Google reps said that this was not a Core Update, and some data sets showed these changes reversing around February 12th. SEOs reported massive ranking changes for a few hours on August 10, which then seemed to disappear. MozCast registered 97°F the following day , but it’s unclear if this event was related. It was unclear how the two updates were connected or what specifically was impacted. While specific sites showed significant impacts, there was no clear impact on overall rankings volatility.
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Google rolled out what appeared to be a major update, with reports of widespread impacts across the SEO community. Gary Illyes jokingly referred to is as “Fred”, and the name stuck, but he later made it clear that this was not an official confirmation. With the launch of Chrome 62, Google started warning visitors to sites with unsecured forms. While not an algorithm update, this was an important step in Google’s push toward HTTPS and may have a material impact on site traffic. Chatter and several tools showed ranking volatility around December 14th.
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In the period around May 9th, there were many reports of an algorithm update . The exact nature of this update was unknown, but many sites reported significant traffic loss. Given the 2.1 designation, this was probably a data update and not a major change to the Penguin algorithm. The overall impact seemed to be moderate, although some webmasters reported being hit hard. Google made what looked like a display change to News-box results, but later announced that they had expanded news links to a much larger set of potential sites.
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MozCast registered a 40% day-over-day drop in SERPs with Featured Snippets, their lowest point since 2015. On further inspection, these were heavily focused on short queries (especially 1-word queries) and disproportionately hit YMYL queries . In an unprecedented move, Google simultaneously announced the June and July 2021 Core Updates.