10 Major Google Algorithm & Updates Between 2011 – 2020

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The competition is cutting- edge and everyone in this digital world want to be on top. With the lakhs of websites on the internet, the task of achieving the highest rank among all is a complicated one. With the sole objective for businesses to gain a higher search engine ranking and to keep the rank intact, users need to be very observant of all that is continuously changing in the field of digital marketing.

Google holds the reign of ranking for a website through SEO and has time and again brought about updates in it. All these changes that are introduced are connected to the alterations made in Google’s algorithm that is meant for the search engines. Google’s latest SEO updates are all focussed on improving the web search for the users and for this Google has implemented an immense number of updates for the marketers to follow and enhance their ranking consistently. Check out some of the latest updates that Google introduced for the users in recent months.

SO, What is Google Algorithm Updates in NutShell?

From Google:   Google ranking systems sort through the hundreds of billions of web pages in their Search index to give you useful and relevant results in a fraction of a second.

Here are 10 Major Google Algorithm Updates

#1. Google Panda

Panda/Farmer- February 23, 2011: The change was brought about for the content farms who were gaining a higher rank in search results and targets the “Scraper” sites who were pulling content from other sites.

#2. Google Penguin

Penguin — April 24, 2012: This was a new algorithm to catch sites which were spamming its searches and penalize them for using too many links and ads. This was names “website algorithm update”.

#3. Google Pirate

Released in August 2012, its main objective was to prevent sites that have received numerous copyright infringements reports from getting a higher rank in Google search. Thus, it attacked the pirated content that was openly available to visitors.

#4. Google Hummingbird

Introduced on August 22, 2013, was a substantial algorithmic change that interpreted search queries and provides better search results. Google has shown more theme-related SERP’s that might not have the given keywords but still would fulfill the searcher’s intent.

#5. Mobile Friendly Update

Released on April 21, 2015, was aimed to ensure that the pages that are mobile-friendly should rank at the top of mobile searches where the optimized pages are the major factor in ranking.

This update meant to look out for:

  • Pages which were not meant for mobile
  • Unsuitable viewport configuration
  • Improper and low-quality content
  • Use of inappropriate plugins on sites

#6. Rank Brain

Launched on October 26, 2015, it is a machine learning system that will Google in decoding the meaning of search queries and provide the best possible results. Along with this, Rank Brain can learn more about the page and the importance of search results and identify the relevant features on pages in the index.

#7. Google Possum

Brought about on September 1, 2016, this update is used as a filter for Google’s local ranking. Depending on the searches, Google returns the results as per the physical location if the searcher and also looks after the phrasing of the query. But, somehow it affected-

  • Businesses sharing the physical address of another business
  • The rivals whose address is closer to the searcher’s physical location.

#8. Intrusive Interstitial Penalty (The Popup Penalty) – Jan 10, 2017

Google announced its new update with regard to unwanted mobile pop-ups. Google will be seen on focussing over three types:

  • Pop-ups that appear instantly after any clicking site or while scrolling through them.
  • Interstitials that appear in between before the user reaches the main content of the site.
  • Layouts that mimic a welcome design that makes the user scroll past or above the fold graphic whereas the original content lies beneath this.

#9. An unconfirmed algorithm update- February 2017

It was not clearly detected whether this update pertains to Google Penguin or is some new algorithm altogether but it brought about some changes after its release. It was seen that:

  • Private blog networks were not working properly
  • Google became slow while picking links
  • Some sites were penalized
  • The search result tracking tools like MozCast, Algoroo showed some disturbance.

#10. Google Fred

The update that came around unconfirmed on March 8, 2017, that is more ­­­of a spam algorithm update around links. But, after this update release, many automated tracking tools showed some fluctuations in their working. There has also been a complaint about the decrease in the ranking by the webmasters.


Conclusion: These ranking systems are made up of a series of algorithms that analyze what it is you are looking for and what information to return to you. and therefore they evolved Search to make it more useful and refined their our algorithms to assess your searches and the results in finer detail to make search result better for you.

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About the Author Shamsher

Live Instructor-Led online digital marketing trainer, a consultant, and an affiliate marketer with over 8+ years of experience View Course Details if you want to grow your business online or want to learn digital marketing online from anywhere.

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