Google Updates

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Launched: Feb 2011
About: The Google Panda Update assigns a “quality score” to individual pages; this score then used as a major ranking indicator. Initially, the Panda Update was a filter rather than actually a part of Google’s algorithm, but in early 2016, it was incorporated into the core algorithm (meaning that both penalties and recoveries happen a lot faster). Read More


Launched: April 2012
About: The Google Penguin update was to target websites who were using spammy or poor quality backlinks to try and manipulate the search engine results pages. Initially only working on a rollout basis (to the bane of webmasters everywhere), the Penguin update has been real-time since late 2016. Read More


Launched: August 2013
About: The Hummingbird update was released to better help Google understand a searchers request and show them results that more match their intent. This was the first time pages were seen ranking despite not having that exact keyword in it (semantic search). Read More


Launched: December 2014 (UK)
About: The Pigeon update from Google started seriously taking into account the users location when making a search. The update created closer ties between the core index and the local algorithm. Read More


Launched: April 2015
About: The mobile first update from Google (aka Mobilegeddon) ensured that mobile friendly and responsive websites were given top priority in the search results. Read More


Launched: October 2015
About: RankBrain works in major part with the Hummingbird algorithm to help Google understand the meaning behind queries and provide more relevant results. RankBrain relies heavily on machine learning and according to Google, it is their third most important ranking factor. Read More


Launched: September 2016
About: The Possum update from Google changed the order of local results depending on the searchers’ location relative to nearest businesses – especially on mobile devices. Read More


Launched: March 2017
About: The Fred update targets websites that have been deemed to be violating Google’s search quality guidelines by having too many ads on a page and not enough relevant content. Read More

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