21 February 2023
On February 21, Google started rolling out the “Product reviews update," which will take about two weeks to roll out completely. The purpose of the product review system is to give recognition to reviews with top-notch quality. This type of content should be created by someone familiar with the subject and provide a detailed analysis and in-depth research instead of just a summary of different products. For websites with many product reviews, the update might evaluate any content within the site.
14 December 2022
5 December 2022
On December 05, Google started rolling out the “Helpful Content Update," which will take about two weeks to complete. The update aims to reward better content where visitors feel they've had a satisfying experience, while content that doesn't meet a visitor's expectations won't perform that well. This classifier process is entirely automated, using a machine-learning model. It will work globally across all languages.
16 November 2022
Google Search Console introduced a new section for Shopping tab listings to help online store owners show their products on the Shopping tab on Google. That will allow eligible online store owners that have implemented product mark-up to view a new section called Shopping tab listings. Google will roll out this change gradually over the next few weeks, so you might see no changes for now.
19 October 2022
On October 19, Google rolled out the “October 22 Spam Update”. This new search ranking algorithm update targets the more spammy side of the search results. Google said this update is global, and it will take about a week to roll out and be noticed in the search results fully. Websites that face changes after this spam update should review their spam policies to ensure they comply with the “October 22 Spam Update”.
14 October 2022
On October 14, Google Search introduced site names on mobile search results to make it easier to identify the website associated with each result. Now, site owners can indicate their preferred site name using structured data on their homepage to tell Google what the site name should be. Detailed information on how to implement this is available on Google's Site Name Documentation page.
13 October 2022
On October 13, Google moved away from using the term "webmaster" in the site's name and the new name adopted is Google Search Essentials. The only remaining in the new site is the "Webmaster Guidelines". Google has simplified the site by moving many of the former guidelines to specific sections under three categories named Technical Requirements, Spam Policies, and Key Best Practices.
13 October 2022
On October 13, Google announced the first of the Search Central Live events would happen in Singapore on November 24, 2022. Previously, Google organized events for site owners and SEOs in over 15 countries, specifically in regions that didn't get much search conference love in 2019. The registrations for the upcoming event are now open until November 15. One can expect lots of talks from Googlers and other speakers and lots of mingling with your fellow site owners and SEOs during this event.
14 September 2022
On September 14, Google will be gradually rolling out the HTTPS report in Search Console over the next few months. Users can utilize this report to get insights about their HTTPS pages served on Search. The report also lists the issues that prevent pages from being served as HTTPS, along with sample URLs. That will provide more information regarding the HTTPS status of the site and make it easier to understand which pages are not served over HTTPS, and why not.
13 September 2022
On September 13, Google announced the rollout of their expanded eligibility for enhanced product experiences in Google Search through the use of Product structured data by the websites. That will allow website owners to experience the same rich product experiences in search results previously open for only Merchant Center users and shoppers. Google is also making it easier to understand the requirements for these experiences by updating their documentation and reporting in Search Console.
18 August 2022
Google announced the rollout of their “helpful content update” ensuring that Google search shows more original, helpful content for its users. With this update, Google insists content creators focus on creating high-quality people-first content prioritizing over search engines. Content creators can ensure their content is in line with this new update by following Google’s "Long-standing advice” and ‘Guidelines’ to create content for people.
28 June 2022
Google announced the rollout of an update regarding Googlebot documentation. Google has documented that the Googlebot sees only the first 15 MB while fetching an HTML file, provided the file type is supported by Google Search. Googlebot sends that 15MBof data for indexing and the content after the first 15 MB is dropped by the bot. This threshold is not new; however, Google has documented the same now.
25 May 2022
Google announced the rollout of a core update. The rollout approximately lasted 2 weeks and was finished on June 9. The ranking flux was at its peak on the first day of the rollout. The core update is for improving the overall search results and increasing the relevancy of Google SERPs for all users. However, Google did not reveal the specifics as their standard practice with maximum Core Updates.
23 March 2022
Google rolled out another update to improve product review rankings. It will further enhance Google's ability to filter in-depth, authentic, and high-quality product reviews. By placing sound reviews in front of the users, higher conversions are anticipated.
22 February 2022
Google rolled out its page experience update for desktop search results between February and March 2022. Now, mobile-friendliness will not be a factor for ranking on desktop. Also, Core Web Vitals and their associated thresholds will apply to the desktop ranking.
17 November 2021
In November, Google released another Core Update. It took almost 2 weeks to roll out and was related to mobile-first indexing. Google will now continue the transition towards mobile-first indexing when all websites are ready.
3 November 2021
As Google keeps improving its search experience, it rolled out another update to restrict spammy websites. It will eventually block websites using deceptive tricks and violating the quality guidelines from search results.
25 August 2021
Google introduced a new system of generating titles for web pages. It aims to produce more readable and accessible titles for pages. The system will not use the searcher's queries but text contained in headers, titles, links, etc., to create titles for web pages. Since the rollout is global, it will affect search results in all languages.
5 August 2021
Google removed safe browsing from the page experience-related ranking signals. Now, only Core Web Vitals (LCP, CLS, FID), HTTPS, Mobile-friendliness, and Non-intrusive interstitials are a part of it.
26 July 2021
Google's Link Spam Update took almost two weeks to implement entirely. The update aims to devalue bad link-building practices further and shun down buying and selling of links. It is a part of Google's continued efforts to improve search and reward quality content.
Google Search Central Confirmation
1 July 2021
The July 2021 Core Update rolled out from July 1 to July 12. A lot of websites noticed fluctuations in rankings in this timespan. It was majorly due to the core update, which focussed on giving preference to quality content and its authority.
Google SearchLiaison Confirmation
15 June 2021
Google's Page Experience Ranking Update started rolling out gradually in mid-June and was complete by the end of August. The search engine will be considering several page experience-related signals, including the Core Web Vitals for ranking web pages.
10 June 2021
Google implemented an improvement to prevent repeated harassment of people because of the search results for their names. If people request, Google will apply automatic ranking protections and prevent content from low-quality sites to appear in search results.
Google SearchLiason Confirmation
2 June 2021
This update rolled out 6 months after the previous core update. It's a regular update to enhance the overall search and user experience. It's in process and will be completely rolled out in July.
8 April 2021
The product review update by Google aims to reward well-researched review content. It will favor reviews that provide rich information and benefit the users. It will impact both round-ups and single product reviews.
Google Search Central Confirmation
11 February 2021
Google announced that it is making improvements to its image search results in November 2020. The update was completed in February 2021. It enhanced two aspects of Google Image search - reduced duplicate images in search results and displaying images for alternate meanings when needed.
11 February 2021
Google launched Passage Ranking for queries in English in the US on 10th February 2020. With the update, it will identify specific passages on a page for relevant queries. As per Google, the update will improve 7% of search queries globally and is a breakthrough in ranking for them.
Passage Indexing: A Breakthrough In Ranking
3 December 2020
Another one of Google's routine algorithm updates to improve the quality of search results and other bugs to enhance search performance.
12 October 2020
Google rankings have been unstable since the last indexing issue. The search engine released an update to fix indexing and canonicalization issues.
29 September 2020
Several pages got de-indexed and dropped out of Google. There was a sudden increase in complaints regarding indexing issues from the SEO community.
10 August 2020
Huge ranking fluctuations were experienced afternoon. However, on 11th August, John Muller of Google clarified that the update was a glitch and has been fixed.
5 May 2020
Another routine update by Google to enhance search performance and provide users with relevant search results.
Several websites experienced ranking fluctuations. Danny Sullivan, Google's Public Search Liaison, did not share any confirmation of the update but stated that Google does updates all the time.Danny Sullivan TweetsBig Unconfirmed Google Algorithm Update
9 February 2020
Several websites experienced ranking fluctuations. Danny Sullivan, Google's Public Search Liaison, did not share any confirmation of the update but stated that Google does updates all the time.
7 November 2019
The entire November there were visible fluctuations in Google local pack rankings and changes in the Google My Business search results. The search engine confirmed rolling out the Nov. 2019 Local Search Update on twitter on 2nd December 2019. With this update, Google began using neural matching (AI-based system) to help understand how words are related to concepts.
Google SearchLiaison Confirmation
25 October 2019
The BERT update has been rolling out for a week. It helps the search engine understand 1 out of 10 queries better than ever before. Google states that BERT represents "biggest leap forward in the past five years, and one of the biggest leaps forward in the history of search". After the update, New York Times experienced a drop in their search traffic and rankings.
Understanding searches better than ever before
24 September 2019
Google rolled out the core update for this month after pre-announcing it earlier today. The search engine confirmed that the update will roll out across their various data centers over the coming days.
Google To Release September 2019 Core Update Later Today
16 September 2019
Also known as Starmageddon, this update is aimd to improve the the quality of Google review rich results and make them more helpful and meaningful.
Making Review Rich Results more helpful
12 September 2019
The update is motivated towards promoting original reporting in rankings and position it on top of the SERPs for a long time.
29 August 2019
Google begins penalizing those sections (subdomains and subfolders) of websites that are leased out to other domains to help their content rank better.
7 August 2019
Google Search Algorithm has been tweaked to list less pornographic content in the search results for queries such as lesbian, teen, school girl, etc. Pandu Nayak, Google's Vice President for Search Engine Quality, explained "We have taken measures in cases where, when there is a reason for the word to be interpreted in a non-pornographic way, that interpretation is put forward."
1 August 2019
Despite of Google saying there are no fixes for their algorithm updates, the search engine posted advice on what site owners can do to help their domain perform better in the SERPs at time of their core updates. Also, the article confirms that Google does not announce smaller core updates because they are generally not widely noticeable.
9 June 2019
Danny Sullivan confirms on twitter to pre-announce future broad core updates. He also mentioned that websites won't be able to fix anything.
Google To Pre-Announce Future Core Search Algorithm Updates
8 June 2019
Danny Sullivan from Google confirms that the June 2019 Core Update has finished rolling out.
Google June 2019 Core Update Finished Rolling Out
7 June 2019
Google confirmed on twitter that Google Search will limit listings from the same website to two (maximum) for most search results. The search engine assured users that they will find more site diversity in the search results.
4 June 2019
Google pre-announced the launch of this update on twitter and later confirmed that the update was live and rolling out in the same thread. It is one of the many updates that Google rolls out regularly to improve search quality.
12 March 2019
Google announced the rolling out of this update on twitter. Several websites experienced fluctuations in their rankings.
26 September 2018
The authority of the webpage will now be considered a crucial factor for the image search algorithm. Google will also analyse the placement of an image on a page. So, now, Google will look for not only quality content but also quality images before determining the ranking of a page.
1 August 2018
Medic Core Update was another broad core update released and confirmed by Google. Health and medical websites were a significant focus of this update.
24 July 2018
Google has started rolling out several changes for Chrome users to promote safe browsing. Now, when the users visit HTTP pages, they will face a "not secure" notification. With this update, it has become necessary for HTTP websites to switch to HTTPS.
9 July 2018
Since today, Mobile PageSpeed has become one of Google’s Ranking Factors, which means that the mobile-optimised websites with lowest pages load time have more chances of ranking higher in the SERPs. Google states that the update will affect those websites which deliver the ‘slowest experience to the users'.
14 June 2018
Video Carousels that were limited only to mobile users have now been launched by Google for desktop users as well.
13 May 2018
Google has now confirmed to have shortened the length of the search snippets, but it is still slightly longer than before (a change they made in last December). Danny Sullivan also stated on Twitter that "There is no fixed length for snippets. Length varies based on what our systems deem to be useful."
17 April 2018
Another routine update by Google to enhance the search performance and provide users with relevant search results.
26 March 2018
Google has rolled out mobile-first indexing officially. Now, mobile-optimized websites will rank higher in the SERPs than the sites that are only desktop-friendly. This update was launched to make Google search easier for mobile users since the majority of Google searches are performed via mobile devices.
7 March 2018
Danny Sullivan confirmed the release of this broad core update by Google on Twitter. It is part of a series of changes that Google releases each day to improve the search results.
Google Confirmed Weekend Algorithm Ranking Shift As "Core Update"
22 February 2018
Gary Illys from Google stated that they are going to expand and include more websites for Mobile-first Indexing, and in the coming months, more sites will be added as well. If your website is not yet mobile-optimized, it is time that you go through with the optimization.
Google Mobile First Index Expanding
17 January 2018
Google designed a new ranking algorithm that would affect the mobile SERPs. The search engine will downgrade websites that have a really slow mobile page load speed. Also, Google has confirmed that the PageSpeed update will roll-out in July 2018 officially.
Google: Using page speed in mobile search ranking
14 December 2017
The Maccabees update is another regular update that Google rolls-out to improve search quality. This update focussed majorly on keyword permutations and doorway pages.
Google Maccabees Update Analysis
Google confirms mid-December search ranking algorithm updates
1 December 2017
Google confirmed that it increased the search snippet's character length to make them more descriptive and useful for people. A snippet is a short description of a page provided below its title and URL in the search results.
Google increases length of snippets in search results
4 October 2017
John Muller confirms that Google has begun testing mobile-first indexing for certain websites to see how much impact does it have on the searches and current rankings. Also, this testing will help Google identify bugs and fixes for mobile-first indexing. If your site is not ready, then Google will not test it for mobile-first.
Google Testing Mobile First Index
20 June 2017
Google for Jobs is an initiative announced by the search engine to help job seekers and employers. You can now find jobs through Google search with clear intent. For example, if you search for 'catering jobs in Boston', Google will give you a preview of job listings in Boston. Also, you can open each ad to get comprehensive information about it.
25 April 2017
Google decides to demote misleading, low quality, offensive, and downright false information with its latest Owl update. This update further refines the search results by excluding "fake news" and provide users with relevant information from reliable sources. With the Owl update, Google also sets up new Search Quality Rate guidelines and updated ranking signals.
Google's latest quality improvements target fake news queries
22 December 2014
Google's one of the most significant local updates, "Pigeon" was expanded to Australia, Canada, United Kingdom just before Christmas. This orginially hit U.S in July '14. Local shopping traffic was hit in peak season.
Google’s Local Search Algorithm "Pigeon" Expands Update to UK, Canada, and AustraliaGoogle Pigeon Algorithm lands in UK, Australia and Canada
10 December 2014
Google's representative announced that they will shift Penguin to continuous updates rather than releasing major updates from time to time.
21 October 2014
This update was launced after two years of its original DMCA/"Pirate" update. The update was fighting against software and digital media piracy. It impacted majorly to a small group of sites causing major drops in rankings. British Phonographic Industry was among the ones who welcomed the update. Many popular torrent sites were hit including TorrentFreak.
17 October 2014
Penguin algorithm is revised in over an year after the previous update (Penguin 2.1), dubbed as 'Penguin refresh'. The update wasn't that big as <1% of US/English queries were affected. Even the timing of the update was not clear, as Google stated it was spread out over "weeks".
23 September 2014
This was the 27th Google Panda Update. It affected 3-5% of search queries depending on the location. Google indicated that update would improve the rankings of high quality small and medium sized sites. It also improved the accuracy of the algorithm. The release timing of the update was unclear.
Panda 4.1 Is Rolling OutPanda Update 4.1: Winners / Losers – Google U.S.
28 August 2014
Google completely removed authorship markups from the SERP with this update. Authorship was not of much help to the user, hence, Google realized it was not working and decided to remove it. By the next day, authorship was removed from the SERPs. This was a follow up to removal of authorship photos on June 28th.Goodbye Google Authorship
6 August 2014
There would be a slight boost in rankings of secure sites with this update. Encrypted sites would get more preference. The boost will initiate with small ones but will increase if the change is positive.
24 July 2014
One of the most significant local search update was rolled out that shook the Local SEO fraternity. This update improved Google’s distance and location ranking parameters in the algorithm. This provided better local search results. Traditional ranking signals became more important in processing local search results.
Google "Pigeon" Local Search Algorithm LaunchesGoogle "Pigeon" Updates Local Search Algorithm
28 June 2014
With this update Google would stop including authorship photos in SERP inspite of the fact that Google promoting the connection between authorship and Google+. With this update it seemed Google+ was becoming less significant. By June 28th all photos were dropped from SERP.
Rise & Fall Of Google Authorship
12 June 2014
This was an update to the algorithm which targeted specific spammy queries whereas the last Payday Loan Update had targeted specific spammy sites.
19 May 2014
One of the most imporatant updates to the Panda algorithm which was a data refresh and a change in algorithm. Approximately 7.5% English language queries were affected by this update. Webamsters though have data which show that Google released it before the official date given (20/5).
16 May 2014
This was an update to the ‘Payday Loan’ algorithm which was launched earlier in June. Payday Loan companies were being heavily penalized by Google and there were limited specific details.
How Google PayDay Loan 2.0 will affect
6 February 2014
The update simply talked about a refresh in an algorithm update from 2012. This update penalized sites which had too many ads on the top of their pages or had ads that were very distracting to the users. The sites which contravened the rules of Google and escaped original update were in trouble. Also dubbed as "Top Heavy".
Google Page Layout Algorithm Update
19 December 2013
In the first half of December, it was realised that there was a reduction in the number of authorship markup queries (15% of queries) on SERPs. Google felt that the number of authorship markup in the results was impeding the results. This was foreseen as Matt Cutts had predicted this at Pubcon Las Vegas earlier same year.
4 October 2013
This update just involved refreshing data, not showing any prominent changes in the algorithm. Some sites took a hit post the update while many others reported that the effect was minimal to moderate.
20 August 2013
This was an algorithm update leading to huge changes in the infrastructure. Post the update there were great improvements in semantic search and the knowledge graph. The update improved the way Google sorted and processed information. Google started ‘conversational search’, one could now ask questions and get answers. Now the search was no longer about the individual searches but also about multiple and
New Google "Hummingbird" AlgorithmHow to Thrill Google Hummingbird
6 August 2013
Google introduced ‘in-depth articles, this was done to provide fresh and good quality content. Google was once again focusing on freshness, only comprehensive and fresh content would feature on SERPs.
Appearing in the "In-depth articles" feature
26 July 2013
Google did not confirm this update but it was seen that there was a sudden increase in rankings across the board ('105°F' according to MozCast).
19 July 2013
Google increased the number of Knowledge Graph (KG) entries within the SERPs. According to the data provided by MozCast there was an increase of 50%. Brand searches in particular were benefitting from this, Google was giving easier access to users, in regard to information about brands. 25% of all searches would now include Knowledge Graph entries.
18 July 2013
This update was an official Panda update, making changes to the algorithm which also softened some of the previous Panda penalties.
Analysing The New Softer Panda Algorithm
27 June 2013
There were massive fluctuations in rankings approximately between June 12th and "the week after July 4th", as mentioned by Matt Cutts in a tweet. It might have been that Google was testing some changes. Once the rankings stabilized it seemed Google did not make those changes permanent and were eventually rolled back.
11 June 2013
This update was released on 11th June. It targeted Payday Loan and pornographic sites for spammy practices. According to Matt Cutts, these spammy verticals would take months to clean up but this update needed time to be fully implemented, looking at close to 1-2 months.
Google Begins Rollout Of Payday Loan Algorithm 3.0 Today
11 June 2013
This update caused sites ranks to dance up and down for days. Matt Cutts also announced that Panda was not in a state of ‘everflux’ instead it is updated on a monthly basis with each update taking about 10 days to complete. This was announced by Cutts at SMX Advanced.
22 May 2013
The exact nature of the changes were unknown but after speculations it said that Penguin 2.0 was targeted to the issues of page level.
21 May 2013
This update was released just before the Penguin 2.0 Update. It controlled domain crowding and diversity from page 2 and beyond on the SERPs.
9 May 2013
Google updated its Phantom algorithm somwhere around 9th May, creating havoc in rankings on the SERP for many sites. Nobody knew what this update was actually about but many sites lost a significant amount of traffic due to this update.
14 March 2013
Matt Cutts at SMX West talked about the next Panda update saying that it will be the last update before integrating it in the search algorithm. He also recommended to use Fetch as Googlebot.
Google Rolled Out Panda Refresh
Google's 25th Panda Update Is Rolling Out
22 January 2013
Google gave a surprise in the beginning of the New Year by giving the first official update of 2013 in which 1.2% of queries were affected.
Panda 24th Version launched with 1.2% of Search Queries impactedGoogle's 24th Panda Update Again!
21 December 2012
Around Christmas Google shook everyone with its update. It was a Panda ‘refresh’ which affected 1.3% of the English queries.This update had a better impact than Pandas 21 and 22.
4 December 2012
Google took its Knowledge Graph global and started responding to non-English queries in most major languages such as French, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Japanese, Italian and Russian.
Knowledge Graph goes international
Google released Knowledge Graph In different Languages
21 November 2012
This update didn’t cause much ruckus. Though Google confirmed Panda 22, which looked like to have been data-only.
Google Panda Update Version 22
Google Panda Influenced 0.8% Of Queries
5 November 2012
This update affected 1.1% English queries, rolled out after a time gap of 5-1/2 weeks after Panda 20.
Google Panda Impacts 1.1% Of US Queries In English
18 October 2012
This caused some ranking flux. It was not that major an update.
Google Panda 3.9.2 Algorithm Update - September 18Google Panda 3.9.2 Now Live
9 October 2012
In early January 2012 Google started penalizing sites which had too much ad space on top on their pages. This enhanced that system further. The doubt was that is it algorithmic or data-based change.
Google Updates Above the Fold Page Layout Algorithm
5 October 2012
It was not an algorithmic but a data based update which affected 0.3% of search queries. The industry expectations were quite high about the update, which now conflicted.
4 October 2012
Google released two month worth changes in one update. There were a total of 65 changes which included page quality assessment, improvement to local search, 7-result SERPs and Knowledge Graph expansion.
27 September 2012
In this update there was a change in the way Google was handling exact-match domains(EMDs). EMDs became less attractive for Google,official stats suggested 0.6% of search queries were affected.
27 September 2012
Mixing with the EMD update, Panda algorithm was updated and the data refreshed affecting 2.4% of search queries. Industry sources decided to refer Panda updates in order as the naming conventions for the Panda algorithm got lost.
Google Panda 20th Update - Impacting 2.4% English Search QueriesGoogle Panda Update 20 Released
20 August 2012
With this update it made some minor changes to the Panda algorithm. This was dubbed as 3.9.1 as the 3.0 series ran out.
Overview of Google Panda 3.9.1 UpdateGoogle Panda 3.9.1 Update revealed
14 August 2012
Google’s top 10 results on SERP for some search queries was now made limited to 7, after this update.
Why 7 Search Results in Google Should be Your Brand New Lucky Number8 Findings on Google’s 7-Result SERPs
10 August 2012
Google announced that it would start penalizing sites for their repeated copyright infringements. These would be measured by DMCA takedown requests.
Google's DMCA Penalty update releasedOverview of Google DMCA penalty Update
10 August 2012
Google made 86 changes to the updates that had been released during June and July. These changes were made to give better and more refined search results in case of Google Images, better titles and search snippets and better detection of queries about weather.
24 July 2012
This update affected ~1% of the search queries. Though queries were not affected that much but there was an initial period of fluctuations in results for a few days post the update.
Google Panda 3.9 update July 24, 2012Google Panda Alert: Data Refresh Starts Tonight
19 July 2012
Google issued a warning through Webmaster Tools about unnatural links. Suddenly, Google announced that the warnings won't create any serious problem, but nobody had an idea what did it actually meant.
Google's Confusing Unnatural Link Warnings Freak Out SEOs & WebmastersGoogle Sending New Link Warnings
25 June 2012
This was also another of Panda’s data refresh updates which didn't created much affect on SERPs.
Google Panda 3.8 update - June 25th , 2012Google Panda 3.8 Rolled out: What To do Next?
8 June 2012
This was an algorithmic update which affected less than 1% of search queries. Considering its previous two updates (3.5 and 3.6) this one had a greater effect on rankings.
Official Google Panda Update Version 3.7 On June 8thGoogle Panda 3.7 Refresh
7 June 2012
This update made 39 changes to the Penguin Update. This update brought better detection of major new events, detecting hacked pages and music rich snippets on mobile. Essentially also better link-scheme detection and update to Google News.
25 May 2012
In this update Google announced that it would handle "Penguin" Data separately from the main search index, much like Panda data.
Google Penguin 1.1 Pushed OutConfirmed: Google Penguin Update 2
16 May 2012
The idea behind this update was to make information more directly available to the users. This was done by improving its semantic analysis and interpretation to automatically display information within SERP for certain searches.
4 May 2012
Google revised Penguin by making 52 changes. The changes included better identification of country for web pages, improved pagination handling, the introduction of identification of country for webpages, offering better HTML 5 resource caching for mobile including a 15% larger "base" index.
27 April 2012
This update did not have much impact. It was released only a week after the last update (3.5).
24 April 2012
Initially termed as the web spam update. The update mainly focused on over optimization done through keyword stuffing, spam links, etc. it affected 3.1% English search queries. Warnings were issued by Google through Webmaster tools. The sites were heavily penalized for not following Google’s Guidelines. It was a major update after Panda.
19 April 2012
This update had minimal effect but it introduced a host of changes. The impact could not be easily ascertained. It made some minor changes and refreshed Google Panda’s data.
16 April 2012
Google had by mistake devalued domains, thinking they were parked, but in actuality were not. This update fixed the bug.
3 April 2012
Google made 50 changes to improve Google’s search quality. The changes gave better local results, sources in Google News, introduced the +1 button to more countries and domains, changes to anchor-text "scoring" etc. Google also tweeted confirming the implementation of last Panda update.
23 March 2012
It was reported by a ‘Googler’ that by refreshing the update around 1.6% search queries were affected.
Google Panda Update 3.4 Rollout
12 March 2012
This wasn’t an update but a video giving the public insight into Google’s Weekly Search Quality Review Meeting’. It featured Matt Cutts and Amit Singhal among others and viewers get an idea of Google's process and priorities.
27 February 2012
40 changes were made in Google’s Search Quality Highlights. These changes increased accuracy in detecting official sites, improved synonyms for foreign languages, and brought freshness in search results and a Panda update.
27 February 2012
The monthly update was given the name as Venice. This update localized organic results by pulling in local data for local searches.The exact date for release was unclear. Google was making it evident that it will continually look out for local searches.
27 February 2012
This was a minor update to the way Google handled link evaluation after one year and three days of launch of original Panda algorithm update. This improved rankings for local search results.
3 February 2012
Google made 17 changes to its algorithm for better speed, freshness, and spell-checking. The major announcement was about to tighten the integration of Panda into the main search index.
17 search quality highlightsGoogle’s Search Updates in January
19 January 2012
This update attacked ad-sense packed sites and were devalued. The update wasn't officially called anything but was dubbed as "Top Heavy" by some.
18 January 2012
The update released was a Panda Data Update in which the algorithm wasn't changed. Google didn't mention anything about "Panda flux" which was about making frequent updates.
10 January 2012
This update was primarily to promote Google+ social data and user profiles in the SERP. There was a toggle button to switch off personalization and hide these from Search Engine Results which many did.
Search, plus (+) Your WorldGoogle introduced new feature, called Search Plus Your World
5 January 2012
Google made 30 changes to its search result algorithm. The changes were to give better snippets, detect spam in image search and to give better results for lyrics.
It announced 10 specific algorithm changes that focused on giving fresh results and to detect parked domains.
Search quality highlights10 Google Algorithm Changes on December 2011
18 November 2011
After the release of Panda 2.5, Google released "Panda Flux" after which updates started happening frequently. The two updates which came were minor ones, leading the industry analysts to lose the count for the updates.It was decided that from now only the highly impact full changes will be numbered.
14 November 2011
Matt Cutts just announced 10 changes that Google had made to its algorithm. Google was trying to become transparent with webmasters.
3 November 2011
This update affected 35% of search queries. Primarily time specific search query results were affected by this update. Google was clearly stating fresher content would be given more importance and wanted webmasters to keep updating content on the website to provide a good user experience.
18 October 2011
This update encrypted search queries and was released mainly due to privacy reasons. This would change the way SEOs worked in the future since it meant "not provided" for organic traffic.
5 October 2011
In October this update released small changes to the Panda Update. It affected 2% of search queries and was announced by Matt Cutts on Twitter.
28 September 2011
Google made some further changes to the Panda Update. It significantly impacted many sites (~2% was quoted by Matt Cutts).
23 September 2011
This update made small changes to the Panda Filter. It mainly refined the existing algorithm.
Eric Schmidt's (Google's CEO) announced that 516 updates had been made in 2010. Interesting bit was that they tested 13,000 updates in the same year. Google announced that they wanted to give primary importance to their users and their search experience.
15 September 2011
This update was mainly for e-commerce sites. It cleared their crawling and duplication issues with rel="next" and rel="prev" attributes. This update improved the consolidation and canonicalization for View All pages.
16 August 2011
This update was for enriching search snippets on SERP. Google introduced expanded site links which would provide more information beneath each link. Authoritative sites could display up to 6 six links under the site link.
Evolution of Google's SitelinksGoogle Expands and Manages Sitelinks
12 August 2011
Panda went on a world tour. It now covered all major languages (except- Chinese, Japanese and Korean) in its algorithm changes which affected 6-9% of queries in local markets.
28 June 2011
It was a new social media platform. This was Google’s answer to Facebook. It was based on a different model which emphasized sharing content through social groups called ‘Circles’. Within 2 weeks, Google+ had 10M users.
21 June 2011
This update targeted the sites which scraped the content from its original source to prevent the violators from ranking better than the original content owner and Panda 2.2 was officially acknowledged. It would also continually update Panda-impacted sites and data, reminding webmasters about Google Dance.
2 June 2011
This update focused on presenting structured data to provide more enriched results to the user, which was jointly supported by Google, Yahoo and Microsoft. Search snippets took center stage post the update.
9 May 2011
Google did not release any information about this update. People decided to consider that this update just made minor changes to enhance the existing Panda Update.
11 April 2011
This update added additional signals to refine the algorithm for English search queries specifically (not limited to English-speaking countries). Google started collecting data about sites that users had blocked. This was an indication to Google that these sites might be offering a poor user experience.
30 March 2011
Google launches the '+1' Button which helped the users to influence the search results within their social circle including both organic and paid results. This allowed doing optimization through recommendation. This was Google's answer to Facebook and Twitter.
Google launches +1 ButtonGoogle Launches "Like" Button for Web Sites
23 February 2011
One of the most important updates was released affecting about 12% of search queries, this update attacked spam by targeting low quality sites that were not adhering to Google’s Quality Guidelines. Panda cracked down on thin content, content farms, sites exploiting ad-sense etc. Since the update was a major, it lasted for a couple of months, and hitting Europe in March 2011.
High Quality Sites Algo launchedReal Impact of Google "Panda" Algorithm
28 January 2011
This update affected 2% of search queries. It reduced the impact of scrapers by changing how the algorithm processed content attribution. This update clearly was leading the way for something bigger, Panda.
Google went a step ahead with this update. It was a direct attack on spam. It caught overstock.com webmasters heavily indulging in black hat SEO techniques. Same thing happened with JCPenney. This update was another precursor to the Panda update.
Overstock penalizes by Google Google Penalizes Overstock due to Over Linking
Google confirmed that it was now including social signals like Twitter and Facebook in its ranking algorithm and Microsoft confirmed this.
Social Signals Impact on Search RankingsSocial Signals for SERPs
Google modified its algorithm to adjust the visibility of sites that were getting increased visibility on SERP due to their negative reviews. This was done after New York Times reported how an e-commerce site DecorMyEyes was having higher visibility due to negative reviews.
Benefits of Negative customer reviewsHidden benefits of bad consumer reviews
In this update Google allowed its users to preview pages within the SERPs using a magnifying icon. This focused on landing page quality, usability and design.
Instant Previews of Search ResultsGoogle Instant Preview is Live!
8 September 2010
Primarly targetting user experience rather than SEO itself, this update offered instant results to the users as they typed their search query.
Google's new decision to serve the same domain many times in the search results, increased the visibility of those domains. Earlier it allowed each domain to appear only once or twice in the search results.
Multiple Results from Same Domain - Google Brand UpdateGoogle's First page results Dominated by One Domain
Google made changes to its caffeine algorithm. It improved the speed of search results and provided 50% fresher index. Indexation and crawling were seen much more hand in hand.
This was a pre-cursor to Google's future Panda Update. Google was penalizing sites with thin content by cutting off a major chunk of their long tail traffic. Effects of this update were felt in April and in early May.
"Mayday" Impacts Long Tail TrafficMatt Cutts Videos About Mayday Update
Google rebranded its local business center as Google Places. Maps were now an important part of local search. From now on Google would also provide options for local advertising to its paid search customers.
Google's Local Business Center Is Now 'Google Places'Google's Local Business Center is over now
Google improved its search freshness through this update. It added real-time content to its search like twitter feeds, Google News, newly indexed content, etc. over time it would also include social media.
Google launches Real-time search featureReal-Time Search Update
Google released an update of upcoming infrastructure change and invited people to help to check it. The goal was to make crawling faster while making the index bigger, and the ultimate goal being ranking being real time by aligning indexation and it together.
Understanding Google Caffeine Search ResultsInformation on Caffeine Update
This update by Google favored major brands. This had a minor effect on search results. But, this had a greater and lasting impact on many smaller brands.
Vince Update - Offline Brand Authority in SERPSGoogle's Vince Update – Brand or No Brand?
In this update, Canonical Tag was now being jointly supported by Google, Yahoo and Microsoft which allowed the Webmasters to tell Search Engines about which instance of any duplicate content is the version of the content which needs to be displayed to the visitors.
Use canonical URLs - rel=canonicalIntroducing Rel Canonical Tag
Google wanted to guide the searchers while they typed the search query. Through this update Google started displaying a drop down, displaying possible searches that the user could type in search results. This would later power Google Instant.
Google Suggest Feature For Search QueriesGoogle Suggest - An innovative feature
People were seeing some changes in search results but nothing much was known about this update. Interestingly though, Matt Cutts had requested Webmaster Tools feedback on the changes that had been made. Suspicions arose that Google was pushing its own properties.
Google Search Index Update - Google DeweyThe "Dewey" Update - April '08
Matt Cutts announced that some less important adjustments had been made. Nothing much was known about this update except that it was named in the honor of Vanessa Fox, as she was leaving Google.
Google changed the way it displayed search results through this update. It added news, videos, images and other content which could be relevant to a users search query.
Introducing “Universal Search” By GoogleGoogle Universal Search Update
6 November 2006
With this update Google changed the way pages were filtered out into its supplemental index. Rumors flew out that Supplemental Index meant being de-indexed, Google confirmed that was not the case, and having good quality links would ensure being in the main index.
Google made a new crawling and indexing system. Google brought in a whole new range of technicalities like URL Canonicalization and redirects. The changes were very extensive hence; the update took till about March 2006 to finish. De-indexing was noticed on low quality webpages.
Google merged its Maps data with its Local Business Center thus focusing more on local search. This would eventually drive how Local SEO functions in the future.
Google Combines Locals and Maps SearchesGoogle Merges Google Local With Maps
This update targeted pure spam. The update focused on poor quality reciprocal and paid links. Additionally link farms were also penalized. The update was gradually released between September to November but the changes were reported in October.
It was also called the false update. SEOs started noticing changes in rankings but Matt Cutts explained that Google is always in a state of “everflux”, making low- level changes all the time. Cutts also said that Google updated its PageRank and BackLink data on an ongoing basis but, made it visible to the public by updating it once in 3 months.
Gilligan Update : A False Update From GoogleGoogle Update Gilligan – Or Not
This update shifted Google’s focus to providing results most relevant to the users search query. Google started collecting data about the users search history to provide relevant results it thus, made search more personalized.
Google Personalized Search : New update on June 2005Search History gets personal
With this update, Google enabled webmasters to submit XML sitemap using webmaster tools, thus traditional HTML sitemaps became less important.
Google Sitemap : New Feed ProgramCreating Sitemaps For Search Engines
The 'GoogleGuy' announced that Google was rolling out "something like 3.5 changes in search quality." Nobody was sure about what this update was concerned with, though some of them said that it had something to do with how Google handled duplicate content and non-canonical URLs. 'GoogleGuy' wqs possibly Matt Cutts.
Dealing with the effect of Bourbon UpdateGOOGLE UPDATE "BOURBON"
2 February 2005
The specifications of this update were not very clear. Some said it was the refinement in the implementation of LSI. Some said that Google was penalizing suspicious sites.
This update was to protect the site from low quality outbound links and spams. Google, Microsoft and Yahoo at the same time gave support to the 'NOFOLLOW' attribute to fight against spammy blog and forum comments.
Search Engines On Support For Nofollow AttributesStop comment spam
With this update, Google’s indexes increased significantly. Keyword analysis went to the next level with the advent of Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) and Google became better at understanding synonyms and even better at contextual meanings. Google also started identifying link 'neighbourhoods'.
Austin was a refinement to the Florida update. Google continued to penalize deceptive on page tactics like META stuffing, invisible text.
With this update, Google updates its algorithm which marked a complete change of game. The old SEO techniques like keyword stuffing were no longer relevant now. A lot of business crashed after this. Google now had drawn a line against spam, it also showed the algorithm employing AI to understand context rather than pure text on a web page.
Google created a supplemental index to store the documents which were not important. This was done with the intention of increasing the documents to be indexed without having to compromise with quality. The PageRank Technology was used to filter out pages to the secondary index.
This was the end of Google Dance. Now, instead of indexing once in a month, Google started indexing on the daily basis, leading to fresh results and even fresher rankings.
This marked the end of the monthly updates and the beginning of regular updates. It included some major infrastructure changes at Google.
This update included the major change in the way Google crawled and did the analysis of the backlinks. This was named after a pizza restaurant in Boston!
Here came the time for punishments! Google became a watchdog for looking out for hidden texts and links and co-owned domains. Google clearly drew a line with a websites whose link building had not been done right.
This was launched in SES Boston, and was the first Google update to which a name was given. It combined a string of algorithm updates along with a major index update. This was the beginning of the coming index updates, which caused the rankings on the SERPs to fluctuate, informally also called 'Google Dance'.
1 September 2002
This was Google’s first publicly announced algorithm change. It saw a fall in the quality of Google’s search results and gained a lot of criticism from the webmasters.
11 November 2000
Google launched the browser toolbar which provided fast, highly relevant and effective search results from any web page on the internet. It enabled the users to search the pages of any website, even if the website doesn’t have a search engine of its own. Alongwith, TBPR(Tool bar PageRank) became accessible to webmasters.