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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.Google announced that the mobile-first index was finally "rolling out." Since the index has been in testing for many months, and Google has suggested they are migrating sites gradually, it's unclear how much impact this specific roll-out had on the overall index.Webmaster should begin to see notifications within Google Search Console.This co-occurred with a jump in Knowledge Panels, as Google seemed to add many panels for broad terms and objects ("travel", "toilet", "web design", etc.).Some of these panels disappeared around December 15.On a small set of Knowledge Cards, including some time/date queries and unit conversion calculators, Google started displaying zero organic results and a "Show all results" button.A week later, Google stopped this test, but we believe it is an important sign of things to come.
While most of these changes are minor, Google occasionally rolls out a "major" algorithmic update (such as Google Panda and Google Penguin) that affects search results in significant ways.
This seemed to happen after the new code rolled out, and may have taken as long as two weeks.
Post-Penguin activity had one final peak on October 6th (116°), but it is unclear whether this was Penguin or a new update.
Industry chatter was high during both periods, with some suggesting that the second spike was a reversal of the first update. Many people reported bad dates in SERPs during the same time period, but it's unclear whether this was causal or just a coincidence.
The second phase of Penguin 4.0 was the reversal of all previous Penguin penalties.
Algorithm trackers (including Moz Cast) and webmaster chatter spotted increasing flux starting around September 25th, which seemed to spike on the 27th, after a period of relative calm. Google officially launched their jobs portal, including a stand-alone 3-pack of job listings in search results.