The History of Google Algorithm Updates: Complete Guides!

The History of Google Algorithm Updates: Complete Guides!

Google's algorithms are a complicated system that retrieves data from its search index. Learn the history of Google algorithm updates.

The History of Google Algorithm Updates: What exactly are Google Algorithms? – Google’s algorithms are a complicated system that retrieves data from its search index and delivers the best possible results for a query in real time.

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On its search engine results pages, the search engine employs a combination of algorithms and several ranking parameters to present webpages rated by relevancy (SERPs).

Google’s algorithms were only updated a few times in its early years. Every year, Google makes hundreds of updates.

Also Read: How Does SEO Work?

The majority of these changes are so little that they go undetected. However, the search engine occasionally releases substantial algorithmic improvements that have a large influence on the SERPs, such as:

  • Florida
  • Mr. Big Daddy
  • Jagger
  • Vince
  • Caffeine
  • Panda
  • Algorithm of Freshness
  • Algorithm for Page Layout
  • Update from Venice
  • Penguin
  • EMD (Exact Match Domain)
  • Payday
  • Hummingbird
  • Pigeon
  • Mobilegeddon
  • Updates of High Quality
  • RankBrain
  • Fred

We’ve prepared a comprehensive list of Google algorithm releases, upgrades, and refreshes over the years, as well as links to resources for SEO experts who wish to learn more about each of these changes.

The Complete List of Google Algorithm Updates

Google Algorithm Updates

May 22, 2022

Google Core Algorithm Update for May 2022

Google announced the delivery of a major core upgrade, dubbed the May 2022 Core Update, through Twitter. This is part of a yearly sequence of changes Google makes to the overall ranking process. This update started on May 22, 2022 and ended on June 9, 2022.

March 23, 2022

Product Algorithm Update in March 2022

Google announced an upgrade to product review rankings on the Search Central Blog that would allow them to identify high-quality reviews. It should take a few weeks to finish the upgrade.

On The Keyword, you can discover more about Google’s goal to give better product reviews to search users, as well as how to create high-quality product reviews.

22nd of February, 2022

Page Experience Improvement

Google said on Twitter that the page experience improvement for desktop search is being phased in and will be finished in March 2022. Google Search Central provides developers with further information on the page experience upgrade.

1 December 2021

Product Review Update for December 2021

The December 2021 Product Review Update began rolling out for English language sites today, according to Google’s Google Search Central Twitter feed, and is expected to take three weeks to complete. They provided a link to your website and a blog article about product review updates.

30 November 2021

Local Search Update for November 2021

Google announced a November 2021 Local Search Update on Twitter, which began on November 30th and ended on December 8th. Google also advised firms to check their guidelines for improving local rankings.

17 November 2021

General Core Update

Google Search Central tweeted that a large core upgrade would be delivered later that day. They directed webmasters to their guidance on what site owners should know about core upgrades, which was most recently updated in August 2019.

3 November 2021

Google Spam Removal

According to a tweet from Google Search Liaison, a spam upgrade was sent out between November 3 and November 11, 2021 as part of their ongoing efforts to enhance search results. In their announcement, they advised that webmasters continue to follow Webmaster Guidelines.

July 26, 2021

Update to Google’s Link Spam Algorithm

Google said that an algorithm upgrade targeted at detecting and eliminating link spam was starting to go out.

Google has warned that any site using link spam strategies may experience ranking fluctuations, with sponsored, guest, and affiliate content being the most likely to be affected. Google stated that the update will be available in “at least” two weeks and will affect many languages.

July 12, 2021

Completed July 2021 Core Update

The July 2021 Core Update distribution was essentially finished on July 12th, according to Google Search Liaison. There were no other details supplied.

July 1, 2021

Core Update for July 2021

The July 2021 Core Update is now rolling out, according to Google Search Liaison, and will take one to two weeks to complete. Google’s core update instructions may be found on the Google Search Central Blog.

June 28, 2021

Part 2 of the Spam Update

Google Search Liaison revealed on Twitter that the second phase of their spam upgrade has begun and will most likely be completed on the same day.

The initial statement related to an article on the Google Search Central Blog on how Google combated Search spam in 2020, which was updated in April 2021.

June 23, 2021

Spam Update for June 2021

Google’s Danny Sullivan said on Twitter that an algorithm upgrade aimed at combating spam was being sent out to search results. The update was supposed to be released on the same day.

He also stated that a second spam upgrade would be released within a week. Google provided no specifics about the update’s intended audience.

June 15, 2021

Page Experience Improvement

Google has confirmed that the long-awaited Page Experience upgrade has begun to be sent out. According to Google, sites should not expect major changes as a consequence of this upgrade, and any abrupt reductions or spikes should be reduced by the progressive deployment process. The implementation is expected to be finished by the end of August 2021.

June 10, 2021

Protection for Known Victims

Pandu Nayak, Google Fellow and Vice President of Search, wrote an article on The Keyword blog on June 10. He addressed Google’s efforts to improve the algorithm to penalize sites that “use exploitative removals tactics” and “predatory activities” in it. He also provided a URL where individuals may report internet abuse.

June 2, 2021

Update to the Broad Core Algorithm

Danny Sullivan, Google Search Liaison, stated on Twitter that a major core algorithm upgrade was going to be launched.

Sullivan also mentioned that some anticipated changes were not quite ready for this release, so they will be sent out as part of the second, related wide core algorithm upgrade, expected for July.

April 8, 2021

Update on Product Reviews

This new search ranking algorithm update was created to reward “in-depth research-based product reviews, rather than shallow material that merely summarizes a number of things.” Google also highlighted nine essential things to consider when producing and publishing product evaluations in their release.

10 February 2021

Ranking of Passages

Danny Sullivan, Google’s Public Liaison for Search, revealed on Twitter that Passage Ranking is now available for English-language inquiries in the United States.

“This move does not mean we’re indexing individual sections independently of pages,” Google says. We’re still indexing pages and taking into account information about complete pages for ranking. However, we may now utilize page passages as an extra ranking criteria…”

3 December 2020

Core Update for December 2020

Google says that the December 2020 Core Update will be released on December 3, 2020. This is the calendar year’s third core algorithm upgrade. When compared to the usual period between these sorts of changes, a significant amount of time has gone since the last core update.

May 4, 2020

Core Update for May 2020

Danny Sullivan, Google Search Liaison, revealed on Twitter that Google will be launching a major core algorithm upgrade. After around 90 minutes, he reported that the upgrade was started and would take 1-2 weeks to finish.

22nd of January, 2020

Deduplication of Featured Snippets

Google’s Danny Sullivan announced on Twitter that highlighted snippet webpages will no longer be republished in normal Page 1 organic rankings. This modification affects 100% of all search results worldwide.

13th of January, 2020

Core Update for January 2020

Google’s Danny Sullivan stated in a tweet that a major core algorithm upgrade was on its way. Google issued the same advice as with all previous recent wide core algorithm improvements.

9th of December, 2019

BERT (Worldwide)

Google’s Danny Sullivan announced on Twitter that BERT was starting its global deployment, which comprised the following languages: Albanian, Amharic, Arabic, Armenian, Azeri, Basque, Belarusian, Bulgarian, Catalan, Chinese (Simplified & Taiwan), Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, Farsi, Finnish, French, Galician, Georgian, German, Greek, Gujarati, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Icelandic, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Javanese, Kannada, Kazakh, Khmer, Korean, Kurdish, Ky.

25th of October, 2019

BERT Information Update

Google introduced the BERT Update, describing it as the most significant upgrade to Google search in the last five years. BERT models are used by Google to better comprehend search queries. Google stated that this move affected both search rankings and highlighted snippets, and that BERT (which stands for Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers) will be utilized on 10% of English searches in the United States.

24th of September, 2019

Update to the Broad Core Algorithm

In a tweet, Google’s Danny Sullivan stated that a large core algorithm upgrade will be made within a few hours and would take a few days to fully roll out. Google’s advice was consistent with all other recent core algorithm improvements.

August 1, 2019

Featured Snippets Update

Google disclosed an algorithm modification that affects the freshness of highlighted snippets in search results. This change will enable Google to discover the most recent highlighted snippets for searches requiring current information.

June 2, 2019

Core Update for June 2019

On June 2, Google Search Liaison Danny Sullivan tweeted that a new wide core algorithm upgrade would be released on June 3.

The next day, Google announced that the upgrade was online and that it will be sent out to its various data centers over the next several days. Google tells us that, like with any large core algorithm change, there is nothing particular to solve because a core update spans a wide range of parameters.

March 12, 2019

Core Update for March 2019 (a.k.a. Florida 2)

Danny Sullivan, Google’s Search Liaison, acknowledged the deployment of a worldwide broad core algorithm change on Twitter. SEJ stated that this upgrade is especially significant and one of the most significant Google changes in recent years. Sullivan reiterated its recommendation to follow the instructions offered following the March 9, 2018 update.

 February 13, 2019

Update on Valentine’s Day

Algorithm trackers and industry gossip suggested an unconfirmed upgrade occurred on or before this date. In contrast to past updates, however, largely favorable adjustments in rankings were noted.

October 31, 2018

Halloween Update Unconfirmed

Some webmasters noticed changes beginning around Halloween, which might be an indication of a (unconfirmed) Google upgrade.

However, there was little indication of a big change. The most likely source of the commotion was the August wide core algorithm upgrade and Google’s increased usage of neural matching.

September 27, 2018

A “Minor” Update

On September 27 (Google’s 20th birthday), several members of the SEO community saw substantial spikes and reductions in traffic, signaling that an upgrade was in the works.

Some of the sites that were hit by the August wide core algorithm upgrade have allegedly recovered. Google’s Search Liaison Danny Sullivan stated on Twitter on September 29 that a “minor” modification had occurred (although it was not a major core algorithm update).

1 August 2018

Update to the Broad Core Google Algorithm Update

Google acknowledged the implementation of a broad core algorithm upgrade through Twitter for the third time this year. In doing so, Google’s Search Liaison Danny Sullivan advised adhering to the guidelines issued following the March 9, 2018 upgrade.

Some in the industry have dubbed this upgrade “Medic,” despite Google’s claim that it was a generic ranking update that didn’t especially target medical sites.

April 16, 2018

Broad Core Google Algorithm Update

Google announced the release of another large core algorithm change through Twitter, indicating that it was comparable to the March 9, 2018 update, which focused on content relevance.

March 9, 2018

Broad Core Google Algorithm Update

Google acknowledged through Twitter on March 12 that a “wide core algorithm upgrade” had been sent out the previous week. While Google did not provide specifics, it did state that the adjustments were intended to “benefit pages that were previously under-rewarded” and recommended everyone to “continue generating outstanding content.”

December 12, 2017

Maccabees Google Algorithm Update

Some members of the search community claimed that their websites were affected by an upgrade between December 12 and 14.

During the interval, Google verified some modest adjustments to the fundamental algorithm, but downplayed the relevance of the period of flux.

September 8, 2017

Fall Flux Google Algorithm Update

On this day, industry gossip and SEO tracking tools suggested that a (yet unconfirmed) Google upgrade may have occurred. Glenn Gabe, president of G-Squared Interactive, saw many notable Google changes affecting traffic and search exposure beginning September 8. Additional volatility and variations occurred on September 18, 25, and 29, as well as October 4, 8, and 12.

August 19, 2017

Quality Improvement Updates

On August 19-20, webmasters and SEO ranking tools identified some slight instability, with evidence pointing to another (unconfirmed) Google quality upgrade.

According to Glenn Gabe, president of GSQi, among the ranking fatalities are category sites, pages with aggressive advertising, lower-quality/thin content, and other bad user experience characteristics.

Some speculated that Google began testing this algorithm on August 14 since pages touched (positively or adversely) on this date were further impacted on August 19.

July 9, 2017

Quality Algorithm Update

On July 9, SEO ranking tools noticed some slight fluctuation, perhaps due to another (unconfirmed) Google quality modification.

June 25, 2017

The June 25th Google Algorithm Update

On this day, many SEO tracking programs identified a substantial, though unconfirmed, Google upgrade. According to one research, this upgrade generated the greatest volatility for pages ranking in positions 6-10. While it affected numerous industries, the food and beverage business was deemed the most affected.

May 17, 2017

Quality Update

SEO tracking tools revealed a lot of SERP instability beginning on May 17 and continuing roughly a week. While the impact appears to be minor, the sites impacted by this update tended to have difficulties with aggressive/deceptive advertising, poor user experience, and thin/low-quality content.

March 7, 2017

The Fred Update

Gary Illyes of Google jokingly referred to this upgrade as “Fred,” and the moniker stuck. But for individuals who were affected, this algorithm was no laughing matter. This significant algorithm modification seems to primarily target low-value material.

Illyes officially verified the upgrade on March 24. However, Google has declined to provide any further details, instead stating that any answers concerning Fred may be found in Google’s Webmaster Quality Guidelines.

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