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SEO Look Back: Google’s Top Search Algorithm Updates of 2017

Google keeps making minor and major changes to its algorithms on a regular basis. It is something the search engine follows year after year to make sure that the end-users get the best search experience. As is obvious, the updates directly affect the search results, keeping the webmasters and other professionals on their toes. 

It’d be unfair on our part to not uncover the major updates of Google in 2017

At the very onset of the year, Google started aggressively coming down on interstitials and pop-ups on mobile sites, which were ruining the user experience. This move came after giving a one-of-its-kind warning just five months ago and a confirmation of the roll out as well. 

The war waged was by Google last year was not just on sites with low-quality content, but also the ones that contained spammy links. It could have been a result of changes made to Penguin, which helped the search engine detect and evaluate the spam links in a better manner. At the same time, black hat practitioners reported losing the effectiveness of the PBNs. However, unlike the previous update, Google kept quiet on this. 

In the coming days, experts noticed an unconfirmed update, which was speculated as an update made to the core algorithm and was supposedly related to the content quality.

While most of the updates remained unnamed, there was a certain “Fred” update, named so by Gary Ilyes on Twitter, which stuck. It seemed to be one of the big fishes that hit the low-value content sites. The update arrived in March and targeted sites with content that solely aimed at revenue generation instead of offering substantial information to the visitors. The update was never confirmed though.

Yet another unconfirmed update in May was a wide-ranging quality update, which hit the SERPs. It was assumed to be a core update by Glenn Gabe. On the other hand, Rank Ranger saw some movements in the rankings of the ecommerce websites.

Mid 2017 had industry experts noticing severe fluctuations in the site rankings across the different country domains of Google. Even though the rank tracking tools was abuzz with the activity, John Mueller denied anything happening!

Moving forward, Google had another volatile update that once again dealt with quality of the websites. The ones with poor UX, technical SEO problems, wide range of category and tag pages and pages with disruptive advertising were not spared. The search engine giant kept mum on this update.

Up next, Hawk was a local update that did away with some of the earlier updates that were brought forth by Possum in 2016. With this update, Google removed a certain filter, which stopped local business with shared addresses and buildings from appearing in the same pack.

In October, the search engine made the search results relevant to the location of the users. This was irrelevant of the country-specific domain used. The update saw a spike in the AdWords ads while a drop in the local packs in SERPs.

Come December and SEO professionals started observing longer snippets in the SERPs. Also, the average length of the meta descriptions increased from 160 to 230 characters.

Google wrapped up the year with Maccabees, an update that hit sites with doorway pages that targeted multiple subcategories or locations with varying keyword permutations in the content.

These are some of the major Google updates of 2017, which we’ve presented in the form of an infographics. Let’s know your thoughts on it! 
 
2017 Google Algorithm Updates
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