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Top 10 Major Google Algorithm Updates

Top 10 Google Algorithm Updates


Last updated Dec 15, 2018

Whether you are a working & experienced professional, SEO expert or just started your carrier in Digital Marketing world as a fresher/newbie and recently started exploring this field you must have heard, read or familiar with the term Google Algorithms Updates. In this post I am going to discuss  The Top 10 Major Google’s Algorithm updates you should be aware of :

  1. Panda
  2. Penguin
  3. Pirate
  4. Pigeon
  5. Possum
  6. Mobile Friendly Update (Mobilegedon update)
  7. RankBrain
  8. Hummingbird
  9. Google EMD (Exact Match Domain) Update
  10. Google Florida

According to John Muller who is a Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google says “We Make Changes Almost Every Day”.

john Muller Tweet

So almost every single day, throughout the year Google introduces releases updates to its search ranking Algorithm. As per my research, It could be several thousand times a year including all the major and minor updates, out of which some changes are minor and unnoticeable but Google Occasionally rolls out some major algorithm updates which seriously revamp the Search Engine Results.

Google is constantly evolving its ranking algorithm, resulting thousands of websites move up, and down in the rankings every single time Google updates their algorithm.

Google wants to provide only the best relevant & quality search results to its user by doing this would increase chances to lift their market share and profit.

Google provides little, less and sometimes absolutely no information about Algorithm Updates. Most of them are unannounced and unconfirmed. Although the search engine giant Google does not announce the exact algorithm publically, if you want to track Algorithm updates or changes, you can either track it via graphical presentation through Algoroo or you can also stay updated with the latest trend, news, and history of all the Algorithm updates using RankRanger. and Cognitiveseo

Now let’s have a quick sneak peek at Top 10 Major Google’s Algorithm updates below:

1. Google Panda Update

Google Panda 1
  • Release date: 24, February 2011
  • Rollouts: ~Recorded Monthly throughout the year.
  • Target: Spammy Poor low value and copied content: plagiarized or thin content sites.
  • Goal: Build a healthy web ecosystem.
  • Misconception: Panda is a Penalty
  • Impact: Heavy

2. Google Penguin Update

Google Penguin
  • Release date: 24 April 2012
  • Rollouts: Total 5 update since release date, unlike Panda, it works in real time now.
  • Target:
    1. Spamdexing or irrelevant backlinks.
    2. Backlinks generated with over-optimized anchor text.
    3. Especially those sites who purchase backlinks from third-party sites.
  • Goal: Penalize and prevent link spamming
  • Misconception: Remove backlinks using google disavow tool
  • Impact: Heavy

3. Google Pirate Update

Google pirate
  • Release date: July 24, 2014
  • Rollouts: October 2012
  • Target: sites with pirated content that were violating copyright laws. (particularly torrent sites)
  • Goal:  Affect rankings of sites received a high volume of copyrights complaints filed under Google’s DMCA.
  • Impact: Moderate

4. Google Pigeon Update

Google Pigeon
  • Release date: 20 August 2013
  • Rollouts: October 2012
  • Target: Poor On-Page/Off-Page SEO
  • Goal: Improve ranking parameters based on distance and location.
  • Impact: Moderate

5. Google Possum Update

Google Possum
  • Release date: September 1, 2016
  • Rollouts: Unconfirmed
  • Target: Local businesses with multiple google my business listing (Fake listing) and having same NAP listing.
  • Goal: Diversification of local results depending on the searcher’s location.
  • Impact: Moderate

6. Mobile Friendly Update (Mobilegeddon)

  • Release date: April 21, 2015
  • Rollouts: Unconfirmed
  • Target: De-rank pages that aren’t mobile friendly or in simple words not optimized for mobile
  • Goal: Give mobile-friendly pages a ranking boost in mobile SERPs.
  • Impact: Heavy

7. Rank Brain

Google Rank Brain
  • Release date:26 October 2015
  • Rollouts: April 2015
  • Target: Lack of search query specific relevancy with the page/post
    Google’s own processes and search Algorithms
  • Goal: Rankbrain is a part of Google’s Hummingbird algorithm.It was Introduced as artificial intelligence (AI) program to refine queries (understand the meaning behind queries) that Google processes to enhance the efficacy of their search results
  • Impact: Moderate

8. Google Hummingbird

google humminbird
  • Release date:26 September 2013
  • Rollouts: August 22, 2013 (about a month prior than official announcement)
  • Target: Keyword stuffing
  • Goal: Better focus on the meaning behind the search query rather than finding matches for words and provide precise and fast search results using LSI.
  • Impact: High

9. EMD – Exact Match Domain

Google EMD
  • Release date: September 2012
  • Rollouts: Unconfirmed
  • Target: Spammy website stuffed with precisely matching keywords in their domain name.
  • Goal: De-value low-quality websites trying to trick Google’€™s SERPs just because such websites have the relevant keywords search term in their domain names.
  • Impact: Heavy

10. Google Florida Update

Google Florida Update
  • Release date:16 November 2003
  • Rollouts: Unconfirmed
  • Impact Level: Very High
  • Target: keyword stuffing, the use of multiple sites under the same brand, invisible text, and hidden links.
  • Goal: Battle against search engine optimizers, who are trying to influence Google’s rankings for profit.

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  1. Jan Zac

    Hello ,

    I saw your tweets and thought I will check your website. Have to say it looks very good!
    I’m also interested in this topic and have recently started my journey as young entrepreneur.

    I’m also looking for the ways on how to promote my website. I have tried AdSense and Facebok Ads, however it is getting very expensive. Was thinking about starting using analytics. Do you recommend it?
    Can you recommend something what works best for you?

    Would appreciate, if you can have a quick look at my website and give me an advice what I should improve:
    (Recently I have added a new page about FutureNet and the way how users can make money on this social networking portal.)

    I have subscribed to your newsletter. 🙂

    Hope to hear from you soon.

    Maybe I will add link to your website on my website and you will add link to my website on your website? It will improve SEO of our websites, right? What do you think?

    Jan Zac

    • Satish Sahu

      Hi Jan Zac,

      Thank you so much !! I am so pleased that you enjoyed your recent stay here with us, at the same time I am very excited to answer our first post comment. 🙂

      I’ll take your queries one by one:-

      1. AdSense and Facebook Ads are fast, result oriented but paid promotion platforms to get traffic or lead to your website and can be used to fulfill different objectives or Goals.

      I would suggest you use these platforms if your objective is to get leads, conversations or sales from your business website.So that you can get ROI (Return on investment).This way you won’t feel like it is expensive because you are getting conversion/sales and ultimately profit.

      2. I suppose you are talking about google analytics, and this is used for tracking and recording reports of your website traffic.It can help you understand from which source a visitor is landing on your page and what contents are eaten by them, what action they are taking, how much time they are spending and few other matrices demographic information etc.

      So my answer is YES, I do recommend Google Analytics but it serves a different purpose and can’t really help you to get traffic but it can help you understand what is working for you and where to target.You must use it if you are running PPC campaigns to track your conversion and measure ROI using this fantastic free tool called Google analytics.

      3. I had a look at your website structure is good and organized. If you want to boost up your organic traffic, I have few universal tips for you

      a. Work on content, because, content is the king core of any website. Feed quality and relevant content to your users, try to build the audience, not traffic.Repeated visitors will become your audience only if you help/provide them the information, what they exactly looking for.

      b. Share your posts and relevant media on social media try engaging them with your content.

      c. While working on content keep in mind about some on page SEO guidelines like H1 tag, keywords density, proximity etc.

      d. After generating a good content the next big thing to do is make backlinks spread the world let them known you have written something which might be useful for them.Make strong backlinks with the sites related to your website niche.

      5. Newsletter is there but I haven’t placed it on the blog page. DDM is still in beta development mode, lots of features are still missing we are working at the backend they will be rolled out very soon.

      6. As I said earlier make backlinks with a strong and related website with your niche. Although backlinking is the most important part of SEO but don’t just follow it blindly. Yo are asking for reciprocal backlinking.Which is considered as a SPAM & black hat technique Never ask someone for this. I will place your link and you place to mine. This is a wrong practice of SEO and could harm your ranking in SERPs.

      I hope, I cleared all of your doubts 🙂

      If there is anything else we can help, do let us know further in this comment section below or you can directly email me.