Google Update Tracker

Track the important updates to make sure you don't lose out to competitors

About Google Updates

Google makes numerous changes to the way it organises (ranks) websites for every search. Most changes are small, but there are a few each year — known as Core Updates — that everyone should be paying attention to as it can drastically change your position and which page you appear on. They make broad, wide updates and cover a lot of overall quality issues. Studies find that most people don’t search past the second page, and it takes a lot of work to reach those first two results pages.

Below is a list of recent updates and how your website should adapt.


May 2021

Action needed: Make sure your website loads lightning fast and easy to use (especially on mobile)
Ranking factors: Overall load time, how quickly you can interact with elements, how visually stable the content is while loading


February 2021

Type: Passage Ranking
Action needed: None. Google have just changed the way they understand what you've written.
Ranking factors: N/A


  • N/A


  • N/A


December 2020

Type: Core Update
Action needed: Concentrate on quality content and answering specific questions that searchers have been looking for
Ranking factors: EAT and search intent


  • Quality targeted content
  • Finance, food, relocation, movies & streaming


  • Dictionaries & encyclopedias, the arts, medicine
  • Sites that don't know their audience nor create quality content

May 2020

Type: Core Update
Action needed: Nothing new — Adjusted from January's update
Ranking factors: Quality content, brand strength, User Signals (CTR , bounce rate, dwell time)


  • Strong, quality link profiles
  • Smaller websites with quality content


  • Possibly large websites
  • Category and tag pages that don’t cater for 'searcher intent’, as they have no clear focus

January 2020

Type: Core Update
Action needed: Concentrate on great content
Ranking factors: Well crafted, unique(ish) content and a great brand


  • Mainly large websites
  • Trustworthy sites
  • Those with great content


  • A mix of all size websites
  • Largely not destination sites
  • Without great content plans