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  • Su Guillory

Google’s Biggest Algorithm Updates This Year

Updated: Aug 9, 2022

The majority of Google’s algorithm updates this year were aimed at improving user experience, providing more accurate results and eliminating spam. Thousands of tests are run by Google at any given time, but few results satisfy enough to be rolled out as updates.

The first update remains unconfirmed by Google, but there was much volatility in rankings. SEO chatter indicated that the update could be a part of Panda integration, but Google has denied this. The update was also not linked to the Penguin update.

Adwords Placement Update

The AdWords Placement update shook up the AdWord bidding scene. The classic right-column ads were removed and the top ad-block was increased to 4 ads. This made ads even more valuable and the bidding for AdWords has become more competitive. This update has been slammed by small businesses who find it hard to afford ads due to it.

AMP Listings Update

The AMP listings update placed AMP news listings in a special carousel in searches. Subsequent updates placed AMP pages in special places or gave them the AMP ‘lightning’ designation, which made it easier for users to spot them.

The next update in May increased the effectiveness of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal.


Possum was a major update rolled out in September that caused volatility in local/Google Maps results. City limits were widened, duplicate listings were filtered out and searcher’s location has more influence on results.

The universal results shakeup update that was rolled out in mid-September removed image results from about 50% of the searches. In many SERPs, image results moved to the second page. The update opened up a new organic position on the first page of results, thereby causing major shifts in rankings.

Penguin 4

Towards the end of September, Penguin 4 update rolled out. This will also be the last of updates because now it is part of the core algorithm and works real-time. Spammy pages are devalued by Penguin, whereas the websites are spared.

The GIF here will give you an idea about the major Google rollouts in 2016.

Google’s Biggest Search Algorithm Updates Of 2016 – a visual representation by E2M

Author Bio:

Saumil Shah is a Digital Marketing Executive with over 3 years of experience. He currently works with E2M, a digital agency. Saumil Shah is an engineering graduate who fell in love with Marketing.He has worked in various roles ranging from Customer Support to Business Development and has a keen interest in politics. You can follow him at @sms113King


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