Major search algorithm updates

9 Major Google search engine algorithm updates to date

Major Google Search algorithm updates

Google algorithm keeps changing from time to time. A very handful of people know the actual search algorithm google follows for crawling and displaying the search results. Here are the 9 major google search algorithm updates that have had a significant effect on the SEO rankings

6.Rank Brain


Date: Panda Search algorithm update was rolled out on February 24, 2011
Focus: When Google has found out that a lot of content is being copied, which is affecting the search result relevance it has released Panda update that is mainly focused on Duplicate, spam and thin content. The websites with more plagiarism or copied content lost their ranking on the search engines.
Tool: Website Auditor
Panda assigns a quality score, which is used as the ranking factors and from Jan 2016, it has been a part of the core algorithm.


Date: Penguin search algorithm update was rolled out on April 24, 2012
Focus: In order to increase the domain authority, many backlinks and irrelevant links have been increased. Google’s penguin update mainly focused on spam, and irrelevant links and the websites that have more irrelevant and spam links were removed from the top rankings on the search engine.
Tool: SEO SpyGlass
It down ranks the sites that contain manipulative links. Since late 2016 it has been a part of Google’s core algorithm


Date: The Hummingbird update was released on August 22, 2013
Focus: Many websites started including keywords to rank on top for search queries Hummingbird algorithm update is majorly focused on Keyword stuffing, which is considered as black hat technique and low-quality content
Tool: Rank Tracker
Hummingbird algorithm allows the pages to rank for a query even if it doesn’t have the exact keywords. It is achieved with the help of NLP.


Date: Pigeon search algorithm update was released on July 24, 2014, in the US and on December 22, 2014, in UK, Canada, Australia
Focus: Websites having poor on-site and off-site SEO are downranked. Pigeon update mainly focused on the search engine optimization for both on-page and off-page.
Tool: WebSite Auditor, LinkAssistant for off-site


Date: Mobile search algorithm update was rolled out on April 21, 2015
Focus: Websites which are mobile-friendly are ranked better than the websites that are not mobile-friendly. Mobile update majorly focused on the mobile usability of the website
Tool: WebSite Auditor


Date: The RankBrain search algorithm was released on October 26, 2015
Focus: RankBrain algorithm is focused on the UX of the website and the Query-specific relevance features
Tool: Website Auditor


Date: Possum search algorithm update was released on Spet1,2016
Focus: The Possum search algorithm majorly focused on the tense competition in the user’s target location
Tool: Rank Tracker


Date: The Fred update was released on March 8, 2017
Focus: Google’s Fred search algorithm update focused on the ad-centred and affiliate content.


Date: BERT update was released by Google on October 25, 2019
Focus: BRET focuses on understanding the actual context of the search query and provide the relevant search result to the user. It uses advanced technologies like ML and AI.

These are a few major Google search engine algorithm updates released in the history of Google search algorithms that have a significant effect on the SEO strategies and the search query results. Let me know your feedback in the comments below or drop a messageĀ here. I am open to suggestions.

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Satya Varshini

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