It is well known that Google works continuously to optimize their services on a regular basis. This implies adding occasionally adding minor and major updates to the Google algorithm that shake things up every now and then. This makes it necessary for the SEO community to stay updated with the updates and the effects of the same. 2018 was no exception to this.
There were a number of significant updates from Google in 2018 as well. Let’s take a quick look at the Google Algorithm Updates 2018.
Google Algorithm List
- Brackets Core Update:
This core update was launched in March earlier this year. Many sites saw major volatility on 3rd and 8th of March
- Mobile-first Index Roll-out:
With this update, Google would index the websites primarily according to their mobile versions.
- Snippet Length Drop:
In May, Google rolled back most of the snippets to the earlier limits (150-160 characters after testing longer snippets of 300+ characters.
- Video Carousels:
Video thumbnails were replaced with a dedicated video carousel causing a major change in the results. With this, there was a significant increase in the number of SERP with videos.
- Mobile Speed Update:
This update made page speed a ranking factor for mobile results. Google claimed that only the slowest of the websites were affected.
- Chrome Security Warnings:
With effect from July 24, Chrome 68 started marking the non-HTTPS sites as “not secure.” This, however, relies on users installing the latest version of Chrome.
- “Medic” Core Update:
Google launched this “broad core algorithm” update in August 2018. The update took about a week to roll out completely and peaked at about 1-2 August. This update majorly affected the health and wellness verticals and YMYL sites (Your Money Your Life), although other verticals also saw some large-scale impact.
Image Credits: algoroo.com
Impact of Google Algorithm
Google always aims to improve the quality of their search results with each update that they roll out. Google Algorithm updates often cause websites to experience fluctuations with their traffic and their rankings.
Different algorithms have varying effects on the ranking and SERPs. For instance, the mobile-first indexing update changed the primary indexing factor from the desktop version of a site to their mobile version.
The August Medic core update ranked pages with similar content according to the time when they were published. For pages with content about the same topic, those which have been published latest would rank higher. This makes it necessary for the website owners to keep updating the content on their pages to maintain their rankings.
All in all, this was a short summary of the major updates that Google rolled out in 2018. There are often a number of minor updates and also additions to the earlier updates. To rank higher in the Google search results, it is necessary to stay updated with the latest updates and look out for the ones that might come up in the future.