How to Track Google Algorithm Updates
It’s been a pretty long that I wrote something on SEO, though this blog was started as an SEO blog long back on good old Blogspot ( seo-kolkata.blogspot.com – doesn’t exist anymore). I entered the world of digital marketing with SEO and though these days I spend reasonably more time on Adwords and various other aspects of marketing, SEO has been with me like the unforgettable first love.
SEOs have always tried to keep track of Google algorithm updates, one of the most common questions discussed in every SEO forum and blog is when did google change its search algorithm.
In the good old days Google algorithm updates would have once in a while and we would all sit with our eyes glued to the computers watching the Google Dance. For those of you not familiar with Google Dance – this was the process where all of Google’s data centers synced up to show uniform results.
However, things changed very quickly, algorithm changes became much more frequent, and eventually, we have come to today when there is a continuous change in algorithms. But the question still stands, how to track Google algorithm updates? How do I know when Google’s algorithm is changing?
It has obviously become much more difficult and while some of the major Google algorithm updates could be pointed at specific days and period, with the continuous algorithm updates and small changes the algorithm is pretty much in a state of flux. I thought I will list down a few awesome SEO resources and tools that can actually keep track of the Google algorithm updates .
History of Google Algorithm Updates
Google Algorithm Change History: This page by Moz is a great resource if you want to keep a track of all historical Google algorithm updates and they keep this updated regularly to include all the latest algorithm changes. It is nicely segmented by years and also gives a brief overview on what really changed in that specific update. It is updated till Fred, which was the last major Google algorithm update that happened in Mar 2017 ( unconfirmed by Google though).
Google Algorithm Updates History: This is done by TheHoth and is pretty similar to the content the Moz provides, though I feel Moz’s summary of the algorithm updates are much more detailed and useful. The page also provides links to few other pages that provides a lot more detailing on the major updates like Panda, Penguin etc
Infographic on Google Algorithm History – Done by RankWatch, this is a much more interactive nice depiction of Google algorithm updates history.
SERP Fluctuation & Volatility Analysis Tools
With the continuous changes in Google algorithm there is no way to keep a track of it other than looking at the changes in search engine rankings. Hence tracking of SERP fluctuation and volatility is one of the best indicator of how the Google algorithm is behaving. There are few very effective tools that are tracking and providing insights on this.
SEMRush Sensor Tool : SEMRush is one of my most favorite tools and I use them for both SEO and Paid Search ( Read the full SEMRush review covering all the features ). The tool has been tracking millions of keywords and domains and providing competitive intelligence to the search marketers, so it was just a natural extension, when they leveraged the continuous data flow to create the SENSOR tool. It provides an indicative score out of 10 to show the level of volatility in the search results. This can be customized based on country and also by desktop/mobile.
MozCast : MozCast is another most well known tool that keeps a track of the SERP volatility. They have set it up more like a weather report and literally describes the tool as “MozCast is a weather report showing turbulence in the Google algorithm”. The best part is that they actually have a page explaining how exactly they calculate the score and the details of the methodology, however, I feel the data sample ( they handpick 1000 keywords) is relatively small.
While Google algorithm updates are an essential part of an SEO’s life, has always been and will always be there. With Google focussing heavily on machine learning for everything, Google algorithm will be continuously changing and updating itself as it keeps learning from more and more data and user behavior and we might not be far away from a time while we do not get any more major “announced” Google algorithm updates anymore and solely rely on SERP volatility to get a hint on the changes in Google algorithm.