Google published their monthly (bi-monthly?) list of search highlights. The 65 updates for August and September included 7-result SERPs, Knowledge Graph expansion, updates to how “page quality” is calculated, and changes to how local results are determined. After suggesting the next Penguin update would be major, Google released a minor Penguin data update, impacting “0.3% of queries”.
After Panda 2.5, Google entered a period of “Panda Flux” where updates started to happen more frequently and were relatively minor. Some industry analysts called the 11/18 update 3.1, even though there was no official 3.0. For the purposes of this history, we will discontinue numbering Panda updates except for very high-impact changes.
The timeline spanned months, with the final rollout starting in the US in early 2010 and lasting until the summer. Google and Bing confirmed that they use social signals in determining ranking, including data from Twitter and Facebook. Matt Cutts confirmed that this was a relatively new development for Google, although many SEOs had long suspected it would happen. In response to high-profile spam cases, Google rolled out an update to help better sort out content attribution and stop scrapers. After experimenting for a while, Google officially rolled out expanded site-links, most often for brand queries. At first, these were 12-packs, but Google appeared to limit the expanded site-links to 6 shortly after the roll-out.
As part of their monthly update, Google mentioned code-name “Venice”. This local update appeared to more aggressively localize organic results and more tightly integrate local search data. This wasn’t an algorithm update, but Google published a rare peek into a search quality meeting.
Google Career Certificates were designed and built by subject-matter experts and senior practitioners at Google from each of the job fields. Every certificate has been created to equip learners with theoretical and practical knowledge and real-life problem-solving skills to be successful in an entry-level job. These funds will create a lasting impact in helping people land high-quality jobs in high-growth fields. YouTube Video Editor – Was a free feature of YouTube that gave users the ability to edit videos. As of September 20, 2017, Google discontinued the service, but kept the ability to allow users to add enhancements to their videos.
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While many changes were observed in May, the exact nature of Dominic was unclear. Google bots “Freshbot” and “Deepcrawler” scoured the web, and many sites reported bounces. The way Google counted or reported backlinks seemed to change dramatically. Although obviously not an algorithm update, a major event in Google’s history – Google sold 19M shares, raised $1.67B in capital, and set their market value at over $20B. While not your typical algorithm update, Google integrated traditional search results with News, Video, Images, Local, and other verticals, dramatically changing their format. Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo jointly announced support for the Canonical Tag, allowing webmasters to send canonicalization signals to search bots without impacting human visitors.
This update was highly targeted, causing dramatic drops in ranking to a relatively small group of sites. MozCast recorded a nearly-record 111° temperature and a 50% drop in SERPs with image (universal/vertical) results. The universal result shake-up opened up an organic position on page 1, causing substantial ranking shifts, but it’s likely that this was part of a much larger update. The second phase of Penguin 4.0 was the reversal of all previous Penguin penalties.
Google Nest – Google home automation and security products, including the Nest thermostat. Google Maps – A great feature that enables users to search for directions from one location to another, search for local businesses, and more. Google Docs – A fantastic free solution from Google that allows you to create documents, open Microsoft Word documents, and share your documents with other users that have Internet access. Google App Engine – A service that provides users the ability to create scalable web services that use Google’s resources. Google Ads – Formerly known as Google AdWords, Google Ads is a service that enables users to pay to advertise on the Google search engine and other websites using Google AdSense. What helps Google stand out from its competition, helps it continue to grow, and be the number one search engine is its PageRank technique that sorts search results.