Google

UPDATES TIMELINE

To keep up with web spammers and to make sure unnatural SEO practices are kept under check, Google keeps updating its search algorithm. The number of changes range from 400-500 each year (2010 had 516 updates), while close to 10,000+ changes are itself tested each year. We have listed below the changes that have brought the most turbulence to webmasters around the world. This should help better understand of what exactly is Google wanting with your websites.

Google Updates Timeline
  • YEAR20

    GOOGLE GLITCH

    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.

    John's Tweet

  • MAY 2020 BROAD CORE ALGORITHM UPDATE

    5 May 2020

    Another routine update by Google to enhance the search performance and provide users with relevant search results.Google SearchLiaison Confirmation

  • GOOGLE RANKING ALGORITHM UPDATE - UNCONFIRMED

    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.Danny Sullivan TweetsBig Unconfirmed Google Algorithm Update

  • Google Ranking Algorithm Update - Unconfirmed

    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.

    Danny Sullivan Tweets

    Big Unconfirmed Google Algorithm Update


  • YEAR19

    Nov. 2019 Local Search Update

    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

    Google Local Update




  • Google BERT Update

    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

    New York Times Search Ranking Drop After Google BERT Update


  • September 2019 Core Update

    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

    Google SearchLiaison Announcement


  • Sept. 2019 Review Rich Results Update

    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

    Google Starmageddon




  • Elevating Original Reporting in Search

    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.

    Google: New algorithms to promote original reporting

  • Domain Leasing Penalty

    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.

    Google Begins Penalizing Domain Leasing

  • Google Search Algorithm Tweaked

    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."

    Less Pornographic content For Lesbian, Teen & Other Queries

  • Google Posts Help Advice

    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.

    What webmasters should know about Google’s core updates

  • Pre-announced Broad Core Update

    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



  • June 2019 Core Update

    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



  • Google Site Diversity in Search

    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.

    Google Site Diversity in Search

  • June 2019 Core Update

    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.

    June 2019 Core Update

  • March 2019 Core Update

    12 March 2019

    Google announced the rolling out of this update on twitter. Several websites experienced fluctuations in their rankings.

    March 2019 Core Update

    Google SearchLiaison Confirmation


  • YEAR18

    Google Images Algorithm Update

    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.

    Google: Making visual content more useful in Search

  • Medic Core Update

    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.

    Google confirms Medic Core Update

  • Chrome 68 - Non-HTTP Specific

    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.

    Google: A milestone for Chrome security

  • Mobile PageSpeed Update

    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'.

    Google: Using page speed in mobile search ranking

  • Video Carousels

    14 June 2018

    Video Carousels that were limited only to mobile users have now been launched by Google for desktop users as well.

    Google’s New Video Carousels

  • Snippet Length Decrease

    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."

    Google confirms it shortened search results snippets

  • Broad Core Update

    17 April 2018

    Another routine update by Google to enhance the search performance and provide users with relevant search results.

    Google Confirms "Broad Core Update"

  • Mobile-first Indexing Update

    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.

    Google: Rolling out mobile-first indexing

  • The "Brackets" Update

    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"

  • Mobile-first Index (Expansion)

    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




  • Google Speed Update

    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



  • YEAR17

    The Maccabees Update

    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

  • Snippets Length Increase

    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



  • Google Testing Mobile-First Index

    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



  • Google for Jobs

    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.

    Connect to job seekers with Google Search

  • Google Owl Update

    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 Owl Update

    Google's latest quality improvements target fake news queries

  • YEAR14

    GOOGLE PIGEON EXPANSION (ENGLISH-SPEAKING REGIONS)

    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

  • GOOGLE PENGUIN CONTINUOUS UPDATE

    10 December 2014

    Google's representative announced that they will shift Penguin to continuous updates rather than releasing major updates from time to time.

    Penguin To Shift To Continuous Updates

  • GOOGLE PIRATE 2.0 UPDATE

    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.

    Google Pirate Update - A Post Mortem Analysis

  • GOOGLE PENGUIN 3.0

    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".

    Google Releases Penguin 3.0

    Penguin 3.0: The Definitive Guide To Diagnosis And Recovery

  • GOOGLE PANDA 4.1 UPDATE

    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.

  • GOOGLE AUTHORSHIP REMOVED UPDATE

    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

  • GOOGLE HTTPS/SSL UPDATE

    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.

    Impact of HTTPS/SSL on Rankings

  • GOOGLE PIGEON UPDATE

    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

  • AUTHORSHIP PHOTO DROP UPDATE

    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


  • GOOGLE PAYDAY LOAN (3) UPDATE

    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.

    Google's Payday Loan 3.0 Rolling Out

  • GOOGLE PANDA 4.0 UPDATE

    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).

    Google's Panda 4.0 Rolling Out

  • GOOGLE PAYDAY LOAN (2) UPDATE

    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

    Google Rolls Out Payday Loan 2.0 Updates

  • GOOGLE PAGE LAYOUT 3 UPDATE

    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

    Google Refreshes Page Layout Algorithm

  • YEAR13

    GOOGLE AUTHORSHIP SHAKE-UP 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.

    Authorship in search results gets restricted

  • GOOGLE PENGUIN (2.1) OR 5 UPDATE

    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.

    Penguin 2.1 Is Live Now

    Google Penguin 2.1: Who Got Hit?

  • GOOGLE HUMMINGBIRD UPDATE

    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

  • GOOGLE INDEPTH ARTICLE UPDATE

    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

    Google Introducing "In-Depth Articles" To Search Results

  • GOOGLE UNNAMED UPDATE

    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).

    Unknown Update by Google this week

  • GOOGLE KNOWLEDGE GRAPH EXPANSION UPDATE (2)

    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.

    Everything You Need To Know about Google's Knowledge Graph

  • GOOGLE PANDA RECOVERY UPDATE

    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


  • GOOGLE MULTI-WEEK UPDATE

    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.

    Multi-Week Update Rolls Out

  • GOOGLE PAYDAY LOAN UPDATE

    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

    Google Payday Loans Algorithm Update Launch is Imminent

  • GOOGLE PANDA DANCE UPDATE

    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.

    Google's Panda Dance Confirmed

  • GOOGLE PENGUIN (2.0) OR 4 UPDATE

    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.

    Google Launching Penguin 4

    Google Penguin 2.0 Update is Live

  • GOOGLE DOMAIN CROWDING UPDATE

    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.

    Domain Crowding Update

  • GOOGLE PHANTOM UPDATE

    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.

  • GOOGLE 25 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


  • GOOGLE 24 UPDATE

    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!

  • YEAR12

    GOOGLE PANDA 23 UPDATE

    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.

    Google Panda Update Version 23Google Panda Strikes Again

  • GOOGLE KNOWLEDGE GRAPH EXPANSION UPDATE

    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


  • GOOGLE PANDA 22 UPDATE

    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


  • GOOGLE PANDA 21 UPDATE

    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

    Google Panda Refresh #21


  • GOOGLE PANDA (3.9.2) OR 19 UPDATE

    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

  • GOOGLE PAGE LAYOUT 2 UPDATE

    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

    Google Rolls Out Its Page Layout Algorithm

  • GOOGLE PENGUIN 3 UPDATE

    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.


  • GOOGLE AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 65 PACK UPDATE

    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.

    65 Google Algorithm Changes on August/September

  • GOOGLE EXACT MATCH DOMAIN (EMD) UPDATE

    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.

    Exact Match Domains Revealed


    Google Warns of Upcoming Exact Match Domain Algorithm

  • GOOGLE PANDA 20 UPDATE

    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

  • GOOGLE PANDA (3.9.1) OR 18 UPDATE

    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

  • GOOGLE 7 RESULTS SERP UPDATE

    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

  • GOOGLE DMCA PENALTY("PIRATE") UPDATE

    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

  • GOOGLE JUNE/JULY 86 PACK 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.

    86 changes on Google Search Algorithms

  • GOOGLE PANDA (3.9) OR 17 UPDATE

    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

  • GOOGLE MANUAL ACTION WARNING UPDATE

    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

  • GOOGLE PANDA (3.8) OR 16 UPDATE

    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?

  • GOOGLE PANDA (3.7) OR 15 UPDATE

    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

  • GOOGLE MAY 39 PACK UPDATES

    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.

  • GOOGLE PENGUIN (1.1) OR 2 UPDATE

    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

  • GOOGLE KNOWLEDGE GRAPH UPDATE

    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.

    Introducing the Knowledge GraphKnowledge Graph by Google

  • GOOGLE APRIL 52 PACK UPDATE

    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.

    53 Google Algorithm Changes in April

  • GOOGLE PANDA (3.6) OR 14 UPDATE

    27 April 2012

    This update did not have much impact. It was released only a week after the last update (3.5).

    Panda Update 3.6 Is confirmedPanda 3.6 on April 27th

  • GOOGLE PENGUIN UPDATE

    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.

    Google Launches "Penguin Update"

  • GOOGLE PANDA (3.5) OR 13 UPDATE

    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.

    Panda Update 3.5 Is Live


  • GOOGLE PARKED DOMAIN BUG

    16 April 2012

    Google had by mistake devalued domains, thinking they were parked, but in actuality were not. This update fixed the bug.

    Google’s Mistake Over Parked Domains

  • GOOGLE MARCH 50 PACK UPDATE

    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.

  • GOOGLE PANDA (3.4) OR 12 UPDATE

    23 March 2012

    It was reported by a ‘Googler’ that by refreshing the update around 1.6% search queries were affected.

    Panda refresh rolling out

    Google Panda Update 3.4 Rollout


  • GOOGLE SEARCH QUALITY VIDEO UPDATE

    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.

    uncut video: search quality meeting

  • GOOGLE FEBRUARY 40 PACK UPDATE

    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.

    40 Google Algorithm Changes in February

  • GOOGLE VENICE 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.

    Google’s Venice Update Changed Global SEO

  • GOOGLE PANDA (3.3) OR 11 UPDATE

    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.

    Panda 3.3 confirmedConfirmed: Panda 3.3 Update

  • GOOGLE FEBRUARY 17 PACK UPDATE

    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

  • GOOGLE ADS ABOVE THE FOLD UPDATE

    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.

  • GOOGLE PANDA (3.2) OR 10 UPDATE

    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.

    Panda 3.2 Update ConfirmedChanges in Panda 3.2 Update

  • GOOGLE SEARCH + (PLUS) YOUR WORLD UPDATE

    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

  • GOOGLE JANUARY 30 PACK UPDATE

    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.

    30 search quality highlights

  • YEAR11

    GOOGLE DECEMBER 10 PACK UPDATE

    December 2011

    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

  • GOOGLE PANDA 3.1 UPDATE

    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.

    Panda 3.1 Update - 11/18Minor Panda Algorithm

  • GOOGLE 10 PACK OF UPDATES

    14 November 2011

    Matt Cutts just announced 10 changes that Google had made to its algorithm. Google was trying to become transparent with webmasters.

    Ten Pack of Updates10 New Google Algorithm Changes

  • GOOGLE FRESHNESS UPDATE

    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.

    fresher search resultsFreshness Impact on Google Searches

  • GOOGLE QUERY ENCRYPTION UPDATE

    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.

    Google expanded Search Encryption Impacts

  • GOOGLE PANDA FLUX (8) UPDATE

    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.

    Google Panda Refresh - Flux Update

  • GOOGLE PANDA (2.5) OR 7 UPDATE

    28 September 2011

    Google made some further changes to the Panda Update. It significantly impacted many sites (~2% was quoted by Matt Cutts).

  • GOOGLE PANDA (2.3) OR 5 UPDATE

    23 September 2011

    This update made small changes to the Panda Filter. It mainly refined the existing algorithm.

    Get Ready for Panda 2.3Panda 2.3 Out

  • 516 GOOGLE ALGORITHM UPDATE

    September 2011

    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.

    516 Google Algorithm

  • GOOGLE PAGINATION ELEMENTS UPDATE

    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.

    Pagination for SEONew Options for Paginated Urls

  • GOOGLE EXPANDED SITE LINKS UPDATE

    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

  • GOOGLE PANDA (2.4) OR 6 UPDATE

    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.

    Panda Goes International - 2.4 VersionPanda 2.4 Released

  • GOOGLE+ (PLUS) UPDATE

    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.

    Google Plus - A New Social PlatformGoogle+ Social Network

  • GOOGLE PANDA(2.2) OR 4 UPDATE

    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.

    New Panda Update - 2.2Panda Version 2.2

  • GOOGLE SCHEMA.ORG UPDATE

    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.

    Schema.org ReleasedSchema Structured Data

  • GOOGLE PANDA (2.1) OR 3 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.

    Google Panda 2.1 Update Is hereAnother Panda update

  • GOOGLE PANDA 2 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.

    Google Rolls Out Panda UpdateHigh-quality sites algorithm

  • GOOGLE +1 BUTTON UPDATE

    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

  • GOOGLE FARMER AND PANDA UPDATE

    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

  • GOOGLE ATTRIBUTION UPDATE

    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.

    Attribution Update ConfimedAlgorithm change

  • GOOGLE OVERSTOCK PENALTY UPDATE

    January 2011

    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

  • YEAR10

    GOOGLE SOCIAL SIGNALS UPDATE

    December 2010

    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 NEGATIVE REVIEWS UPDATE

    December 2010

    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

  • GOOGLE INSTANT PREVIEWS UPDATE

    November 2010

    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!

  • GOOGLE INSTANT UPDATE

    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.

    Introducing Google InstantGoogle launches Instant search

  • GOOGLE BRAND UPDATE

    August 2010

    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 CAFFEINE (OFFICIAL ROLL-OUT) UPDATE

    June 2010

    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.

  • GOOGLE MAYDAY UPDATE

    May 2010

    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 PLACES UPDATE

    April 2010

    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

  • YEAR09

    GOOGLE REAL-TIME SEARCH UPDATE

    December 2009

    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 CAFFEINE (PREVIEW) UPDATE

    August 2009

    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

  • GOOGLE VINCE UPDATE

    February 2009

    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?

  • GOOGLE REL-CANONICAL TAG UPDATE

    February 2009

    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

  • YEAR08

    GOOGLE SUGGEST UPDATE

    August 2008

    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

  • GOOGLE DEWEY UPDATE

    April 2008

    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

  • YEAR07

    GOOGLE BUFFY UPDATE

    June 2007

    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 UNIVERSAL SEARCH UPDATE

    May 2007

    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

  • YEAR06

    GOOGLE SUPPLEMENTAL 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.

    Supplemental UpdateGoogle supplemental index - Good or bad?

  • YEAR05

    GOOGLE BIG DADDY UPDATE

    December 2005

    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.

    Big Daddy UpdateGoogle's Indexing Timeline

  • GOOGLE LOCAL MAPS UPDATE

    October 2005

    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

  • GOOGLE JAGGER UPDATE

    October 2005

    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.

    Jagger Update ReviewSpam in Google’s index - Update Jagger

  • GOOGLE GILLIGAN UPDATE

    September 2005

    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

  • GOOGLE PERSONALIZED SEARCH UPDATE

    June 2005

    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

  • GOOGLE XML SITEMAPS UPDATE

    June 2005

    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

  • GOOGLE BOURBON UPDATE

    May 2005

    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"

  • GOOGLE ALLEGRA UPDATE

    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.

    Update Allegra - 2-2-2005Discussion On a new Update Allegra

  • GOOGLE NOFOLLOW UPDATE

    January 2005

    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

  • YEAR04

    GOOGLE BRANDY UPDATE

    February 2004

    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'.

    Google’s ‘Brandy’ Update on  17th-20th February 2004

  • GOOGLE AUSTIN UPDATE

    January 2004

    Austin was a refinement to the Florida update. Google continued to penalize deceptive on page tactics like META stuffing, invisible text.

    The latest update - AustinGoogle Update Austin Again!

  • YEAR03

    FLORIDA

    November 2003

    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.

    Florida Google Dance Update

  • GOOGLE SUPPLEMENTAL INDEX UPDATE

    September 2003

    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.

    Google's Supplemental Index Results

  • GOOGLE FRITZ UPDATE

    July 2003

    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.

    New Google Dance - "Update Fritz"

  • GOOGLE ESMERALDA UPDATE

    June 2003

    This marked the end of the monthly updates and the beginning of regular updates. It included some major infrastructure changes at Google.

    Esmeralda Update

  • GOOGLE DOMINIC UPDATE

    May 2003

    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!

    Google Dominic Update Discussion

  • GOOGLE CASSANDRA UPDATE

    April 2003

    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.

    The Cassandra Update!

  • GOOGLE BOSTON UPDATE

    February 2003

    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'.

    The Boston Update!

  • YEAR02

    THE DOCUMENTED ALGORITHM CHANGE

    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.

    Do the Google DanceGoogle Update Discussion On Webmasters

  • YEAR00

    GOOGLE TOOLBAR UPDATE

    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.

    Google Toolbar : A New Google Product