A Peek into the History of Major Google Algorithms Updates

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A Peek into the History of Major Google Algorithms Updates

History of Major Google Algorithms Updates
January 21, 2022

How will you begin to study if your book doesn’t have an index?

This is precisely why Google keeps updating its algorithms for better understanding users’ searches and responding with better-indexed Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). You can book a consultation with the best digital marketing agency in Ahmedabad to understand them thoroughly.

Briefly speaking, the Google search algorithm lets crawlers find, rank, and respond with the most relevant results for users’ queries. The ranking system consists of many algorithms that scan sites for pages' quality, relevancy, or usability.

Every now and then, Google rolls out updates to enhance users’ experiences. However, comprehending these algorithms and applying them in SEO on a regular basis can be a tedious task. To rank #1 in Google, you can hire a top SEO company in Ahmedabad.

For the moment, let’s look into algorithms that have had a significant impact on sites’ ranking.

Panda (February 2011)

Panda Update (February 2011)
  • Authenticity
  • Plagiarism
  • Thin content
  • user-generated spam
  • Quality information

Panda aimed to enhance users’ experiences in terms of the content of the website. It was a significant update that impacted numerous websites worldwide. High-quality websites escalated, whereas thin websites were pushed behind in SERPs.

Penguin (April 2012)

Penguin Update (April 2012)
  • Keyword stuffing
  • Spam links
  • Link schemes
  • Over-optimized anchor text
  • Content cloaking

Penguin update, AKA webspam algorithm update, was intended to knock out black hat SEO practices. The update penalized websites purchasing or utilizing spammy links to raise their sites on SERPs.

Hummingbird (August 2013)

Hummingbird Update (August 2013)
  • Long-tail content
  • Keyword stuffing
  • Low-quality content
  • Natural language
  • Latent semantic indexing

Hummingbird update primarily focused upon understanding searchers’ queries. Long-tail keywords and quality content turn into the spotlight for marketers.

Pigeon (July 2014)

Pigeon (July 2014)
  • Local SEO
  • On-page and Off-page SEO
  • Google maps
  • Location ranking
  • Better local SERPs

Google’s Pigeon update was set out to bring local SEO content for users. That, in turn, backed the local businesses to reach their audience. In addition, it also mitigated their rankings on SERPs.

Also read - Best SEO practices to follow in 2022

RankBrain (October 2015)

RankBrain (October 2015)
  • Introducing AI and ML
  • More relevant SERPs
  • Better guess users’ intent
  • Enhance UX
  • Eliminate poor content

RankBrain update was the outcome of introducing artificial intelligence and machine learning into Google’s algorithm. This update serves enhanced SERPs by better interpreting users’ intent towards their queries.

BERT (December 2019)

BERT (December 2019)
  • Featured snippets
  • Natural language processing
  • Better understand longer queries
  • An AI model
  • Adjustment with content

BERT (Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers) was one of the most significant updates in history. This update was majorly intended to reinforce the content in natural language for a better understanding of users’ longer and conversational queries.

May CORE Update (May 2020)

May CORE Update (May 2020)
  • E-A-T based
  • Relevancy
  • Authority
  • Analyzing UX
  • Search signals for UX

The CORE update of May 2020 was E-A-T (Expertise, Authority, and Trust) based. This update demanded adjustments of content, brand factors, and user data. All these refer to overall quality standards for websites.

Page Experience Update (June 2021)

Page Experience Update (June 2021)
  • Core Web Vitals
  • Mobile-friendly
  • HTTPS
  • No intrusive interstitials
  • Ranking signals

Page experience update AKA core web vitals metric is based on the ranking system from page experience. Core web vitals is focused upon loading, interactivity, and visual stability.

Product Review Update (December 2021)

Product Review Update (December 2021)
  • Assessing content beyond information
  • Impact only on product review content
  • Reward for quality product reviews
  • No penalties for thin content
  • Better ranking of product reviews

Product Review Update is designed to reward quality product reviews by pushing such websites on the top in SERPs. Though Google does not penalize the thin content holders, it chooses authentic and detailed reviews over thin reviews resulting in a declined ranking for them.

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