When it comes to the Google algorithm, change is the only constant. The search engine is often updated, even more often than what is usually documented. It can be a real challenge to keep up.

However, staying on top of basic implementations can ensure your organic search experience is a positive one. Once you familiarize yourself with the changes, you can determine if you need to make any changes to your strategy.

In this article, we’ll take a look at the latest Google algorithm updates that can have a big impact on your organic search rankings. If you’ve noticed any fluctuations in your traffic or search rankings lately, this could be the reason.

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The latest algorithm updates from Google

Product reviews update

Started 09/20/22, completed 09/26/22

The fifth in a series of updates targeting low-quality reviews, the Product reviews update has the potential to cause greater impact than previous iterations. This is due to an earlier rollout called the Useful Content Update (more on that below), an update that reinforced every time a new algorithm change is released.

Simply put, the product review update affects you if you post product reviews on your website. If you don’t, then you won’t be affected.

Note that this update only targets product reviews in English.

Major update from September 2022

Started 9/12/22, completed 9/26/22

The September release of the major update is like any other major update – like Google puts it, “One way to think about how a major update works is to imagine you made a list of the top 100 movies in 2021. A few years later in 2024, you update the list. This will naturally change.

In other words, if your website is affected by a major update, it does not necessarily mean that there is something wrong with your pages. It also doesn’t mean you’ve been penalized. Rather, think of a major update as Google’s algorithm making sure that content still meets people’s needs. You may even be rewarded by these types of updates.

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Useful content update

Started 08/25/22, completed 9/9/22

Perhaps one of the biggest changes to Google’s algorithm this year, the Useful content update have brought radical changes to organic search, including:

  • Focus on useful content – ​​Content should be created for a specific audience, include expertise, be reliable and trustworthy, and meet the reader’s wants and needs.
  • Prioritize content written for humans – Penalties will apply to websites with content written for search engines rather than humans.
  • Site-Wide Impacts – Instead of the page-by-page analysis that existed with previous algorithm changes, Google applies this to the entire site.
  • Long recovery time – If your site has been affected by this rollout, the search engine encourages you to make changes, but says it could take months before you see improvements in rankings.

While the useful content update may present challenges for some websites, it puts the focus on creating better experiences for people—a move that ultimately helps brands and businesses with their own customers.

In conclusion

Google algorithm changes are not a level playing field experience. While an update can significantly affect one website, another website avoids it completely. Some implementations may even reward your website and web pages instead of crushing them. It all depends on whether your website can be seen as useful or useless (in the eyes of Google, of course) and whether your website continues to provide a satisfactory user experience.

If you want to learn more about how Google organic search works, check out our guide to how Google ranks websites.

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