Google Algorithm Weather Report: February 2015

Welcome to the February 2015 Google Algorithm Weather Report. We’ve done our best to compile and present to you the most notable Google Algorithm news over the last few weeks. Here goes…

Google adds social media profiles to SERP knowledge boxes

On January 16th Google added the ability to include your social media profile links into the knowledge box of SERPs.

To add your social profiles to the knowledge box, you need to publish a new schema markup to a page on your website. The details of how to do this are outlined in the Google developers guide.

Screenshot of Google knowledge box

Google begins sending out mass scale warnings to webmasters

This is the most significant update of the year, Google has sent out warnings to webmasters who have poorly optimized mobile websites. We anticipate that Google is going to start heavily penalizing websites that do not perform as they should on mobile, and we believe that there will be a split between desktop search results pages and mobile search results pages, where your website will not rank correctly on mobile if it is not mobile friendly.

On the 19th of November 2014, Google officially started showing ‘mobile friendly’ labels in mobile search results, and also announced on the same day that they were “experimenting with using mobile-friendly criteria as a ranking signal”, so this is definitely not one to take lightly. (

Screenshot of an example Google webmaster tools warning

Google Penguin updates should be faster, and Google may not announce it

On January 28th, Google’s John Mueller mentioned in a Google+ Hangout that the Penguin algorithm changes (What is Penguin?) should come quicker than they did before, but that he cannot promise that Google will announce when there has been an update. Here is a youtube video of the Hangout, with the correct start time:

Google and Twitter renew their ‘Live Tweet’ contract

On February 5th, Bloomberg reported that Twitter and Google have renewed their deal to display live tweets in Google SERPs, the last time we saw this was back in July 2011 when Twitter pulled out of the deal by not renewing their contract.

It’s not yet clear how this will work, there may or may not be certain criteria needed to allow your tweets to show up in SERPs, so we are keeping our collective ear to the ground regarding this.

Significant Mystery Algorithm Update

Weather for past 30 days
Algoroo graph
Top100 flux last 30 days

Also on February 5th, multiple sources (Algoroo, Mozcast, Serpmetrics) confirmed that there was significant movement in SERPs. Google has not confirmed anything regarding this update, but there hasn’t been this much movement since the Penguin 3.0 and Pigeon UK release.

Early reports suggest that this is largely affecting ecommerce websites. One effect is the inclusion of more misspellings of brand names in search to be attributed to the brand themselves.

Studio-40 are however, uncovering evidence of m. mobile websites being punished and Responsive design being promoted in the SERP’s. More to come on this as we unravel the data…

This post was written by Andrew Lambert

This post was written by Andrew Lambert

Off-Page / Content Team

Part of our busy content marketing and creative team. Andrew also contributes to our technical HTML SEO auditing services.

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