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Google Algorithm Updates

Google is constantly updating its algorithm to provide the best results for users on their search engine. These updates are typically called ‘Google Algorithm Updates’, and they happen several times a year.

Some of these updates can be as small as a change in how Google handles some URLs, which don’t really affect our day-to-day lives. Others can be as large as an entirely new update like Panda or Penguin that changes how every website on the internet is indexed and ranked for searches.

It’s essential to keep up with these updates, so you know what you’re doing right and wrong, plus it gives insight into what Google sees as necessary at any given time.

Google Algorithms?

Google’s algorithm is a complex system that retrieves data from Google’s index and delivers immediate and most valuable results for a search query. The search engine ranks web pages based on relevance in its search engine results pages (SERPs).

What is an algorithm update?

An algorithm update is a periodic change in the algorithm used to rank a website in organic search results. The term “algorithm update” has historically been used by Google to describe the addition of a new ranking factor. However, many of these signals have increased their number of dials in recent years, which can be turned up and down, blurring the distinction between subtle updates and real updates. Google makes hundreds of small changes to its ranking algorithm each year, but few of them have any meaningful effect on natural search results.

Why does Google have algorithm updates?

Every algorithm update is designed to improve user experience and make it easier for searchers to find information. Google updates are all aimed at weeding out poor content and boosting content that fills this need.

How many times does Google update its search algorithms?

Google makes hundreds of updates to its algorithm each year. SEO Experts estimate that Google changes its search algorithm 500 to 600 times per year. That’s about once or twice per day. The updates don’t affect the SERPs most of the time, and website owners will not even notice. However, there have been a few times when Google has made changes that have affected ranking and traffic.

What is the best way to stay up to date on Google algorithm changes?

You can keep up with Google’s constant changes in several ways. You can do this by monitoring your site’s web traffic in your analytics platform and ranking for your target keywords. You can also go straight to Google’s website, which details the updates as they are rolled out. Visit Google’s blog for more information about their algorithm updates.

Notable Google Algorithm updates

Here are some of the most notable Google algorithm updates that you need to know about.

  • Panda update– Google Panda was launched in February 2011 to eliminate black hat SEO and webspam tactics. Panda targets spam and weak content that does not benefit the end-user. Content that is thin, duplicated, or has excessive advertisements is penalized.
  • Penguin update– The Penguin update or the “webspam algorithm update” was released a year after the Panda update, creating another push toward quality content. With this change, the backlinks of spam and manipulative link-building practices were targeted. As a result, a high-quality backlink profile is rewarded, while a low-quality backlink profile is penalized.
  • Hummingbird update– The Hummingbird update made Google’s algorithm smarter at interpreting semantic search results. With it, Google was able to understand intent and context better when searching. This led marketers to shift their focus to longtail keywords. Also, marketers were encouraged to develop pieces more based on user intent and needs than a single keyword.
  • Pigeon update– One of the most significant changes to Google’s search algorithm ever changed how local businesses rank in organic search results. With the Pigeon update, Google strived to offer businesses with a strong organic presence better visibility in traditional searches, similar to what local businesses may have already experienced with Google Maps.
  • Mobile update– Google’s mobile-friendly update sparked significant changes to mobile search rankings and results, officially ushering in the mobile-first era. Mobile updates forced all sites to become mobile-friendly or be penalized. Rather than reserving mobile optimization for the most sought-after brands in the industry, every site needs a mobile-friendly version.
  • Page Experience update– Google began officially counting user experience as a ranking factor. There are several factors that Google considers when judging how user-friendly a web page is. They include load time, Ads that could obstruct the user’s mission, and content moving around on the page as the site is loading.

Here’s a complete lists from Search Engine Land


2024 Google algorithm updates

Site reputation abuse

May

  • Google pre-announced this update as part of its rollout of the March 2024 core update and spam updates (March 5).
  • Third-party content produced primarily for ranking purposes and without close oversight of a website owner will be considered spam. Google used the example of a third party publishing payday loan reviews on a trusted educational website.
  • Some SEOs refer to this practice as “parasite SEO.”
  • Google will take both automated and manual actions

March 2024 core update

March 5

  • A more complex algorithm update, with multiple core systems getting updated and released, resulting in more fluctuations in rankings than a regular core update.
  • Google said unhelpful content in Search would be reduced by 40%.
  • Update will take up to a month to rollout.
  • Google’s helpful content system was incorporated into its overall core ranking system.

March 2024 spam updates

March 5

  • Scaled content abuse (producing content at scale to boost search rankings – whether with automation, people or a combination) was classified as search spam.
  • Expired domain abuse (buying expired domains and repurposing them with the “intention of boosting the search ranking of low-quality content”) was classified as spam.
  • Google started taking action against these new types of spam through algorithmic spam systems and manual actions.
  • Rollout completed March 20 (14 days)

2023 Google algorithm updates


 ‘Openness’ local search update

Dec. 16

  • Google confirmed “openness” (whether a business is currently open) became a stronger signal for non-navigational queries.

November 2023 reviews update

Nov. 8

  • Google said, heading forward, its reviews system would be “improved at a regular and ongoing pace,” so they would no longer announce future updates.
  • Rollout completed Dec. 7 (29 days)
  • Rollout overlapped with November 2023 core update (Nov. 2).

November 2023 core update

Nov. 2

October 2023 core update

Oct. 5

October 2023 spam update

Oct. 4

  • Improved Google’s “coverage in many languages” (including Turkish, Vietnamese, Indonesian, Hindi, Chinese) “and spam types” (cloaking, hacked, auto-generated, and scraped).
  • Rollout completed Oct. 20 (15 days).
  • Rollout overlapped with October 2023 core update (Oct. 5).

September 2023 helpful content system update

Sept. 14

August 2023 core update

Aug. 22

Topic authority system

May 23

  • This system aims to help surface relevant, expert and knowledgeable content in Google Search and Google News.
  • The system looks at several signals to understand the expertise of a publication on a specific topic or location.
  • Google said they have been using this system for “several years,” but this was the first time discussing it.

April 2023 reviews update

April 12

March 2023 core update

March 15

February 2023 product reviews update

Feb. 21


2022 Google algorithm updates


December 2022 link spam update

Dec. 14

Google helpful content system update

Dec. 6

October 2022 spam update

Oct. 19

  • Google did not specifically say whether this update was focused on links, content or other forms of spam.
  • Global update, impacted all languages.
  • Rollout completed: Oct. 21 (less than 48 hours).

September 2022 product reviews update

Sept. 20

September 2022 core update

Sept. 12

August 2022 helpful content update

Aug. 25

  • A sitewide signal meant to reward content that helps or informs people, rather than created primarily to rank well in search results.
  • Google provided a list of 15 questions to ask about your content reviews to ensure you are building human-first content.
  • Google said online education materials, arts and entertainment, shopping and tech-related content would be most impacted. However, the impact was mostly felt in a few categories (e.g., ringtones, coding, lyrics).
  • Announced Aug. 18, it began rolling out Aug. 25.
  • Rollout completed: Sept. 9 (15 days)
  • Its overall impact was relatively small.

July 2022 product reviews update

July 27

  • Google was likely refreshing the algorithm (and possibly making slight adjustments) to better reward high-quality product reviews.
  • Referenced the standard help document on how to write product reviews.
  • Rollout completed: Aug. 4 (6 days)
  • This update was not as widespread and had little ranking volatility compared to prior product review updates.

May 2022 core update

May 25

  • Like past core updates, Google broadly changed how its ranking systems assessed content.
  • This was the first broad core algorithm update of 2022 and the first in more than 6 months.
  • Rollout completed: June 9 (15 days)
  • Its impact seemed significant and more volatile than the November 2021 core update.

March 2022 product reviews update

March 23

  • Meant to help Google better identify high-quality product reviews and reward them with better rankings.
  • Google added new criteria for what matters with the product reviews update (helpful in-depth details, expertise, unique information and covering comparable products).
  • Google added new advice around ranked lists, recommendations of “best” products and creating reviews for multiple vs. individual products.
  • Rollout completed: April 11 (19 days)
  • Impact was not as widespread as prior product reviews updates.

Page experience update (desktop)

Feb. 22


2021 Google algorithm updates


December 2021 product reviews update

Dec. 1

  • Designed to reward product reviews that shared insightful analysis and in-depth, original research.
  • Google added new advice for this update on providing more multimedia “evidence” and including links to multiple sellers.
  • Began rolling out a day after the November 2021 core update was completed.
  • Rollout completed: Dec. 21 (20 days)
  • Update was bigger than the April 2021 product reviews update and pretty volatile.

November 2021 local search update

Nov. 30

  • Google said it rebalanced various factors it considered in generating local search results.
  • Google didn’t confirm this update happened until Dec. 16.
  • Overlapped with other ranking updates (product reviews, core update) and a Google map and local pack update design change.
  • Rollout completed: Dec. 8 (9 days).

November 2021 core update

Nov. 17

November 2021 spam update

Nov. 3

  • Google announced an update to its search spam detection systems.
  • Google’s guidance: follow Google’s best practices for search (a.k.a., Google’s Webmaster Guidelines).
  • Rollout completed: Nov. 11 (8 days)

Link spam update

July 26

  • Google said the purpose of this update was to “nullify” spammy links across the web and multiple languages.
  • Websites with spammy links were more likely to see an impact on their rankings.
  • Google’s advice: follow best practices for all incoming and outgoing links.
  • Rollout completed: Aug. 24 (29 days)

July 2021 core update

July 1

Spam update (Part 2)

June 28

  • The promised sequel of its Spam Update.
  • We learned that both parts of the Spam Update were “global” updates targeting web and image results.

Spam update (Part 1)

June 23

  • Google announced the release of a Spam Update to their systems and said a second was coming the following week.
  • There was no additional guidance or details.
  • As part of the Twitter announcement, Google referenced its Webmaster Guidelines.

Page experience

June 15

  • This new ranking algorithm was announced in May 2020.
  • Google began using a new set of metrics – Core Web Vitals – to understand how users perceive the experience of a specific web page.
  • The three Core Web Vitals metrics were Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) (measured loading performance); First Input Delay (FID) (measured interactivity); Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): (measured visual stability).
  • Part of the Page Experience Update includes existing ranking signals, such as page load speed, mobile-friendliness, HTTPS and lack of intrusive ads.
  • Rollout completed: Sept. 2 (79 days)

Multitask Unified Model (MUM)

June

June 2021 core update

June 2

  • This was the first of two back-to-back core updates. Google decided to release these updates separately because some of the updates they planned to roll out weren’t ready.
  • Like other Google core updates, the June 2021 update was comprehensive and wide-reaching. It’s likely many sites felt the impact of this update.
  • Rollout completed: June 15 (13 days)
  • mixed view of the update – when it hit the hardest, who it hit the most and the overall impact.

April 2021 product reviews update

April 8

  • The Product Reviews Update is meant to better reward product reviews that go above and beyond (e.g., by including in-depth and original research, insightful analysis). Google said it will promote these types of product reviews in its search results rankings.
  • Google provided a list of nine questions to ask about your product reviews to make sure they are insightful, include original research and are written by experts or enthusiasts who know the topic well.

Passage ranking

Feb. 10

  • Google began rolling out a change to how it ranks specific passages from a webpage in search results. This update was meant to help searchers find specific “needle-in-a-haystack” information. Google said this update would impact 7% of search queries across all languages.
  • Because this update was more about how Google understands your content, there was no specific advice on things to address or change, according to Google.

2020 Google algorithm updates


December 2020 core update

Dec. 3

  • The 2020 Core Update was the last major update of 2020 and the first major update since May of that year.
  • Like all of Google’s core updates, the December 2020 core update was wide-reaching, impacting websites across all languages.

BERT expansion

Oct. 15

  • Google announced that BERT was powering nearly all English-based search queries, a big leap from 10% it powered the year prior.
  • You cannot optimize for BERT per se, as BERT is designed to improve the relevancy of search results by better understanding the content on webpages.

May 2020 core update

May 4

  • Google rolled out its relatively strong May 2020 broad core algorithm update over a few weeks.
  • This update was broad and comprehensive. Like other core updates, it was not targeted at any specific aspect of the algorithm.

January 2020 core update

Jan. 13

  • A relatively weak core update.

2019 Google algorithm updates


BERT

Oct. 25

  • Google announced its Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers (BERT) update, which impacted 10% of searches. In short, BERT was created to help Google understand queries and webpage content more like how humans do.

September 2019 core update

Sept. 24

  • The September 2019 Core Update was another broad core algorithm update of the kind that Google rolls out every few months.

June 2019 core update

June 3

  • Covered broad aspects of Google’s algorithm.
  • Intended to improve user experience in multiple areas.

March 2019 core update

March 15

  • The March 2019 Core Update was somewhat confusing, briefly disrupting the usual equilibrium of the SEO world. The March 2019 Core Update was released without a name, giving users all across Twitter to speculate about the update and why it wasn’t named.
  • Google, catching wind of the confusion, quickly jumped on social media to right the wrong. On Twitter, they wrote, “Our name of this update is March 2019 Core Update.”

2018 Google algorithm updates


August 2018 core update (a.k.a. Medic)

Aug. 1

  • The August 2018 broad core algorithm update was a core update that shook up the SEO world. In this update, Google made major fixes to their algorithm that rewarded previously under-rewarded pages on the web.
  • Google said there was “no fix” to any observed drop in the rankings. The ranking drops were simply due to other under-rewarded sites finally making gains.
  • Google’s advice to webmasters with a ranking drop? Keep making excellent content, and you may very well see your site rise back in the rankings.

April 2018 core update

April 20

  • Aimed at improving the end-user experience by delivering the most relevant content for search queries.
  • Google didn’t announce this update and only came out with its announcement after speculation that there may have been a core update.

March 2018 broad core algorithm update

March 12

  • Google confirmed an update ran the previous week, impacting the appearance and rankings of some websites in Search results.
  • Aim was to benefit pages that were previously under-rewarded.
  • Google’s advice: Remain focused on building great content.

2017 Google algorithm updates


Mid-December updates

~Dec. 14-19

  • Google confirmed releasing several minor changes that were meant to improve relevancy.
  • It seemed to negatively affect sites that were targeting huge numbers of keyword variants.

Local

Aug. 22

  • This update made corrections to the Possum update, which had inadvertently unfairly impacted local rankings.
  • The Possum Update of 2016, which we’ll get into a little more detail further down, was intended to improve SERP relevancy by eliminating redundant search results from the SERPs. To summarize, some local business owners were being eliminated by Google’s filters because their businesses were too close to other similar businesses that already ranked on Google’s SERPs.
  • The Hawk Update slightly corrected the Possum update, making local businesses that competed with others that already ranked on the SERPs more likely to be seen in a relevant search query.

Fred

March 9

  • An unconfirmed Google ranking update seemed to target more of the link quality aspects of the overall algorithm.
  • The SEO community dubbed this update “Fred” based on a joke by Google’s Gary Illyes, who suggested that all future Google updates be called “Fred.”

2016 Google algorithm updates


Penguin 4.0

Sept. 23

  • After nearly two years, Google updated its Penguin algorithm – and it was for the last time.
  • Google announced Penguin became part of its core search algorithm, which meant data was refreshed in real-time.
  • It also became more granular, meaning Penguin might impact ranking for individual pages on a site, parts of a site, or the entire site.

Possum

Sept. 1

  • This update affected local listings. In brief, the Possum Update was a change to the way Google’s filters work.
  • What are filters? Filters for local results on Google eliminate websites that seem to be redundant. For local businesses, this can mean, for example, that if you have two websites for your service, only one of them will appear for a given local search term.
  • The Possum update was intended to improve the user experience of Google, but it may have gone too far. Certain businesses that were nearby to other businesses that already ranked on Google’s SERPs saw their website drop off significantly.

Mobile-Friendly 2

April 21

  • This update was more of a boost to the original Mobile-Friendly Update of 2015, a real-time, page-by-page signal that only impacts mobile search results.
  • This update was meant to “increase the effect of the [mobile-friendly] ranking signal.”

January 2016 core update

Jan. 17

  • Major fluctuations were being observed in the search results.
  • Google’s Gary Illyes confirmed it was a core ranking algorithm update.

January 2016 core update

Jan. 10

  • Following a weekend filled with ranking changes and fluctuations, Google on Jan. 12 confirmed it was due to a core ranking algorithm update.

2015 Google algorithm updates


RankBrain

Oct. 25

  • Powered by machine learning, RankBrain processed what people searched for and sorted through billions of webpages to rank the ones believed to be best first.
  • Initially used on a “very large fraction” of search results, it was later rolled out and used on all Google searches.

Panda 4.2

July 18

  • This was a refresh of the existing Panda algorithm.
  • It impacted about 2% to 3% of English language queries.

Quality

May

Mobile-Friendly

April 21


2014 Google algorithm updates


Pigeon Expansion

Dec. 22

Penguin Everflux

Dec. 10

Penguin 3.1

Nov. 27

Pirate 2

Oct. 21

Penguin 3.0

Oct. 17

Panda 4.1

Sept. 25

  • Google said this Panda update was supposed to be more precise and allow more high-quality small and medium-sized sites to rank better.
  • It impacted about 3% to 5% of English language queries.

Pigeon

July 24

  • Designed to provide more useful, relevant and accurate local search results that were tied more closely to traditional web search ranking signals.
  • Google said that this new algorithm improves their distance and location ranking parameters.

Payday Loan 3.0

June 12

Panda 4.0

May 20

  • The 27th update of Panda was supposed to be “gentler” for some websites and lay the groundwork for future changes in that direction.
  • Impacted 7.5% of English queries.

Payday Loan 2.0

May 16

Page Layout 3 (aka Top Heavy 3)

Feb. 6


2013 Google algorithm updates


Penguin 2.1

Oct. 4

Hummingbird

Sept. 26

Panda 26

July 18

  • New signals were incorporated to make Panda more finely targeted.

Multi-week

June 21

Payday Loan

June 11

Penguin 2.0

May 22

Panda 25

March 14

  • On March 11 at SMX, Google’s Matt Cutts said a Panda update was coming.
  • It seemed to roll out on time as promised. However, Google never officially confirmed the rollout happened.

Panda 24 (Jan. 22)

  • This was a refresh of the Panda algorithm.
  • Impacted 1.2% of English queries.

2012 Google algorithm updates


Panda 23 (Dec. 21)

  • This was a refresh of the Panda algorithm.
  • Impacted 1.3% of English queries.

Panda 22

Nov 21

Panda 21

Nov. 5

Page Layout Algorithm 2 (aka Top Heavy 2)

Oct. 9

Penguin 3

Oct. 5

Panda 20

Sept. 27

Exact-Match Domain (EMD)

Sept. 28

  • A “small” change to prevent low-quality sites from ranking well simply because they had words that matched search terms in their domain names.
  • Impacted 0.6% of English-US queries

Panda 3.9.2

Sept. 18

  • A data refresh, with no additional signals or changes.
  • Impacted 0.7% of queries

Panda 3.9.1

Aug. 20

  • A data refresh, with no additional signals or changes.
  • Impacted less than 1% of search queries.
  • Confirmed by Google on Aug. 22.

Pirate

Aug. 10

  • This update demoted the rankings of sites that received too many DMCA takedown requests.
  • It wouldn’t be until 2022 that we learned Pirate can cause up to, on average, an 89% drop in search traffic.

Panda 3.9

July 24

  • A data refresh, with no additional signals or changes.
  • Impacted ~1% of search results.

Panda expands to Japanese, Korean languages

July 18

  • Impacted about 5% of queries for those languages.

Panda 3.8

June 25

  • A data refresh, with no additional signals or changes.
  • Impacted ~1% of queries worldwide.

Panda 3.7

June 8

  • A data refresh, with no additional signals or changes.
  • Impacted less than 1% of search queries in the U.S. and ~1% worldwide.
  • Confirmed by Google on June 11.

Penguin 2

May 25

  • A data refresh, with no additional signals or changes.
  • Impacted <0.1% of English searches.

Panda Update 3.6

April 27

  • A data refresh, with no additional signals or changes.
  • Confirmed by Google on May 3.

Penguin

April 24

  • Aimed to decrease rankings for webspam – pages that Google believed were violating Google’s quality guidelines.
  • In particular, websites that were buying links or obtaining them through link networks that were primarily designed to boost Google rankings.
  • Impacted ~3% of search queries.

Panda 3.5

April 19

  • A data refresh, with no additional signals or changes.
  • Confirmed by Google on April 25.

Panda 3.4

March 23

  • A data refresh, with no additional signals or changes.
  • Impacted ~1.6% of queries.

Venice

Feb. 27

  • Traditional algorithmic ranking factors began playing a bigger part in triggering local search results.

Panda 3.3

Feb. 27

  • A data refresh, with no additional signals or changes.

Page Layout Algorithm (aka Top Heavy)

Jan. 19

  • Meant to prevent sites that were “top-heavy” with ads from ranking well in Google’s search results.
  • Top Heavy is periodically updated.
  • When a fresh Top Heavy Update happens, sites that have removed excessive ads may regain lost rankings.
  • New sites deemed too “top-heavy” may get caught.

Panda 3.2

Jan. 18

  • A data refresh, with no additional signals or changes.
  • Confirmed by Google Jan. 26

2011 Google algorithm updates


Panda 3.1

Nov. 18

  • A minor update, impacting less than 1% of searches.
  • Confirmed by Google Nov. 21.

Freshness

Nov. 3

  • Impacted 35% of searches.
  • Types of searches impacted: recent events or hot topics; regularly recurring events; frequent updates.

Panda 3.0

Oct. 19

  • Matt Cutts tweeted about “some Panda-related flux in the next few weeks, but will have less impact than previous updates (~2%) on Oct. 5.
  • Confirmed the flux was Panda 3.0 on Oct. 19.

Panda 2.5

Sept. 28

  • Google declined to share any new details.
  • Confirmed by Google on Sept. 30

Panda 2.4

Aug. 12

  • Expanded internationally to all languages except Chinese, Japanese and Korean.
  • Impacted 6 to 9% of queries.
  • Other unspecified minor changes to the English version of Panda were released.

Panda 2.3

~July 23

  • This update added new signals to help Google “differentiate between higher- and lower-quality sites.”
  • Confirmed by Google on July 26

Panda 2.2

~June 16

  • Added improved scraper detection.
  • Confirmed by Google on June 21.

Panda 2.1

~May 9

  • Google called it a minor update, impacting a “far smaller” number of queries than prior Panda updates.
  • Confirmed by Google May 10.

Panda 2.0

April 11

  • Panda expanded to run on all English queries worldwide.
  • Started using data about what users had blocked from their search results in “high confidence situations.”
  • Update went “deeper into the ‘long tail’ of low-quality websites.”

Panda

Feb. 23

Scraper filter

~Jan. 28

  • Reduced the amount of low-quality scraper content in Google’s index.
  • Meant to reward sites that wrote the original content.
  • 2% of queries changed in some way; less than 0.5 % of search results noticeably changed, according to Google.

2010 Google algorithm updates


Merchant reviews

Dec. 1

  • Google introduced a change meant to demote merchants that provide an “extremely poor user experience.”

Brand

Aug. 19

  • For search queries that indicated a strong user interest in a particular domain, Google began allowing a larger number of pages from that domain to appear.

Caffeine

June 8

  • New indexing infrastructure went live after months of testing.
  • Made content available to searchers faster.
  • Google said the new web indexing system was “more than 50 percent fresher than our last index and it’s the largest collection of web content we’ve offered.”
  • No changes to Google’s ranking algorithms.

May Day

April 28 – May 3 

  • Google changed how it assessed which sites were the best match for long-tail queries.
  • It impacted long-tail searches more than short tail searches.

2009 Google algorithm updates


Vince

Feb. 20

  • Big brands started gaining more visibility in search results in late February.
  • On March 5, Google’s Matt Cutts confirmed the “minor change,” adding that Google’s ranking algorithm may be factoring trust, quality, PageRank, and other metrics for more generic queries.
  • Cutts said it did not impact long-tail queries.
  • A Googler named Vince created this change, which is how the update got its name.

2008 Google algorithm updates


Dewey

March 31

  • Some major shuffling in search results was being reported at the end of March and into early April.
  • Google’s Matt Cutts asked webmasters for feedback on the changes via a form and to include the word “dewey” in their feedback, giving this update a name.

2007 Google algorithm updates


PageRank update

Oct. 7

  • Google confirmed they were lowering PageRank scores for some sites that were selling links.
  • Google also said that some of those sites could be removed from its search results or be given penalties that prevent them from ranking well.
  • Google’s PageRank Update Goes After Paid Links? (Oct. 24) documented multiple sites that were impacted.

2005 Google algorithm updates


Big Daddy

December

  • An infrastructure change (a software upgrade of Google’s crawling and parts of its indexing system, according to Matt Cutts).
  • Fully deployed by March 29, 2006.

Jagger

Oct. 16 – ~November 18

  • A series of updates targeting low-quality links, including reciprocal links, link farms and paid links.
  • Rolled out in three parts – Jagger1 started Oct. 16; Jagger2 started Oct. 27; Jagger3 started Nov. 4).

Bourbon

~May 20 – ~June 8

  • GoogleGuy (Matt Cutts) said on June 1 this update included “3.5 improvements in search quality,” and “only a couple are out so far. The 0.5 will go out in a day or so, and the last major change should roll out over the next week or so. Then there will still be some minor changes after that as well.”
  • Seemed to change how duplicate content and non-canonical URLs were treated.

2004 Google algorithm updates


Austin

~Jan. 23

  • This is considered to be a continuation of the work Google started with Florida, aimed at producing more relevant search results.
  • Websites impacted by this update were using on-page SEO tactics that, at the time, had worked quite well (but today are considered spammy, outdated practices).

2003 Google algorithm updates


Florida

Nov. 15

  • Florida was the first major Google algorithm update and it caused a huge outcry.
  • Google’s goal was to make it harder for websites to rank well using manipulative SEO techniques.
  • Unfortunately, this update drove many websites out of business (including some “false positives”) right before the lucrative holiday season.
  • After this update, Google promised it would try to avoid rolling out major changes around the holidays (a promise that remained unbroken until 2011).

Fritz

July

  • This is the update when Google switched to indexing pages every day (or more often) instead of doing one large monthly algorithmic update (called the “Google Dance“), where everyone’s rankings would increase or decrease over a period of six to eight days.
  • From this point onward, Google made many (typically minor) changes every day, which came to be known as “everflux.”

Credit goes to SearchEngineLand for this List visit the original Link – https://searchengineland.com/library/platforms/google/google-algorithm-updates

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