The world of SEO just experienced a significant shake-up with Google’s November 2023 Core Update. Google’s core updates often feel like a wave reshaping the digital
SHORT SUMMARY OF EACH GOOGLE ALGORITHM UPDATE
A Revealing History of Google Algorithm Updates – Everything You Need to Know About Google Updates (2009 to Present)
Google is the most popular of all search engines, and its number of users is rising. We have built an extensive timeline of Google Algorithm Updates to help you understand the mechanisms behind search queries and their impact on your online presence. The search giant prides itself on delivering relevant user results, but this comes with an intensive search index, countless experiments, and significant Google updates.
If you are wondering why you should know about the changes made by each Google algorithm, then you must know it is because of them that your website can rise or fall in SERPs. The information presented below is essential for each website owner, SEO specialist, or marketing professional.
Google values user experience and constantly develops new ways to deliver relevant search results. Some of its changes are inconsequential, but at times a broad core algorithm update rolls out, which is a total game changer. Read about these and all other Google updates to find out how it affects your rankings. We constantly track each update and permanently adjust our SEO strategies to comply with Google guidelines.
This fall was an impetuous one: after the latest October Google core update, in November, it hit again. Between the 2nd and the 28th of November, the latest update was rolling. As usual, it was checking if every piece of content was as it claimed to be, but, more than this, Google was also checking for user experience as well. Mobile-friendliness was on the list, and engaging content and relevance were top priorities. And yes, there were losses and increases in rankings, but this is Google volatility, and we are somehow used to it. Some experts are wondering if these updates are happening more and more often, but Google says no, this is regular. Anyhow, all website owners must prepare in advance for these changes.
October 2023 rolled out the latest Google update, which targeted the map content. It began on the 4th of October and ended on the 19th. The main issues, also reported by users, were the cloaking, auto-generated, hacking, or scraped spam in many languages, including Turkish, Indonesian, Chinese or Vietnamese. Websites with spammy content or no value were low-ranked or even erased. Some other pages that did not comply with the new Google policy were also penalized. AI-generated content was also targeted. Page owners should review the latest standards and apply changes to their pages if needed. With this update, Google aimed to make the search results cleaner, more relevant, richer in value, and offer visitors a better user experience.
On the 5th of October 2023, Google announced the rollout of the latest update of the algorithms it uses to determine the SERP ranking of indexed pages. Implementing this newest update took two weeks, and the impact on worldwide SEO performance was significant. The aim of the refresh, like previous Google core updates, was to improve rankings for sites offering original and trustworthy content and demote those engaging in spamming practices. But compared to previous ones, the October 2023 core update is challenging to analyze due to its juxtaposition with the 2023 October spam refresh.
The October core update caused significant changes in the ranking of indexed sites, with a volatility score of over eight in SEMrush being recorded regularly since October 9th, spiking to a score of over nine between the 10th and 12th of the same month. It is hard to accurately determine how much of this volatility is due to the core update and how much is due to the October spam algorithm refresh. However, the changes are more than likely interconnected. The effect on the sites was worldwide, and the influence of the update extended to Featured Snippets and Google Discover.
This year was busy for Google, considering it just finished the fifth update targeting the Helpful Content. In short lines, it means that Google will boost quality content while lowering the visibility of content labeled as unhelpful. Along with the previous updates, the Helpful Content will work to the benefit of site owners, increasing their ranking based on the quality of their content.
The basis of the updated system is to analyze and determine quality signals that gather the most informative content based on users’ searches. In consequence, Google will also penalize websites that try to rank higher by providing inaccurate and low-value content. The update also targets websites that sub-rent domains to businesses with the purpose of ranking them on the front page. Although not illegal, this practice is not agreed to by Google, and it will be thoroughly monitored from now on.
The August 2023 Core Update from Google is officially complete, closing the chapter on a 16-day rollout that began on August 22nd and ended on September 7th. Given the update’s impact on search result rankings, businesses and brands must keep tabs on such developments, as they directly affect organic traffic, conversions, and revenue. But compared with its predecessor, the March 2023 update, the August update felt slightly subdued, partly due to the already volatile search environment in the weeks leading up to it.
Data from Semrush indicates that the August update hit a peak of 9.3 in their volatility metric, a tad higher than March’s 8. However, this metric is complicated by the high-rank volatility already present before the August update’s launch. The comparison across verticals also presented a mixed bag; for instance, the retail sector faced the highest fluctuations in top positions, as noted by Similarweb.
Sistrix’s analysis echoed the complexity, stating that although the August update was relatively quieter, it still had its fair share of winners and losers. Moz also noted the multi-signal nature of Core Updates, making them challenging to dissect. The community’s feedback suggests that despite the update’s significance, the constant preceding fluctuations made it feel less intense.
On the 26th of April, Google finished the rollout of its April 2023 Review update. The full implementation of this update took two weeks, and increased volatility could be observed in the analytics data of SEMrush between the 20th and 25th of April. The April update prioritized the focus on user experiences when reading online reviews. The update is based on the E-E-A-T paradigm, a new acronym introduced by Google in December 2022 with the aim of emphasizing the importance of positive user experiences for Google’s Review System. The update came with new documentation that modified the language used around Google’s definition of product updates. The latest update eliminates the terminology “Product review systems” and replaces it with “Review Systems” while highlighting the importance of visual and audio experiences for SERPs rankings.
It took a while, but the next broad core update is here. This is the first one implemented this year, and it seems to be focused on every type of content. Based on the volatility it created on the first day it appeared, March 15, 2023, and closer to the end, on March 23/24, 2023, it targets primarily black hat methods. It also optimizes the tactics used by the core algorithms to compare content quality and give the proper ranks.
For these reasons, it’s critical to ensure you never use strategies or methods not favored by Google’s algorithms. It’s more beneficial to focus on the quantity and quality of the content produced by your online business. The ideal solution is to find a reliable SEO provider to help you deal with and prepare for every algorithm update.
Finally, Google implemented a new product reviews update, affecting many languages besides English. Now, users from all the countries speaking the targeted languages can benefit from much better results for their related inquiries. They will find that the top results will show reviews of much better quality that contain content beyond what manufacturers provide, showcase the best product features, and offer helpful insight that’ll greatly help customers.
If your website finds itself in this niche and one of the affected languages, the chances are high that it either lost many ranks or got some benefits from this update. In both cases, you need the reliable services GAMIT provides to adapt your website’s SEO based on the changes made by this update. Our professional and experienced team will help you recover lost ranks or take the opportunity to reach the top in the SERPs.
The previous year unexpectedly ended with the December 2022 link spam update, released two months after another significant improvement on Google’s SpamBrain. This update targets websites that resort to the practice of buying backlinks as a way to boost their rankings. The algorithm promotes web pages that have earned genuine links over those that have obtained paid links solely for SEO purposes. The update represents a significant advancement compared to previous updates, as Google is now focusing not only on identifying low-value links but also on the individuals and entities involved in buying and selling unnatural links.
If your website is affected by this update, our trained professionals can help you build a superior content strategy. By creating high-quality, engaging content and disavowing the unnatural links impacting performance, we’ll help increase the likelihood of users proactively linking to your site. This will result in improved site visibility and search rankings without relying on artificial manipulation of the search algorithm.
This update is a gift provided by Google to all webmasters and SEO professionals following the guidelines and directions provided by the Search Engine. It’s the second helpful content update implemented this year, and it has much more impact on SERPs than the last one. From now on, the helpful content system that influences the ranks of a website will cover all Google searches, all languages included. If you respect Google’s requirements and guidelines, congratulations; this update will surely help you get better SEO results.
The implementation process of this update started on 5 December, and it fully rolled out after two weeks. The fluctuations and changes in SERPs began on the second day when many SEO professionals realized this update’s vast impact and great importance for the future. The direction is straightforward if you want to get better ranks in the future. You can look for a professional SEO agency that can create helpful content for your audience while not ignoring any other part of the SEO process, or you can take care of everything yourself.
For the first time in 2022, Google introduced a spam update. It was a big update that covered all the spam detection techniques used by the algorithms, and it affected all regions and languages. Such updates are a regular occurrence, and they will continue to appear in the future because they have to protect users from ever-emerging spam methods.
The surprising fact was that the effects of the update were lackluster. No significant changes happened during the implementation, so we can conclude that spam is not a problem nowadays. That does not mean such a problem won’t appear in the future. As a result, you must be prepared for other spam updates and always follow Google’s guidelines to avoid penalties.
This update was quite a surprise. In the past, there were rarely any overlaps of Google updates. They prefer to see the results of one of them before they implement the second. But this time, they implemented the second product review update this year even before the core algorithm update was fully implemented.
This Google update took six days to complete and focused on adequately rewarding English reviews. The team considered that the reward system was not good enough, and they decided to introduce this Google algorithm and improve the system. So, most webmasters that encourage product reviews on their sites will be very happy with the increased ranks.
It seems that Google focuses on different parts of the algorithm more than on the core systems. This type of Google algorithm update is only the second one of this year. Compared with the higher number of such updates in past years, it can be considered a surprise. But the work volume done by Google’s team is still massive. It can be seen in the fact that this core algorithm update comes only three days after the Helpful Content one was fully implemented.
There’s not much to say about this Google update because the effects it caused are pretty limited. It seems not to be as impactful as the previous ones. But it’s still crucial for webmasters to pay attention to the effects of this Google update on their site’s SEO results. You may also want to know that it took twelve days for the update to be fully implemented and the consequences to be apparent.
Another one of the rarely-seen announced Google updates. Google told everyone about it one week before the implementation process started. So, many SEO experts and webmasters were prepared for it. With this update, Google has placed even more importance on the quality of the content and its usefulness to users. If you have informative or problem-solving content on your site, you can expect much better results than the content focused on getting higher ranks.
But how do you know if your content is what Google algorithm is looking for? Luckily, Google also provided a list of 15 questions you can check and see if your current content fits the requirements. You can also use these questions to create even better content in the future. A fifteen days update as this one will have a significant impact in the future even if the overall changes are pretty small in the present.
Data Center Outage – August 9, 2022
Even though this is not one of the Google algorithm updates, the impact was far-reaching. So, it should be included on this list. As checked by many reliable sites in the SEO industry, and confirmed by Google, a data outage happened because of an accident at Google’s center in Iowa, Council Bluffs. And there were two main effects caused by this:
• Massive fluctuation in SERPs’ ranks. Reliable sites like MozCast showed evident instability in ranks, and many webmasters complained because of this surprise.
• Some search results were inaccessible. There were also many complaints about some SERPs being inaccessible. It is unknown how many result pages were affected because the problem was solved quickly in less than a day.
Product Reviews Update – July 27, 2022
Finally, a new Product Reviews Update. It is the first one of this year and the fourth overall. But unlike the past ones, it was less impactful. You can consider it more like a minor correction meant to increase the rewards for reviews of high quality. This Google update was also implemented very fast. It only took six days instead of the forecasted two to three weeks.
Even though the ranking volatility of this update was pretty small, you still deduce that Google places more and more importance on its users’ opinions. So, if you have a product reviews section on your site, it may be a good idea to pay even more attention to it and try to maximize the benefits you get from it.
Algorithm Update – July 8, 2022
It’s not clear whether this was one of the Google algorithm updates. But we know July 6th and 8th caused a minor sensation in the SEO community. MozCast and other ranking tools revealed significant volatility in the ranks these days. It was similar to the changes caused by the other unnamed Google updates of last month and other known ones implemented and confirmed in the past.
So, the best bet is another update, even if it’s not confirmed. You need to pay attention to these unspecified Google updates and the changes they cause to your site’s ranks. Even if they are not confirmed, you can still learn some things from them. Or, you should at least ask your SEO provider about them.
From past SERP analysis, we know that summer is the period where search results change the most. But on June 27, the rank volatility was too high even for this period. Many SEO experts concluded that a minor update was implemented. But there are no official details. So, no one knows what changes were made to the Google algorithm.
All the information comes from reliable tools like MozCast that showcase the SERPs’ changes. Like with any of the other Google algorithm updates you should check the changes in your ranks. If the volatility of your positions is high, it may imply SEO errors or problems that were undetected in the past. And you may gain a better understanding of Google’s requirements.
Finally, after more than six months, Google decided to introduce a new core algorithm update. It’s the first made this year, and all webmasters and SEO experts should prepare for it. There is no clear information about the changes made to this core algorithm update. So, it can be safely assumed that Google only improved the current ranking systems.
It took an estimated two weeks until the Google update was fully implemented, and as expected, the change focused on the content assessment methods used by the algorithm. Google continues to showcase its focus on quality and user satisfaction. So, ensure your website always follows the guidelines of Google updates and strives to satisfy all visitors.
March 2022 Product Algorithm Update – March 23, 2022
This Google update affected product review rankings. The goal of Google in implementing this update is to enable its algorithms to make the difference between high-quality reviews and the rest. Any search engine must be able to make that distinction. It will allow consumers, in this case, the Google Search users, to find better products much more accessible. As for webmasters, developing this part of their website more carefully is crucial. So, regardless of your side, this type of Google updates has undoubtedly affected you.
The Page Experience Update is part of older Google updates, and was first introduced for mobile users. Now, Google announced through Twitter that it would also implement it for desktop users. So, what does this update implies? It means that the algorithms of Google Search will pay even more attention to the experience that users have on each page of a website. To comply with this Google update, as webmasters, you need to try your best to ensure that every visitor has an easier time surfing your site and that the content available on your website maximizes the convenience of visitors.
This is a follow-up Google update related to the significant product review update announced and implemented in April 2021. After a period of implementation, Google has enough data to improve parts of the process behind deciding the ranks of your products. Some of the guidance with this update includes tips from multiple sellers to allow your potential clients to choose the merchant they want to buy from. Other recommendations refer to providing more than text evidence of the product’s effectiveness. Google updates recommend that you include video and audio content for this purpose. If you use these two tips, you can expect better results in the future.
Another one of the broad core updates you should regularly expect from Google. Keep in mind that a large chunk of the implemented Google updates are tiny and with almost invisible effects. There may be hundreds of such Google updates every year. But a few times a year, there will also be a big update. Some introduce new methods to determine ranks, while others improve the current algorithms. This Google update falls into the second category and aims to enhance the effectiveness of the existing algorithms. You can consider it a simple adaptation based on the new data gathered by Google.
Google Spam Update – November 3, 2021
From the 3rd to the 10th November, the search engine implemented another round of spam Google updates to their algorithms. According to their announcement, Google’s team considers this update their regular duty to improve the quality of the search results. To make sure that your website does not suffer any penalty from this Google update, you need to follow the guidelines made by Google for webmasters properly. Doing this will allow you to maximize SEO results while avoiding any losses caused by duplicate content or any other form of spam. The update’s primary goal is to find more spamming methods and penalize them. So, as long you avoid using such methods, you do not need to be afraid of such Google updates.
Google implemented another algorithm update to combat spamming. This time, the targets of the Google update are the spam links. These are usually used to increase the authority of a website. The main problem is that many link-building solutions focus on the number of links without considering the quality. Keep in mind that only links made through high-quality content will have a tangible impact on your website’s ranks. And through this Google update, the links that use content of low quality will be impacted. This is another reason your SEO strategy should focus on quality content to comply with Google updates.
July 2021 Core Update – July 1, 2021
A 2 weeks Google update started at the beginning of July 2021. Google didn’t provide many details about this update. After seeing the change in search results, there are many speculations about the purpose and changes made by this update. After two significant Google updates focused on spam prevention, it is considered mainly that this update improved the past updates and their effectiveness, especially in countries like Italy, where the quality of the search results is still low. Although the spam problem still exists, some future Google updates will undoubtedly focus on it and try to eliminate or minimize it as much as possible.
This is the second part of the spam Google updates that started on June 23, 2021. But considering the size of these two parts of the update, you can look at them as two separate updates. Similar to the first part, this Google update continues to fight the prevalence of spam methods. As Google started to focus on this, every webmaster needs to go as far as possible to avoid any spam in the future. Even if the effects of these methods were satisfactory in the past, with these new Google updates they would no longer be. On the contrary, you may end up with a penalization caused by such methods.
June 2021 Spam Update- June 23, 2021
This is the first part of a massive update that targets spam methods, and Google does not give many details about it. So, it isn’t easy to determine exactly what this update targets. But considering the past focus of the updates, it may concentrate on duplicate content and other forms of content spamming. It is also possible that spam links were targeted. And if we consider the size of the problems caused in search results by spam methods, we can see even more such updates in the future. You can find more details in this article.
After an extended period, the page experience update managed to arrive. As the name suggests, this update aims to improve the part of the algorithm that checks the quality of the experience provided by websites. But you should not worry too much. If your SEO strategy considers this critical goal of Google, your ranks won’t be negatively affected. And even if there may be some fluctuations, you should not worry. After the update is fully implemented, you won’t have any problems. But the importance of page experience continues to rise, and you should focus more significant parts of your SEO effort on it.
Known Victims Protection -June 10, 2021
After a long time, Google focused again on webmasters’ harmful methods to get better ranks. All these tactics and procedures were known under the umbrella of Black Hat SEO techniques. It seems that new tactics have appeared in this category over the years. And their growth may have influenced Google to focus again on these methods. As any SEO expert will continuously repeat, never use black hat methods because Google will never allow them to survive for an extended period. And this update reflects this fact. As for the victims of these methods, you can be sure that your problems will be solved in the future, and the ranks of your websites will improve.
Broad Core Algorithm Update – June 2, 2021
You should know that many broad core algorithm updates like this will not offer many details about their changes. The significant updates will always get their names or nicknames. On the other hand, the broad updates that do not focus on something in particular do not usually have a name. And this update is the same. It focuses on improving the algorithms and tries to maximize the quality of search results as much as possible. Google mentioned that not all the planned changes were made in the announcement, and the rest is scheduled for the next broad core update in July.
The first Product Reviews update went live on April 8, 2021. With this update, Google focuses on the methods used by their algorithms to determine the ranks of products. The update’s primary goal is to increase the rewards for the products that provide in-depth research. So, compared with other such products that only have summaries and low-quality content, you will have a much better advantage if you adjust to Google guidelines and provide the high-quality content and research they are asking for. If your company focuses on selling products, you may want to improve the quantity and quality of the content used on your website’s pages. You should also see the official announcement and information provided here.
On February 10, 2021, the queries segment was finally introduced to the United States. Of course, the primary language focused on in this update is English. One of the goals of this update is to provide better information for Search’s users. Even though this segment may seem separated from the other types of results, it is not. Google mentioned in their announcement that the passages from queries would not be indexed individually regardless of the rest of the pages. The best way to understand this update is to consider the passages of the websites as an extra factor that will be considered while determining the search results.
December 2020 Core Update- December 3, 2020
Finally, before 2020 ends, a new broad core update will be implemented. This is the three and, most likely, the final update made this year. Compared with the other updates made in the past, this one can be considered a late update. The period between this one and the last broad core update is considerable. So, what can you expect from this update? Like most other core updates, the changes are not focused on a single part of the algorithms, and this update covers an extensive range of factors and features. And if you continue to follow the webmaster guidelines, you do not need to worry about its effects.
On May 4, 2020, the second broad core update of the year was announced. Google estimated that it would take 1 or 2 weeks to make all the changes. So, you can expect some fluctuations during this period. Of course, like the other similar updates in the past, the exact changes are not transparent nor focused on anything in particular. But Google continues to adapt its algorithms to the new changes in the industry. But as long as your SEO strategy is made by an expert that fully understands the requirements and guidelines offered by Google, you won’t need to deal with any problems.
Depending on the SEO strategy of your website, this update may have massive effects on your ranks, or it may have a minimal impact. The primary goal of this update is to eliminate duplicate results that use the snippet function. Any results that appear in a snippet position are no longer allowed to appear again in the other search results. So, you will need to consult the SEO expert in charge of your SEO strategy and make sure that he adapts the SEO efforts to match the effects of this update. Remember that this update will affect every single search listing. So, your website can’t escape if you got ranks in any snippet and regular listings.
January 2020 Core Update- January 13, 2020
To start the year properly, Google announced the first broad core update of the year. On January 13, 2020, the first significant update of this year started. Of course, it maintains the usual trend of these updates, and no unique details are mentioned. It is a standard update made to improve the current algorithm and adapt the Search to the new changes in the industry. Of course, the best thing you can do about this is to continue following the guidelines and investing as many SEO efforts as possible in your website.
Finally, after two months, Google decided to extend BERT to the rest of the world. So, the changes are starting to be implemented for a wide range of languages such as Afrikaans, Albanian, Amharic, Arabic, Armenian, Azeri, Basque, Belarusian, Bulgarian, Catalan, Chinese (Simplified & Taiwan), Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, Farsi, Finnish, French, Galician, Georgian, German, Greek, Gujarati, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Icelandic, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Javanese, Kannada, Kazakh, Khmer, Korean, Kurdish, Kyrgyz, Lao, Latvian, Lithuanian, Macedonian Malay (Brunei Darussalam & Malaysia), Malayalam, Maltese, Marathi, Mongolian, Nepali, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Sinhalese, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish, Swahili, Swedish, Tagalog, Tajik, Tamil, Telugu, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, Urdu, Uzbek, and Vietnamese.
BERT Update – October 25, 2019
Over the years, Google made many updates to its algorithms. But the current one, BERT, is the most significant update made in the last five years. The acronym represents the name Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers. And it aims to improve the understanding of the algorithms behind the queries. It will affect the search results as well as the featured snippets. But because it is only the beginning of implementing this massive change. Only 10% of the English queries in the U.S will be affected. But the goal is clear. This update will be extended to all queries worldwide in the future. You can find all the detailed information you need here.
Another one of the broad core algorithms updates was released on September 24, 2019. The information available about it is very similar to all other such updates. Of course, it remains vital for SEO professionals and webmasters to know about all the significant updates and form an idea about the changes. After checking the winners and losers of this update, it is clear that Google’s trend continues. Most of the changes in results can be easily attributed to the content and backlink quality of the websites. So, you need to focus on an SEO strategy that follows the goals of Google as much as possible.
Broad Core Algorithm “June 2019 Core Update” Announced – June 2, 2019
This update was pre-announced and according to searchengineland.com, the search giant’s recommendation for webmasters was to simply make their websites better. There has been a lot of debate regarding this update because some will say it focuses on content quality and value offered to the web users, while others are convinced it is all about E-A-T or the expertise, authority, and trust status associated with your website. The official conclusion of this broad update is that it focuses on a variety of factors, of which none have been specified. It’s all of the elements mentioned above, but it goes beyond them because Google is focusing on the bigger picture. Read more about this update!
Broad Core Algorithm “March 2019 Core Update” Announced – March 13, 2019
According to searchenginejournal.com, this march update, although it has been announced to be a major update, it seems to have been focusing on previous losers of traffic. We are talking about websites that were penalized in the past, of which approximately 75% have been regaining their ranking and traffic. The actual outcome is associated with a rollback of previous updates, even though it seems unlikely. The result is most likely what happens when the search algorithm is fine-tuned.
Broad Core Algorithm “Medic” Update Announced – August 1, 2018
This update has been confirmed to have affected many websites that were specifically in the health and wellness field. According to mariehaynes.com, the YMYL websites are the ones that have seen the most impact, more specifically the sites mentioned above. It’s interesting to mention to the websites which have not been affected, did not see any change in their ranking or traffic, while the ones that did, lost their position and traffic in favor of smaller, niche-based websites.
Algorithm Quality Update – Mid-May 2018
Duplicate pages without enough or quality content and slow loading pages were the primary reasons why websites have seen a significant drop in traffic following this update. All the fine tuning of Google’s algorithm seems to keep on focusing on user experience.
Broad Core Algorithm Quality Update Announced – April 16, 2018
According to searchenginejournal.com, this update was confirmed by the search giant via Twitter and although SEO experts presumed it was focused on low-quality content, it was later discovered that the main factor targeted by the algorithm was content relevance. If a website has been affected, it might have not been because the content is not good enough in terms of quality, but because it must become more relevant.
A Change to the Core Algorithm – Mid-March 2018
This update focuses mostly on giving some sort of boost to the websites that have not been rewarded as they should have in matters of SERP ranking. According to monitorbacklinks.com, it’s most likely in accordance with AI-powered search results.
“Maccabees” Update — December 14, 2017
According to seroundtable.com, this was an update that was rolled out around the holidays and it was confirmed by the search company to have been a list of minor changes which were meant to improve relevance.
Google Fred is Announced – Mid-March 2017
This update seemed to have impacted websites with low quality content and it has been confirmed by Google without offering any other specific information about the changes that were made. According to searchenginejournal.com, webmasters were referred to Google’s Quality Guidelines if they were to have any additional questions.
Google Doing Some Housekeeping – Early February 2017
This was an unconfirmed update, which started around the 1st of February and continued until the 6th of the same month. Changes were noticeable in many areas, but no one can say for sure which factors have affected their rankings, regardless if we are talking about a positive or negative effect. This update was big for some, which translated into 30-40% drops in traffic from one day to another.
Intrusive Interstitial Penalty (The Popup Penalty) – Jan 10, 2017
This update was designed to penalize the websites that rely on certain interstitials that affect the experience of mobile users. According to searchengineland.com, the intrusive ones are the interstitials that do not offer the same ease of access to content on mobile devices, where the screens are much smaller.
Google Penguin 4.0 Announced – Friday September 23 2016
According to searchenginejournal.com, this update was a response to black hat marketing techniques that were used to manipulate search results. The result was pretty obvious – Google decided to evaluate links and sites in real-time, which makes it easier for the search giant to gain more control and eliminate the efficiency of the black hat techniques.
Google Went Crazy September – Early to Mid September 2016
With this update, nothing specific was confirmed, other than the fact that the rankings on SERPs seem to have gone up and down for no clear reason. Google did not confirm anything was actually happening and said that any noticeable changes are actually normal fluctuations that happen.
Mobile Friendly Boost Update – May 12, 2016
Although most websites are already mobile-friendly, Google has added an additional signal that according to searchengineland.com, is meant to help these sites to benefit from higher rankings in search mobile results.
Adwords Change – Feb 23, 2016
This update, according to thesempost.com, changed the position of ads that were posted on search results pages. After this update was rolled out, there were 4 ads displayed on top, 3 on the bottom of SERPS and none on the sidebar.
Ghost Update – Jan 8, 2016
Even though in the beginning, Google did not admit that any update was actually being rolled out, they later confirmed that this was actually a broad core update, which was massive, was not related to Penguin, but has definitely caused some fluctuations in rankings.
Rank Brain Algo Change – Announced Oct 26 2015, Went Live Months Before
This update was related to its Rank Brain algorithm, which is Google’s move towards artificial intelligence. Although it was just confirmed right then and there, it is believed that machine learning has been a part of the search giant’s algorithm for months. There were no significant effects noticed.
Google Zombie Update – Oct 14th / Oct 15th 2015
Big fluctuations were noticed by webmasters, although Google did not make any statements regarding updates.
Google Snack Pack / Local 3 Pack – August, 2015
According to moz.com, this was not an actual change to Google’s algorithm, but rather a change in the face of local searches. If before, there was a 7 pack presented in search results, from this date on, there were only 3 shown in results. This was not tested, but directly implemented everywhere.
Panda 4.2 – July 17, 2015
According to searchenginejournal.com, this was the final change that was associated with the Panda update. The search giant mentioned that around 2-3% of all English search queries would see a difference when it comes to rankings on SERPs.
Google Quality Update – May 3, 2015
This was a quality core update that was directly related to what Google calls “quality signals”. According to searchengineland.com, it was confirmed by the company, but the actual confirmation did not come with any specifics.
Google Mobilegeddon Mobile Update – April 22, 2015
This was an important update that was designed to reward mobile websites. In other words, the sites that have proper mobile compatibility where the ones that started to see a shift up when it comes to their rankings.
Algorithm Update – February 4, 2015
No official update, only SERP movement detected.
Penguin 3 – Oct 18, 2014
According to searchengineland.com, this was a long-awaited update, that only seem to have a slight effect on search results. Around 1% on US English search results.
Panda 4.1 – Sep 26, 2014
This update impacted 3-5% of search queries and it targeted low-quality content.
Google Starts De-Inexing Private Blog Networks In Mass – Sep 18, 2014
This marks the beginning of de-indexing of private/semi-private blog networks.
SSL Becomes Ranking Factor – Aug 7, 2014
According to searchengineland.com, secure websites are preferred.
Google Pigeon – July 24, 2014
A significant update in local searches. Google’s distance, as well as location ranking parameters, were improved.
No Photos on Authorship – June 28, 2014
All authorship photos from search results were dropped.
Panda 4.0 – May 19, 2014
According to searchengineland.com, this update was designed to stop low quality websites from reaching the top.
Payday Loan / High-Spam Searches Update 2.0 — May 16, 2014
This update targets spammy queries.
Algorithm Update — March 24, 2014
Presumed to be the rolling out of the Panda update, Google did not confirm it.
Page Layout #3 — February 6, 2014
Websites with too many ads displayed above the fold are penalized.
Algorithm Update – January 8th, 2014
No official or confirmed update was rolled out.
Authorship Change — December 19, 2013
Algorithm Update — December 17, 2013
Algorithm Update — November 14, 2013
Penguin 2.1 (#5) — October 4, 2013
Hummingbird — August 20, 2013
According to searchengineland.com, Hummingbird is a new algorithm meant to handle complex queries.
In-depth Article Update — August 6, 2013
A new type of content available on search results pages, called “in-depth articles”, according to developers.google.com
Algorithm Update — July 26, 2013
Expansion of Knowledge Graph — July 19, 2013
Panda Update (Fine Tuning) — July 18, 2013
Multi-Week Update — June 27, 2013
Panda Dance — June 11, 2013
Payday Loan / Spam Query Update — June 11, 2013
Penguin 2.0 (#4) — May 22, 2013
Update of the algorithm that affects 2.3% of English search queries.
Domain Crowding / Diversity — May 21, 2013
According to searchengineland.com, this was an update designed to increase diversity in search results.
Algorithm Update — May 9, 2013
Panda Update 25 — March 13-14, 2013
Panda Update 24 — January 22, 2013
Panda #23 — December 21, 2012
According to searchengineland.com, this update affects 1.3% of search queries.
Knowledge Graph Expansion — December 4, 2012
Panda #22 — November 21, 2012
Panda #21 — November 5, 2012
Page Layout Update #2 — October 9, 2012
Page layout update that according to searchengineland.com, affects websites with too many ads displayed above the fold.
Penguin #3 — October 5, 2012
August & September 65 Changes Pack — October 4, 2012
Exact-Match Domain (EMD) Update — September 27, 2012
This update was designed to reduce the impact on rankings of sites that had EMD.
Panda #20 — September 27, 2012
Panda 3.9.2 (#19) — September 18, 2012
Panda 3.9.1 (#18) — August 20, 2012
7-Result SERPs — August 14, 2012
The Pirate / DMCA Penalty — August 10-13, 2012
86 Google updates in June & July — August 10, 2012
Panda 3.9 (#17) — July 24, 2012
Webmaster Tool Link Warnings — July 19, 2012
Panda 3.8 (#16) — June 25, 2012
Panda 3.7 (#15) — June 8, 2012
39 Google Updates May 2012 — June 7, 2012
Penguin 1.1 (#2) — May 25, 2012
Knowledge Graph — May 16, 2012
52 Google Updates for April 2012 — May 4, 2012
Panda 3.6 (#14) — April 27, 2012
Google Penguin — April 24, 2012
Large update that targets webspam and affects 3.1% of English search queries.
Panda 3.5 (#13) — April 19, 2012
Parked Domain Bug — April 16, 2012
50 Google Updates in March 2012 -Pack — April 3, 2012
Panda 3.4 (#12) — March 23, 2012
Panda 3.3 (#11) — February 27, 2012
February 40-Pack (2) — February 27, 2012
Venice — February 27, 2012
Localized results are displayed, based on your IP.
17 January 2012 Google Updates — February 3, 2012
Page Layout Update — January 19, 2012
Panda 3.2 (#10) — January 18, 2012
Search + Your World — January 10, 2012
30 Google Updates in January 2012 — January 5, 2012
10 Google Updates in December 2011 — December 1, 2011
Panda 3.1 (#9) — November 18, 2011
10 Updates made in November 2011 — November 14, 2011
Fresher Results Update — November 3, 2011
Query Encryption — October 18, 2011
According to moz.com, this was an update that affected SEOs because it makes it harder to learn where traffic is coming from.
Panda “Flux” (Update #8) — October 5, 2011
Panda 2.5 (Update #7) — September 28, 2011
Pagination Elements — September 15, 2011
Expanded Sitelinks — August 16, 2011
Panda 2.4 (Update #6) — August 12, 2011
Panda 2.3 (#5) — July 23, 2011
Google+ — June 28, 2011
According to googleblog.blogspot.com, Google + was launched as a direct competitor of Facebook.
Panda 2.2 (Update #4) — June 21, 2011
Schema.org — June 2, 2011
Panda 2.1 (Update #3) — May 9, 2011
Panda 2.0 (Update #2) — April 11, 2011
The Google +1 Button — March 30, 2011
Panda Update (Also called Farmer) — February 23, 2011
According to moz.com, this update targeted content farms and it affected 12% of search queries.
Attribution Update — January 28, 2011
Overstock.com & JCPenny Penalty — January 2011
Start Using Social Signals — December 2010
Negative Reviews — December 2010
According to googleblog.blogspot.com, bad reviews seemed to have helped a brand reach the top, but Google solved the problem by tweaking its algorithm.
Instant Visual Previews — November 2010
Google Instant — September 2010
Brand Update — August 2010
Caffeine (Rollout) — June 2010
May Day — May 2010
According to seroundtable.com, this was a precursor to Panda and its role was to work against content farms.
Google Places — April 2010
Real-time Search — December 2009
Caffeine (Preview) — August 2009
According to mashable.com, this was a major change in Google’s search engine infrastructure, meant to help speed up page crawling and incorporating both ranking and indexation.
Rel-canonical Tag — February 2009
Vince — February 2009
An update that was deemed as “minor” by Google, actually was the beginning of supporting big brands, according to seobook.com.
Latest SEO News
Read the latest SEO articles and news to stay up-to-date with the most recent Google algorithm
updates, online marketing, and SEO strategies.
With each passing day, it seems that the world we live in is becoming more competitive and focused on rapid innovation. Are you the owner of
Your company’s success is the most important thing. But, to guarantee it, you must implement a comprehensive digital marketing strategy that considers the specifics of your
As you may know, outsourcing refers to contracting with an outside expert or team. Companies often hire outside firms to handle their SEO because they need
The everlasting knight of the spam war stroke again: Google ran a comprehensive update this fall to detect spammy content. More community members reported spam pages,