as usual maintained a stiff upper lip.
Hawk (22nd August 2017)
This was a local update that killed of some of the changes that were brought into effect by Possum in 2016. Google removed a filter that prevented local businesses that shared an address or building from appearing in the same pack.
Local Results on Google ccTLDs (27th October 2017)
Google made its search results relevant to your location, independent of the country specific domain used. This means searchers can’t access international results by changing the Google ccTLD. The change also resulted in a spike in AdWords ads and drop in local packs in the SERPs.
Increase in Meta Description Length (1st December 2017)
After SEO folks noticed significantly longer snippets in the SERPs, Google confirmed pulling more data from page content to show more descriptive results. The average length of Meta descriptions have grown from 160 to 230 characters.
Maccabees (12th December 2017)
The paint is still fresh on this one. Barry Schewartz’s initial analysis concluded that Maccabees mostly hit sites that use doorway pages targeting multiple subcategories or locations with keyword permutations in the content.