After a summer hiatus, the June and July Search Quality Highlights were rolled out in one mega-post. Major updates included Panda data and algorithm refreshes, an improved rank-ordering function (?), a ranking boost for “trusted sources”, and changes to site clustering. Google rolled out another Panda refresh, which appears to have been data-only. Ranking flux was moderate but not on par with a large-scale algorithm update.
The timeline spanned months, with the final rollout starting in the US in early 2010 and lasting until the summer. Google and Bing confirmed that they use social signals in determining ranking, including data from Twitter and Facebook. Matt Cutts confirmed that this was a relatively new development for Google, although many SEOs had long suspected it would happen. In response to high-profile spam cases, Google rolled out an update to help better sort out content attribution and stop scrapers. After experimenting for a while, Google officially rolled out expanded site-links, most often for brand queries. At first, these were 12-packs, but Google appeared to limit the expanded site-links to 6 shortly after the roll-out.
Google Video – Search for online videos hosted by Google, and transcript text of videos and TV shows. Google Trends – List of the 100 most active search queries and comparison of what people are searching for on Google. Google My Maps – Feature in Google Maps that allows its users to create custom maps for personal use or share with others. Google Forms – A feature of Google Docs that allows users to create a form that collects information for personal or business use.
This update was highly targeted, causing dramatic drops in ranking to a relatively small group of sites. MozCast recorded a nearly-record 111° temperature and a 50% drop in SERPs with image (universal/vertical) results. The universal result shake-up opened up an organic position on page 1, causing substantial ranking shifts, but it’s likely that this was part of a much larger update. The second phase of Penguin 4.0 was the reversal of all previous Penguin penalties.
Google confirmed that the BERT natural language processing algorithm was rolling out internationally, in 70 languages. This announcement came after speculation from the SEO community, and the exact timing of the roll-out is unclear. This had significant implications for rank-tracking and organic CTR. After multiple delays, Google started rolling out the Page Experience Update on June 25th, announcing that the rollout would continue through August 2021. This update included Core Web Vitals and impacted both organic results and News results .