Google released 2 months worth of updates in October, identifying 65 search algorithm changes made throughout August and September.There were a number of updates in August, though September was a noticeably slow month for updates.
Site quality continues to be a top priority, with updates to freshness, page quality and the Panda algorithm. Additionally, there is continued emphasis on improving local search results and site links. Other notable changes include multiple updates to the autocomplete search function, changing the way Google generates search predictions. Interestingly, there has been a notable absence in Social updates since May.
Included in this document is a graph of the various algorithm updates (categorized by type) from the past 6 months, as well as key highlights from the algorithm updates.
Four edits to page quality and the Panda algorithm
- Description: Three updates related to providing users with content from quality, trustworthy sites. Additionally, Google refreshed data for the Panda algorithm.
- Impact: Google continues to emphasize high-quality sites with original content as the most relevant results to user queries.
Multiple updates to the autocomplete function
- Description: There were several updates to the autocomplete search function, all related to improving how autocomplete predictions are generated.
- Impact: Google will be better able to predict users search queries, and ultimately provide them with more relevant content even quicker than before.
Two updates to “freshness”
- Description: Updates were made to display most recent content when multiple items from the same domain are relevant to users. An additional change improves the way outdated content is handled.
- Impact: It’s becoming increasingly important to provide updated, “fresh” content to users. Outdated, “stale” content will likely result in lower search engine rankings.
Multiple updates to local search results
- Description: Google made multiple improvements to display more relevant local search results, in addition to improving local search features (e.g. local time search).
- Impact: Optimizing for local search is an integral component of SEO as local search queries continue to grow and Google continues to improve its algorithm for local results.
An improvement to the symptoms search feature
- Description: The symptoms checker search feature was improved and internationalized.
- Impact: Users are able to retrieve enhanced search results on the SERP, allowing them to obtain information without clicking on an external site.
An update to video search results on mobile devices
- Description: A more appropriately sized video thumbnail will display for mobile video queries.
- Impact: Videos should have an appropriate thumbnail selected in the video xml sitemap and microdata.