Google Algorithm and SERP Updates [2017]

In 2017 so far there's been 5 likely major updates to the algorithm.

In a classic Google fashion these were mainly rolled out quietly with minimal confirmations or explanations. However, one which occured at the start of the year did have 5 months notice...


I'm sure all you SEO'ers out there are driven just as mad by the secrecy of the Google algorithm as I am.

It's just...I mean make you mind up, you're behaving like an anxty teen.


But I guess I'd be pretty anxty too if I was worth $100 Billion at 18 years old.


I digress...


Below is a full breakdown of current Google Updates

This includes 1 confirmed and 3 unconfirmed, and one SERP update.


2017 Updates

1. January 10th - Intrusive Interstitial Penalty

2. February 1-6th - Multiple fluctuations in rankings

3. March 8th - Google Fred

4. (Approx) April 20th -  Suggested clips SERP update

5. June 25th - Major fluctuations/volatility in rankings


Pop up google

January 10th - Intrusive Interstitial Penalty

This was essentially meant to punish websites using intrusive(annoying) pop ups on mobile devices.


All in all there was very minimul impact from this update which was meant to be huge. Sites that were expected to face large penalties didn't seem to experience them that much.

So, for an update announced months in advance this was a bit of a dissapointment.

But probably not dissapointing for those pesky sites using pop ups!


no pop ups


February 1-6th - Multiple fluctuations in rankings

There was a large number of fluctuations which we can assume was atleast 2 updates.



March 8th - Google Fred

This unconfirmed update was named Google 'Fred' as a result of Gary Illyes making a joke about every new unconfirmed update to be named Fred:


A strong statement that seems to have caught on...


Punishment to Ad based blogs

So, Fred's main impact was on blogs that we're disrupting user experiene through overly promoted Ads.

We've all been on one of those trashy blogs where you're not quite sure where to click theres so many ads.

We'll now you're probably seeing them a lot less.

There were reports of traffic drops upto 90% with others affected at 50% - a huge impact if you had a blog that was centered around generating revenue through ads.

The update looks at the ratio of affiliate links as well to guage if the site is useful or "a shallow container of affiliate links" - Gary Illyes.


Punishment to low content sites

So don't be to afraid, you can still have ads and affiliate links.

The update is just said to be punishing sites which aren't providing enough valuable content and are using these methods of revenue in a spammy way.

If you are producing valuable useful content then fear not this update should not affect you, like I'm sure most Google updates in the future. The whole reason for updates is to provide more valuable content to the searcher.


April 20th - Suggested clips SERP update

Google has rolled out a new functionality into their search, suggested clips.


And they look like this:



These suggested clips are much more promenant than the previous text & video links. They are also aimed towards helping people faster, skipping to the most helpful part of the video.


This means you don't have to sit through that long intro or waste time after you've got all the information you needed.


If you haven't seen these suggested clips yet I'd reccomend you type in "how to .... youtube" into Google and a suggested clip is likely to appear.



June 25th - Major fluctuations/volatility in rankings

After a serge of dramatic fluctuations in SERP's there was much speculation of a major Google update ( This was proposed to big players on twitter and the response was allong the lines of "yes we make updates all the time".

These major fluctuations led to first pages containing extreemly varied results (spammy and trusted brands right next to each other). But apart from this there has been no knowledge fed through to us about this update from Google.

Google unconfirmed update 2017 fluctuations


You're now all up to date with Google's changes this for this year (so far) we will update this following any additonal updates so it might be worth a quick bookmark.


Last updated 17th August 2017.