Google Algorithm Updates - Latest News & History



Throughout the year Google is constantly making updates to their algorithms, and that causes rank fluctuations in the search results. So far In 2019, Google has already rolled out several confirmed core algorithm updates.

Below you’ll find an up-to-date summary of the confirmed and unconfirmed updates with additional resources and links to help you better understand the nature and impact of these changes.

More resources: Rank Risk Index | Google SERP Features | Visual SERP Feature Guide

2022 - Google Updates

Rank Risk Index - Mobile Version
November 2022

November 18th - 20th Unconfirmed Update

Unconfirmed Update
November 18, 2022

On November 18th the Rank Risk Index reported high levels of SERP fluctuations on both desktop and mobile. Although the fluctuation levels on desktop returned to normal the following day, fluctuations continued on mobile.

On November 21st, Barry Schwartz of Search Engine Roundtable reported industry chatter.
Rank Risk Index - Mobile Version
October 2022

October 28th Unconfirmed Update / Adjustment

Unconfirmed Update
October 28, 2022

On October 28th the Rank Risk Index reported high levels of SERP fluctuations on mobile. SERP fluctuation levels returned to normal the following day.

On November 1st, Barry Schwartz of Search Engine Roundtable reported industry chatter. He mentioned that some SEOs were noticing that sites hit by previous updates were seeing big swings in terms of their Google rankings and traffic.
Rank Risk Index - Desktop Version
October 2022

October 22nd Unconfirmed Update

Unconfirmed Update
October 22, 2022

On October 22nd the Rank Risk Index reported high levels of SERP fluctuations on desktop. On mobile the fluctuations started on October 21st. SERP fluctuation levels returned to normal on October 23rd on both mobile and desktop.

On October 24th, Barry Schwartz of Search Engine Roundtable reported industry chatter. He also speculated that the fluctuations might be related to the recent Spam Update.
Rank Risk Index - Desktop Version

October 2022 Spam Update

Confirmed Update
October 19, 2022

On October 19th, Google announced on Twitter that the October 2022 Spam Updated had been released.

On October 20th, Barry Schwartz or Search Engine Roundtable reported limited industry chatter and ranking fluctuation.
Rank Risk Index - Desktop Version
September 2022

September 2022 Product Reviews Update

Confirmed Update
September 22, 2022

On September 20th, Google announced on Twitter that the September 2022 Product Reviews update had been released.

On September 22, Barry Schwartz of Search Engine Roundtable reported on industry chatter.
Rank Risk Index - Desktop Version

September 2022 Core Update

Confirmed Update
September 13, 2022

On September 12th Google announced that the September 2022 Core Updated had been released.

The next day, the Rank Risk Index reported a massive increase in SERP fluctuations on both mobile and desktop.

On September 13th Barry Schwartz or Search Engine Roundtable reported on industry chatter.
Rank Risk Index - Desktop Version
September 2022

Helpful Content Update Fluctuations

Unconfirmed Update
September 08, 2022

On September 8th the Rank Risk Index reported a spike in SERP features on both mobile and desktop. The fluctuations peaked the next day and returned to normal on September 10th.

It’s interesting to note that these fluctuations happened at the tail end of the Helpful Content Update rollout. What’s also interesting is that the fluctuations ended on the day that Google announced that the update was completed.

On September 9th, Barry Schwartz of Search Engine Roundtable speculated that the fluctuations were related to the update. He also reported on industry chatter.
Rank Risk Index - Desktop Version
August 2022

Helpful Content Update

Confirmed Update
August 25, 2022

On August 25th, Google confirmed on Twitter that the Helpful Content update was live.

Google pre-announced the update on its blog explaining that the update was designed to weed out low-quality content.

It’s interesting to note that on the day the update went live, the Rank Risk Index reported normal levels of SERP fluctuations on both mobile and desktop.

On August 25th, Barry Schwartz of Search Engine Roundtable reported that the update was live
Rank Risk Index - Desktop Version
August 2022

August 9th Outage

Unconfirmed Update
August 09, 2022

On August 9th, Google suffered a massive outage that caused:
  • Indexing issues
  • Pages dropping out of Google’s index
  • Low-quality outdated search results

The outage was apparently caused by a fire in one of Google’s data centers.

The outage caused massive SERP fluctuations which were picked up on the Rank Risk Index on August 9th and 10th on both desktop and mobile. SERP fluctuations returned to normal on August 11th.

On August 9th, Barry Schwartz of Search Engine Roundtable reported the incident.
Rank Risk Index - Desktop Version
July 2022

July 2022 Product Reviews Update

Confirmed Update
July 27, 2022

On July 27th, Google announced on Twitter that the July 2022 Product Reviews update was released.

It’s interesting to note that on July 27th the Rank Risk Index reported normal levels of SERP fluctuations on both mobile and desktop.

On July 28th, Barry Schwartz of Search Engine Roundtable reported minimal levels of industry chatter.
Rank Risk Index - Desktop Version
June 2022

June 2022 Unconfirmed Update

Unconfirmed Update
June 20, 2022

On June 20th the Rank Risk Index began tracking high levels of SERP fluctuations on both mobile and desktop. The tremors began increasing during the following days.

On June 21st, Barry Schwartz of Search Engine Roundtable reported high levels of industry chatter. He also commented on how search fluctuations occurred both before and after the May Core update.
Rank Risk Index - Desktop Version
May 2022

Google May 2022 Core Update

Confirmed Update
May 26, 2022

On May 25th 2022, Google announced that the May 2022 Core update was live. The following day on May 26th, the Rank Risk Index reported a huge spike in rank fluctuations on both desktop and mobile. Although fluctuation levels returned to normal the next day, a core update typically takes two weeks to roll out completely.

On May 26th, Barry Schwartz of Search Engine Roundtable reported on the update commenting on high levels of industry chatter.
Rank Risk Index - Desktop Version
May 2022