Google is forever updating their SERP algorithms to ensure that results are relevant and correct. Throughout 2015 there were many updates, here is a roundup of all confirmed Google algorithm updates in 2015.
1) “Mobilegeddon” – 21st April 2015.
Google did something very unusual when it comes to algorithm updates with Mobilegeddon, they pre-announced the update. In the pre announcement we were told that mobile rankings would be different for mobile-friendly sites, therefore users will receive more relevant and optimised results to the devices they are using. If you do not have a mobile friendly site you will have seen a drop in rankings.
2) The quality update – 3rd May 2015
This update had originally been called “Phantom 2” due to the large scale ranking changes, however Google later confirmed a core algorithm change which impacted quality signals. Even though Google acknowledged this update they did not delve into any in-depth details on how the quality signals had changed.
3) Panda 4.2 – 17th July 2015
Even though this update was announced by Google no immediate effects were noticed, however over the following months rankings continued to change for many sites. This update may be seen as a refresh rather than an update as it uses previous signals to improve the quality of results. Panda focuses on the quality of a site therefore if your content is of low quality such as very short or too long, or isn’t relevant to the search term or duplicate content, Google will have penalised you.
4) RankBrain – 26th October 2015
This was an announcement rather than an update. According to Google RankBrain had been released previously. RankBrain is apparently the third most important signal when it comes to SERPs. It is an artificial intelligence system that helps Google provide more relevant search terms. If RankBrain comes across a search term it isn’t familiar with, it will make an educated guess as to what the words or phrases might mean, therefore making SERPs more effective for never-before-seen search terms.
As well as these confirmed updates there were also unconfirmed updates. These included;
1) An unnamed update – 4th February 2015
There seemed to be a large flux in Google SERPs, however Google never officially confirmed this. Many websites saw fluctuations, e-commerce and brands specifically. The biggest change noticed was typo SERPs. For example, before the update, search terms such as “supperdry” would return varied results such as comparison sites, ad sites and shops ranked. After the update the SERPs have changed and the brand will now appear in the number one spot.
If you noticed any fluctuation or ranking changes in 2015 and are unsure why you were affected call us today on 0121 454 9707. Whether you need a content strategy, new quality content, content update, site wide refresh, PPC restructure or an overall online strategy, our SEO team are happy to help.