Google are constantly improving their algorithms and they make several changes each year. Every time they introduce an update, the SEO community goes into a period of hyperactivity, trying to work out what just changed and who got "penalised".  
 
It's fundamentally important to understand that Google are always trying to improve search results for the better, so any time I hear someone complaining that they have been "penalised", I instantly know that they were doing something that wasn't best practice. 
 
Google have introduced several algorithm changes this year, with more likely to follow, so what do each of these mean for your website? 

"Brackets" Core Update 

When: 
4th-8th March 2018 
What it means: 
Consolidation of panda, penguin, etc into the core algorithm 
What you need to do: 
The update caused some tremors – but promoted “good” sites rather than penalised any. 

Mobile first indexing 

When: 
26th March 2018 
What it means: 
Google backing mobile search & user experience on mobile. 
Single URL for sharing 
What you need to do: 
Change from Dynamic Serving or separate URLs, i.e. “thin” content 
Move to a responsive website 

Mobile Speed Update 

July 9, 2018 
What it means 
page speed now a ranking factor on mobile results 
Get a faster, responsive, website! 
What you need to do: 
Fast, Secure hosting 
Optimise your images 

Quality Rater Guidelines Updated 

QRG – quality rater guidelines 
E-A-T - Expertise, authoritativeness, trustworthiness 
YMYL pages – your money or your life 
Recent update 
21th July 2018 
Biggest for a year 
Page Design, mobile use, page Speed, redirects, SSL 
Google wants to rank sites that set out with a primary purpose of helping people rather than selling to them. 

Chrome Security Warnings 

July 24, 2018 
What it means 
“A milestone for Chrome security” 
What you need to do: 
Get an SSL certificate on your website 
Make sure http:// redirects to https:// 
(and while you're at it, make sure http://mydomian.co.uk redirects to http://www.mydomain.co.uk 

"Medic" Core Update 

1st August 2018 
AKA “Broad core update” 
What it means: 
YMYL impacted 
Medical, sport fitness, Ecommerce 
Local Search impacted 
What you need to do: 
Helpful content that answers questions, and doesn’t “sell” 

Local Businesses need to... 

Get a responsive website 
Make it fast 
Sort out your SSL Certificate 
Make sure you content is helpful and engaging 
Add a location 
Make sure visitors can contact you 
(and while you’re at it, sort out GDPR) 
Check your My Business Page 
Check your N.A.P. and Get it verified 
Get some reviews 
Check your services areas are correct 
Make sure your my business categories are correct 
Add your website to local directories 
Ask me about a website Health Check 
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