Google released 2 months worth of updates earlier this month, identifying 86 search algorithm changes made throughout June and July.
Google continued to emphasize high-quality sites and relevant results with updates to the Panda algorithm and page quality. There were additional edits geared toward better detecting natural language, promoting user-friendly results and providing more information on search engine results pages (SERP).
Included below is a graph of the various algorithm updates (categorized by type) from the past 5 months, as well as key highlights from the June / July edits:
Edits to the Panda algorithm
- Description: Google refreshed, updated and added new data to the Panda high-quality sites algorithm. In July, Panda was launched for Japan and Korea.
- Impact: Google continues to emphasize high-quality sites to provide users with the most relevant results.
Multiple updates related to clustering of web results
- Description: Google continues their efforts to make clustering of web results better and more simple.
- Impact: Users are more likely to see multiple results from one domain, potentially benefitting authoritative brands.
Three updates to Image search results
- Description: Updates to signal more relevant image results and filtering of small, unhelpful images to bottom of search results page.
- Impact: Users are more apt to find salient, relevant images. Focusing SEO efforts on all site assets could lead to additional exposure.
Several updates to the display of Sitelinks on the results page
- Description: Google has made changes to make Sitelinks, removing boiler plate text in Sitelink titles, instead emphasizing more useful text.
- Impact: Actively monitoring Sitelinks to demote, in addition to logical site architecture, may result in more Sitelink visibility.
Google added detailed information for Olympic queries
- Description: For queries related to the Olympics, users were provided with detailed information, such as schedules, medal counts, events, and records.
- Impact: Users are able to retrieve Olympic information without having to click on an external site.
Hover feature allows users to quickly compare local places
- Description: When hovering over local places in search results, information appears on the right side of the page.
- Impact: Information provided allows users to compare local places without having to click on an external site. Local SEO may take a more prominent role in personalized results.
Updates focusing on natural language detection for search queries
- Description: Updates were made to better understand natural language for multiple user queries (sunset/sunrise feature, MLB queries, dictionary search feature, etc.).
- Impact: Google continues their commitment to better understand users’ queries and provide more information on the SERP.