Latest about Google Algorithm Updates

 Google Algorithm Updates

Google Algorithm Updates

Google has a long history of famous algorithm updates, search index changes, and upgrades. Below is a history of the major updates to the Google search algorithm.

Want to read our latest coverage of algorithm changes and updates? Jump to the latest news and algorithm update guides.

How many times does Google update its search algorithms?

Google search is changing all the time. In 2020, Google made 4,500 changes to search. This issue includes changes to its ranking system, user interface, and more. In addition, Google conducted more than 600,000 experiments. That means Google search changes, on average, 12 times a day.

The history of Google algorithm updates: 2003-today

Here's a full history of Google algorithm updates you should know about, in reverse chronological order.

Google Algorithm Updates 2022

Spam Update October 2022

October 19

Google has made the latest improvements to its systems that detect search spam. Google didn't specifically say whether this update targeted links, content, or other forms of spam. This update was global and affected all languages. It should take about a week to fully implement.

September 2022 Product Review Update

September 20

This was the second product review update of the year and the fifth overall. While Google generally doesn't like to overlay algorithm updates, this update was released before the September 2022 main update was completed. It was meant to reward English product reviews that are helpful and useful to search engines. The launch was completed on September 26.

September 2022 Major Update

September 12

This was the second major update of the year and it was released three days after the useful content update finished rolling out. Overall, it seemed less important than previous major updates, including the May 2022 major update. Completed release on September 26.

Learn more about Core updates in our guide, Google Broad Core Algorithm Updates: Everything You Need to Know.

Useful content update

August 25th

On August 18, Google revealed details about its new Helpful Content Update, a site-wide sign that aims to reward content that helps or informs people, rather than content that is created primarily to rank well in search results. search. It began to be implemented on August 25 and was completed 15 days later, on September 9.

Google provided a list of 15 questions to ask about your content reviews to make sure you're creating human content first. It also said that the types of content that could be most affected would be online education materials, arts and entertainment, shopping and those related to technology. However, the impact was mainly felt in some website categories (eg ringtones, coding, lyrics). Its overall impact was relatively small.

July 2022 Product Review Update

July 27th

Google said that the fourth version of the product reviews update would take 2-3 weeks to roll out, but then announced that it had been fully rolled out after six days. This was more of an update than anything new, and is meant to reward high-quality product reviews. Overall, this update was not as pervasive and had little volatility in ranking compared to previous product revision updates.

May 2022 Major Update

25 of May

This was the first broad core algorithm update of 2022 and the first in over 6 months. Google said it would take up to two weeks to fully roll out. As with every other major update before it, Google has made sweeping changes to the way its ranking systems evaluate content.

March 2022 Product Review Update

23 of March

Google said the third release of the Product Review Update, which will take a "few weeks" to fully roll out, builds on the work of the previous two Product Review Updates. Like those, this update is meant to help Google identify high-quality product reviews and reward them with better rankings.

There were three new tips from Google on ranked listings, recommending the "best" products, and creating reviews for multiple versus single products.

Page experience update (desktop)

February 22

This update included all the signals from the mobile version of the page experience update, except for the page to be mobile friendly. It took 9 days to fully implement.

Google Algorithm Updates 2021

December 2021 Product Review Update

December 1st

The goal of Google's Product Reviews Update, like the April Product Reviews Update, was to reward outstanding product reviews in search results. Google wanted to show users content with insightful analysis and original search, written by subject matter experts or enthusiasts. This update took about three weeks to fully roll out.

Google's new tip for this update: Provide more multimedia "evidence" about your product reviews and include links to multiple sellers.

November 2021 local search update

November 30

Google said this global update was a "rebalancing of several factors we consider when generating local search results." It ran between November 30 and December 8, overlapping with the December 2021 Core Update and the December 2021 Product Reviews Update. However, Google did not confirm that this update was done until December 16 .

November 2021 Core Update

November 17

This was the third and final major update of 2022. Like all Google major updates, the November 2021 major update was far-reaching, affecting websites and SEO in all languages, and took about two weeks to complete. to be fully implemented.

November 2021 Spam Update

November 3

Google announced an update to its search spam detection systems. Google's Guide: Follow Google's best search practices (also known as Google's Webmaster Guidelines).

Spam link update

July 26

Google said the purpose of this update was to "override" spammy links across the web and in multiple languages. Websites with spammy links were more likely to see an impact on their rankings. Google Tip: Follow best practices for all inbound and outbound links.

July 2021 Major Update

1st of July

This was the second of two consecutive major updates that Google rolled out. As is typical of major updates, the July 2021 major update was a comprehensive update that slightly changed the entire algorithm, but not a specific feature. This update was rolled out for 12 days, from July 1 to July 12.

Spam Update (Part 2)

June 28th

The promised sequel to your spam update. We learned that both parts of the spam update were "global" updates targeting both web results and image results.

Spam Update (Part 1)

June 23

Google announced the release of a spam update for its systems and said a second would be coming the following week. There was no guidance or additional details. As part of Twitter's announcement, Google referred to its Webmaster Guidelines.

Page experience update

June, 15

Google started using a new set of metrics, Core Web Vitals, to understand how users perceive the experience of a specific web page. The three Core Web Vitals metrics are Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) (measures loading performance); First Input Delay (FID) (measures interactivity); Cumulative Layout Change (CLS): (measures visual stability).

Part of the page experience update includes existing ranking signals such as page load speed, mobile friendliness, HTTPS, and lack of intrusive ads. This new ranking algorithm was announced in May 2020. The implementation started slowly and was finished at the end of August.

Unified Multitasking Model (MUM) Update


Previewed at Google I/O in May 2021, Google's Unified Multitasking Model (MUM) is based on a transformative architecture, like BERT, but 1,000 times more powerful and capable of multitasking to connect information for users in new ways. . In our first look at MUM, it helped the search engine identify over 800 variations of vaccine names in over 50 languages ​​in a matter of seconds. In September, Google announced additional applications of MUM technology.

Major Update June 2021

June 2nd

This was the first of two consecutive major updates that Google rolled out. Google decided to release these updates separately because some of the major updates they planned to roll out weren't ready in June.

Like other major updates from Google, the June 2021 update was comprehensive and far-reaching. It is likely that many sites felt the impact of this update.

April 2021 Product Review Update

April 8

The Product Review Update is intended to better reward product reviews that go above and beyond (eg, by including deep and original research, insightful analysis). Google said it will promote these types of product reviews in its search result rankings.

Google provided a list of nine questions to ask about its product reviews to make sure they're insightful, include original research, and are written by experts or enthusiasts who know the subject well.

passage classification

Feb. 10

Google has started to implement a change in the way it ranks specific passages of a web page in search results. This update was intended to help searchers find specific "needle in a haystack" information. Google said that this update would affect 7% of search queries in all languages.

Because this update was more about how Google understands your content, there was no specific advice on things to address or change, according to Google.

Google Algorithm Updates 2020

December 2020 Core Update (December 3)

The 2020 Major Update was the last major update of 2020 and the first major update since May of that year. Like all Google major updates, the December 2020 major update was far-reaching, impacting websites and SEO in all languages.

BERT expands (October 15)

Google announced that BERT was driving nearly all English-based search queries, a big jump from the 10% it drove the year before. You cannot optimize for BERT per se, as BERT is designed to improve the relevancy of search results by better understanding the content of web pages.

May 2020 Major Update (May 4)

Google released its relatively strong May 2020 Broad Core Algorithm Update for a few weeks in early May 2020.

This update was extensive and complete. Like other major updates, it was not targeted at any specific aspect of the algorithm.

January 2020 Major Update (January 13)

A relatively weak core update, the January 2020 core update was not highly appreciated by SEO experts. It was followed just four months later by the much stronger core update of May 2020.

Google Algorithm Updates 2019

BERT Natural Language Processing Update (October 25)

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

September 2019 Major Update (September 24)

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

June 2019 Major Update (June 3)

The June 2019 core update covered broad aspects of the Google algorithm and aimed to improve the user experience in multiple areas.

March 2019 Major Update (March 15)

The March 2019 major update was somewhat confusing and briefly disrupted the usual balance of the SEO world. The March 2019 core update was released without a name, allowing Twitter users to speculate about the update and why it went unnamed.

Google, noticing the mix-up, quickly jumped on social media to fix the mistake. On Twitter, they wrote: "Our name for this update is March 2019 Core Update."

Google Algorithm Updates 2018

August 2018 Major Update (aka Medical Update) (Aug 1)

The August 2018 Broad Core Algorithm Update was a core update that shook the SEO world. In this update, Google made major fixes to its algorithm that rewarded webpages that previously didn't have enough rewards.

Google said there was "no fix" for any observed drop in rankings. Ranking drops were simply due to other under-rewarded sites eventually making a profit.

Google's advice for webmasters with a ranking drop? Keep creating great content and you may well see your site climb back up the rankings.

April 2018 Major Update (April 20)

The April 2018 Core Update, like other updates, was aimed at improving the end user experience by providing the most relevant content for search queries.

Google did not announce this update and only came out with its announcement after speculation that there may be a core update.

March 2018 Major Update (March 12)

The March 2018 Major Update, quickly followed by the April 2018 Major Update, was a wide-ranging and far-reaching major update aimed at improving Google query results.

The March 2018 major update had a significant impact on some

s sites, and webmasters who witnessed a drop in rankings were advised to continue to develop great content and not try to game the system. As always, it is only through great content that lasting ratings are achieved.

January 2018 Major Update (January 18)

The January 2018 update was a comprehensive core update targeting all aspects of the site's SERPs. Major updates in March and April of that year followed.

Google Algorithm Updates 2017

Mid-December Updates (~December 14-19)

Google confirmed the release of several minor changes aimed at improving relevance. It seemed to negatively affect sites that were targeting a large number of keyword variants.

Local Update (August 22)

This update made fixes to the Possum update, which had inadvertently affected local rankings unfairly.

The 2016 Possum update, which we'll cover in a bit more detail later, was aimed at improving SERP relevance by removing redundant search results from the SERPs. In short, Google's filters were removing some local business owners because their businesses were too close to other similar businesses that were already ranking on Google's SERPs.

The Hawk update slightly corrected the Possum update, making local businesses that were competing with others already ranked in the SERPs more likely to be seen on a relevant search query.

Fred Update (March 9, unconfirmed)

In March 2017, Google seems to have released an update that was dubbed "Fred" by members of the SEO community. This was the result of a joke by Google CSH (Head of Sunshine and Happiness) Gary Illyes, who suggested that all future Google updates be called "Fred".

The Google Fred update appeared to be an update that attacked link accuracy across the web. Many in the “black hat SEO” corner of the internet saw their rankings drop, in some cases significantly.

Link fraud and practices like keyword stuffing are not the way to get search engine results. Check out our SEO penalty reminders here.

Google Algorithm Updates 2016

Penguin Update 4.0 (September 23)

After almost two years, Google updated its Penguin algorithm, and it was for the last time. Google announced that Penguin became part of its core search algorithm, which meant that the data was updated in real time. It also became more granular, which essentially meant that Penguin could affect the ranking of individual pages on a site, parts of a site, or the entire site.

Possum Update (September 1)

This update affected local listings. In short, the Possum Update was a change in the way Google filters work.

What are filters? Local results filters on Google remove websites that seem redundant. For local businesses, this can mean, for example, that if you have two websites for your service, only one of them will appear for a given local search term.

The Possum update was intended to improve Google's user experience, but it may have gone too far. Certain businesses that were close to other businesses that were already ranked in Google SERPs saw their website drop significantly.

Mobile-Friendly Update 2 (April 21)

This update was more of a boost to the original 2015 Mobile Optimized Update, a real-time page-by-page signal that only affects mobile search results. This update was intended to "increase the effect of the [mobile-friendly] rating signal."

Core Update January 2016 (January 17)

Significant fluctuations in search results were observed. Google's Gary Illyes confirmed that this was an update to the core ranking algorithm.

Core Update January 2016 (January 10)

After a weekend full of changes and ranking fluctuations, Google confirmed on January 12 that it was due to a core ranking algorithm update.

Google Algorithm Updates 2015

RankBrain (October 25)

The RankBrain algorithm works with machine learning, processes what people search for, and ranks billions of web pages to rank first the ones it thinks are the best. Initially used in a "very large fraction" of search results, it was later rolled out and used across all Google searches.

Panda 4.2 Update (July 18)

This was an update to the existing Panda algorithm. It affected about 2% to 3% of queries in English.

Quality Update (May)

Mobile Update (April 21)

2014 Google Algorithm Updates

Pigeon Expansion (December 22)

Penguin Everflux (December 10)

Penguin 3.1 Update (November 27)

Pirate Update 2 (October 21)

Penguin Update 3.0 (October 17


Panda 4.1 Update (September 25)

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

Pigeon Update (July 24)

This algorithm update was designed to provide more useful, relevant, and accurate local search results that were more closely tied to traditional web search ranking signals. Google stated that this new algorithm improves its distance and location ranking parameters.

Payday Loans 3.0 Update (June 12)

Panda 4.0 Update (May 20)

Panda's 27th update was supposed to be "smoother" for some websites and set the stage for future changes in that direction. It affected 7.5% of queries in English.

Payday Loans 2.0 Update (May 16)

Page Layout 3 (aka Top Heavy 3) (February 6)

2013 Google Algorithm Updates

Penguin Update 2.1 (October 4)

Hummingbird (September 26)

Panda Update 26 (July 18)

Google confirmed that it was releasing a new Panda update that incorporated new signals to make it more accurate.

Multi-Week Update (June 21)

Payday Loan Update (June 11)

Penguin 2.0 Update (May 22)

Panda Update 25 (March 14)

On March 11 at SMX, Google's Matt Cutts said an update to Panda was coming. It seemed to unfold on time as promised. However, Google never officially confirmed that the launch happened.

Panda Update 24 (January 22)

This Panda update affected 1.2% of queries in English.

2012 Google Algorithm Updates

Panda Update 23 (December 21)

This Panda update affected 1.3% of queries in English.

Panda Update 22 (November 21)

Panda Update 21 (November 5)

Page Layout Algorithm 2 (aka Top Heavy 2) (Oct 9)

Penguin Update 3 (October 5)

Panda Update 20 (September 27)

Exact Match Domain (EMD) Update (Sep 27)

Google released this algorithm change to prevent low-quality sites from ranking well simply because they had words matching search terms in their domain names.

Panda Update 3.9.2 (September 18)

Panda Update 3.9.1 (August 20)

Pirate Update (Aug 10)

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

Panda 3.9 Update (July 24)

Panda 3.8 Update (June 25)

Panda 3.7 update (June 8)

Penguin Update 2 (May 25)

Panda 3.6 update (April 27)

Penguin Update (April 24)

The purpose of this update was to lower the ranking of sites that Google believed to be in violation of Google's quality guidelines. In particular, websites that bought links or obtained them through link networks that were primarily designed to boost Google rankings.

Panda 3.5 update (April 19)

Panda 3.4 Update (March 23)

Venice (February 27)

Panda 3.3 update (February 27)

Page Layout Algorithm (aka Top Heavy) (Jan 19)

This was a means of preventing sites that had a large number of ads from ranking well in Google search results. Top Heavy is regularly updated. When a new Top Heavy update occurs, sites that have removed excess ads can regain lost rankings. New sites that are deemed too heavy may get stuck.

Panda 3.2 update (January 18)

Google Algorithm Updates 2011

Panda 3.1 update (November 18)

Freshness Update (November 3)

Panda 3.0 update (October 19)

Panda 2.5 update (September 28)

Panda 2.4 update (August 12)

Panda 2.3 Update (July 23)

Panda 2.2 update (June 21)

Panda 2.1 Update (May 9)

Panda 2.0 Update (April 11)

Panda Update (February 23)

scraper filter

Google Algorithm Updates 2010

Trader Reviews (December)

Brand update (August)

Caffeine (June)

First of May (May)

2009 Google Algorithm Updates

Vince Update (February 20)

In late February, SEOs and webmasters began to notice big brands gaining more visibility in search results. On March 5, Google's Matt Cutts confirmed the "minor change," adding that Google's ranking algorithm may take into account trust, quality, PageRank, and other metrics for more generic queries. Cutts said that he did not affect long-tail queries. A Googler named Vince created this change, so the update got its name from him.

2008 Google Algorithm Updates

Dewey Update (March 31)

Some major changes to search results were reported in late March and early April. Google's Matt Cutts asked webmasters to provide feedback on the changes via a form and to include the word "dewey" in their comments, giving this update a name.

2007 Google Algorithm Updates

PageRank Update (October 7)

Google confirmed that they were lowering PageRank scores for some sites that were selling links. Google also said that some of those sites could be removed from its search results or face penalties that prevent them from ranking well. Does Google's PageRank Update Go After Paid Links? (October 24) documented several sites that were affected.

2005 Google Algorithm Updates

Big Daddy (December)

Jagger (October)

Bourbon (May)

2004 Google Algorithm Updates

Austin (~January 23)

This is seen as a continuation of the work Google started with Florida, with the goal of producing more relevant search results. Websites affected by this update were using on-page SEO tactics that had worked quite well at the time (but are now considered outdated practices and spam).

2003 Google Algorithm Updates

Florida (November 15)

Florida was the first major update to Google's algorithm and it caused a huge outcry. Google's goal was to make it difficult for websites to rank well using manipulative SEO techniques.

Unfortunately, this update caused many websites to go out of business (including some "false positives") just before the lucrative holiday season. After this update, Google promised that it would try to avoid making any major changes over the holidays (a promise that wasn't broken until 2011).

Fritz (July)

This is the update when Google switched to indexing pages every day (or more often) instead of doing one big monthly algorithmic update (called the "Google Dance"), where everyone's rankings would go up or down over a six-month period. to eight days. From this point on, Google made many (usually minor) changes every day, which became known as "everflux".

Google Algorithm Updates: The Latest News and Guides

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