All Major Google Algorithm Updates

Table of Contents

The Florida update was rolled out on the 16th of November 2003 and had a huge impact. Previous algorithm updates made significant changes to search results, however, the Florida update was huge for businesses and it affected how Google would roll out updates in the future.

Read More November, 2003

The Jagger update rollout started in September of 2005 and continued until October. This update targeted a number of technical factors, duplicate content, and links.

Read More September, 2005

Like the Jagger update, the Big Daddy update also meant bad news for sites with unnatural link profiles. In particular, new sites didn’t appear to fare as well after buying links.

Read More December, 2005

In January of 2009, Google’s algorithm saw another update that shifted focus to benefit big brands in search results.

Read More January, 2009

May 3rd 2010, saw the May Day Google algorithm update rollout that targeted longtail keywords. Long tail keywords are longer and more specific than traditional search queries. Because of this, they have less traffic but enjoy a higher conversion rate.

Read More May, 2010

The Google Caffeine update was another example of an update being rolled out over a few months and allowed developers and SEO agencies the opportunity to preview it to report on issues and provide feedback.

Read More June, 2010

Google’s Panda algorithm update was rolled out near the end of February 2011. The idea behind it was to rank the quality of a site based on its content. It was initially used as a filter before becoming part of the ranking algorithm in 2016.

Read More February, 2011

In February of 2012, Google announced that they had released 40 key algorithm updates in the previous month. One of these was the Venice update which affected local search.

Read More February, 2012

Another of the major google algorithm updates arrived in April of 2012 in the shape of the Penguin update. This time link-building was targeted to ensure sites did not cut corners and benefit from unnatural link patterns.

Read More April, 2012

In August 2012, Google announced a crackdown on sites that had repeat copyright infringements. Up until that point, downloading music, books, and videos from torrent sites had become particularly popular.

Read More August, 2012

In September of 2013, Google announced that the previous month saw the Hummingbird algorithm update rollout. Like the Caffeine update, its objective was to speed up search requests.

Read More September, 2013

The Google Pigeon algorithm update was initially launched in the United States in July of 2014 before being rolled out in the UK, Australia, and Canada in December of the same year. The focus of the update was to improve local searches.

Read More July, 2014

In 2014, site security was a priority, and the Google HTTPS/SSL update encouraged this. By setting HTTPS as a ranking signal, webmasters were expected to make the switch so users could enjoy more secure searches.

Read More July, 2014

According to statistics provided by Statista, the percentage of people that use a mobile phone to access the internet in the UK rose from just 28% in 2009 to 88% in 2021.

Read More March, 2016

October 2015 saw the rollout of Google’s Rankbrain algorithm update that followed on from the Hummingbird update to improve the quality of results.

Read More October, 2015

The Google Possum algorithm update was released in September of 2016 and impacted local rankings.

Read More September, 2016

The Google Intrusive Interstitials algorithm update in 2017 was aimed at reducing spam and improving the overall user experience.

Read More Feb, 2017

The Google Fred algorithm update was released in March 2017 and was an attempt by Google to reward high-quality sites and ensure sites with minimal, low-quality content, and large amounts of advertising did not rank as highly.

Read More March, 2017

January 2018 saw Google launch another algorithm update to improve the quality of search results for mobile users.

Read More January, 2018

The March 2018 Broad Core algorithm update is intended to improve the site’s search query accuracy, providing users with a better experience.

Read More March, 2018

The Google Medic core algorithm update was launched in August 2018 and was named as such after experts noticed a big impact on health and medical sites.

Read More August, 2018

The Google Florida 2 Update is officially named the March 2019 Core Update by Google and is said to be a large and important broad core algorithm update. The Florida Update back in the 2000s was crucial and comparisons were made with the new broad core algorithm changes as both updates coincided with the Pubcon Florida conference.

Read More March, 2019

The Google BERT algorithm update in October 2019 was announced as their largest update to affect Google search in 5 years.

Read More October, 2019

The January Core algorithm update was announced by Google on the 13th of January before being launched later that same day.

Read More January, 2020

Like the January Core algorithm update, Google announced the May update before rolling it out later in the day. This update also impacted those in the finance and health sectors and placed a focus on sites providing users with high-quality content.

Read More May, 2020

The final Google Core algorithm update of 2020 was rolled out over the course of a week from December 3rd. Unlike the previous two core updates of 2020, Google didn’t announce this, and it was more difficult to interpret exactly what the update consisted of.

Read More December, 2020

April 2021 saw Google launch their product reviews update to ensure that the websites that review products could only rank if they provided value to the visitor.

Read More April, 2021

After the success of the BERT update in 2019, which saw the use of AI to interpret and learn the natural language to improve search query results, the release of the MUM update in May 2021 was the next step.

Read More May, 2021
An SEO specialist in Newcastle with a wealth of experience in SEO strategy, auditing, consultancy & training. Sam is also passionate about emerging and new technologies, particularly in the web3 space, where there are a wealth of disruptive businesses doing great things to create better products and processes.

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