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Google Algorithm Update History

A History of Major Google Algorithm Updates from 2000–Present

4

"Medic" Core Update — August 1, 2018

"Medic" Core Update — August 1, 2018

Google confirmed a "broad core algorithm update," with wide reports of massive impact. It rolled out over the period of about a week, but peaked on August 1-2. This update seemed to disproportionately affect sites in the health and wellness vertical, although large-scale impact was seen in all verticals.

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1

BERT Update — October 22, 2019

BERT Update — October 22, 2019

Google upgraded their algorithm and underlying hardware to support the BERT natural language processing (NLP) model. BERT helps Google better interpret natural language searches and understand context.

2

September 2019 Core Update

September 2019 Core Update

Google rolled out another core update. The update measured at 97°F on MozCast (fairly high, but not historically high) and seemed to impact sites affected by previous core updates. Google did not provide many details.

Google September 2019 core update to roll-out later tod

3

"Maverick" Update — July 12, 2019

"Maverick" Update — July 12, 2019

Ranking trackers and webmaster chatter registered a week of heavy flux (MozCast peaked at 95°F on July 16) that was later dubbed the "Maverick" update by the search community. Google did not confirm an update, and details were limited.

5

Mobile Speed Update — July 9, 2018

Mobile Speed Update — July 9, 2018

Six months after announcing it, Google rolled out the mobile page speed update, making page speed a ranking factor for mobile results. Google claimed that this only affected the slowest mobile sites, and there was no evidence of major mobile rankings shifts.

6

Video Carousels — June 14, 2018

Video Carousels — June 14, 2018

Google moved videos from organic-like results with thumbnails into a dedicated video carousel, causing a shake-up in results that were previously tracked as organic. At the same time, the number of SERPs with videos increased significantly (+60% in MozCast).

7

Snippet Length Drop

Snippet Length Drop

After testing longer display snippets of up to 300+ characters for a few months, Google rolled back most snippets to the former limit (about 150-160 characters).

8

Mobile-First Index Roll-out — March 26, 2018

Mobile-First Index Roll-out — March 26, 2018

Google announced that the mobile-first index was finally "rolling out." Since the index has been in testing for many months, and Google has suggested they are migrating sites gradually, it's unclear how much impact this specific roll-out had on the overall index. Webmaster should begin to see notifications within Google Search Console.

9

"Brackets" Core Update — March 8, 2018

"Brackets" Core Update — March 8, 2018

Google confirmed a "core" update on March 7th, but volatility spiked as early as March 4th, with a second spike on March 8th, and continued for almost two weeks. This may have been multiple updates or one prolonged, rolling update. The "Brackets" name was coined by Glenn Gabe; no details were provided by Google.

10

Snippet Length Increase — November 30, 2017

Snippet Length Increase — November 30, 2017

After testing longer search snippets for over two years, Google increased them across a large number of results. This led us to adopt a new Meta Description limit -- up to 300 characters from the previous 155 (almost doubling). Google confirmed an update to how snippets are handled, but didn't provide details.

Moz - Google Algorithm Update History

View the complete Google Algorithm Change History as compiled by the staff of Moz. Includes important updates like Google Panda, Penguin, and more.