This year's new list of updates and changes to Google's search result algorithms in 2015.
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|#||Date||Update||Update type||Noticeable effect|
|4||Nov 2, 2015||Mobile-friendly 2||Ranking Signals||Unspecified|
|3||Jul 18, 2015||Panda 4.2||Data Refresh||~2% - 3% English queries|
|2||May 3, 2015||The Quality Update||Ranking Signals||Unspecified|
|1||Apr 21, 2015||Mobile-friendly Update||Ranking Signals||Unspecified|
On November 2nd, Google went live with an update to its mobile-friendly algorithm. The update, which was first announced in September, penalizes websites that use large banners to prompt visitors to download a mobile app on transition from the search results. Offending sites that use app install interstitial to covers a significant portion of the page's content will no longer be considered mobile-friendly, and the mobile-friendly notification will be removed from the SERPs.
An unusually slow Panda rollout was confirmed by Google to have commenced over the weekend of the 18th of July, and said to affect ~2% - 3% of English queries.
In the days following the Panda 4.2 refresh, Mozcast showed no significant flux; however, Google did specify that this update would roll out over a period of months. Google's Gary Illyes had announced an upcoming Panda refresh at SMX Advanced Seattle in early June, and on October 1st, over 2 1/2 months after the update began, confirmed it was still rolling out, and would continue to for some time.
Google also told us they are shifting their infrastructure towards more continuous changing and gradual rolling out of Panda, incorporated into their core ranking algorithms. Google said they are not there yet, but they’re moving in that direction, and these are the first steps in that direction.
According to John Mueller, the reason behind the ultra-slow rollout of Panda 4.2 is not to confuse or make life more difficult for webmasters and SEOs, but rather for technical reasons, to be able to analyze content quality more thoroughly.
The Quality Update was confirmed by Google about 2 weeks after noticeable flux in the SERPs and spikes in Mozcast et al. Originally named as another phantom update ("Phantom 2" to be precise) because of Google's lack of acknowledgement, the Quality Update represented a change in how Google assesses content quality.
Some large sites saw traffic decreses, including WikiHow, eHow, Answers.com, and notably, Hubpages, with a traffic dip of 22%.
Google's long anticipated mobile-friendly algorithm update began its first—and global—roll out on April 21, 2015.
First announced by Google in February, the mobile algorithm update affects organic results on smartphones only, adding preference for mobile-ready websites. Non mobile-ready sites aren't guaranteed to drop in rankings, but merely have one less advantageous signal for rankings.
As Google's algorithms improve, search-friendly website rankings do as well. Learn about search engine optimization.