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.For search marketers, knowing the dates of these Google updates can help explain changes in rankings and organic website traffic and ultimately improve search engine optimization.Below, we’ve listed the major algorithmic changes that have had the biggest impact on search.Industry chatter was high during both periods, with some suggesting that the second spike was a reversal of the first update. Many people reported bad dates in SERPs during the same time period, but it's unclear whether this was causal or just a coincidence.
While not an algorithm update, this was an important step in Google's push toward HTTPS and may have a material impact on site traffic.Google rolled out what appeared to be a major update, with reports of widespread impacts across the SEO community.Gary Illyes jokingly referred to is as "Fred", and the name stuck, but he later made it clear that this was not an official confirmation.This co-occurred with a jump in Knowledge Panels, as Google seemed to add many panels for broad terms and objects ("travel", "toilet", "web design", etc.).Some of these panels disappeared around December 15.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).There was a period of heavy algorithm flux starting around February 1st and peaking around February 6th.It is unclear whether this was multiple algorithm updates or a single update with an extended roll-out, but anecdotal evidence suggests at least two updates.Algorithm trackers (including Moz Cast) and webmaster chatter spotted increasing flux starting around September 25th, which seemed to spike on the 27th, after a period of relative calm. Google officially launched their jobs portal, including a stand-alone 3-pack of job listings in search results.These results drew data from almost all of the major providers, including Linked In, Monster, Glassdoor, and Career Builder.