Google is a technology company that provides internet related services. The services include the search engine, YouTube, Google Drive, Google play store, Android, Google Maps, Hangouts, Gmail, Google calendar, etc. Today, Google Search Engine is the most popular search engine all over the world. The one thing that distinguishes Google from other search engines is its timely updates in its algorithm. Every year, Google changes its algorithm many times. These changes directly affect the traffic of many websites.
These updates have come into existence from past few years.
There are many changes in the algorithm of Google but, it was only after 2010 that Google introduced some major updates that changed the game. Here are some major Google updates:
Google Panda Update
Launch date: February 24, 2011
Panda was the first major update of Google. It aimed to stop those websites which have poor content and are still coming in Google’s top search results. This update created a ruckus among the web developers as many sites experienced a massive traffic decline. It is one of the factors of Google’s core ranking algorithm.
Google Penguin update
launch date: April 24, 2012
The Penguin update was launched a year later than Panda. This update also focussed on quality content. Websites with poor content and artificial backlinks were affected by this update. After Panda, Penguin was another push towards quality content. Penguin works on real-time, unlike Panda.
Google Hummingbird update
launch date: August 22, 2013
Hummingbird update was a change to Google’s algorithm for a better understanding of intent and context. It helped Google to interpret search queries and provide the best-matched result to the searcher. Websites with forced keyword stuffing became a victim of this update.
Google Pigeon update
Launch date: July 24, 2014
This update affected those searches where the user’s location plays an important part. Google’s Pigeon aimed at improving the quality of local searches.
Google Mobile-friendly update
Launch date: April 21, 2015
Smartphones are replacing desktops all over the world. In an attempt to give users a better experience of web browsing on mobile phones, Google launched this update in 2015. It ensured that mobile-friendly pages ranked top of mobile searches.
Today, almost all websites are mobile-friendly.
Google RankBrain update
Launch date: October 26, 2015
Rankbrain is a machine learning artificial intelligence system introduced in Google’s algorithm in 2015. It is through RankBrain that Google monitors the user behavior and provides best matching results to the searcher’s intent. RankBrain is considered the third most important ranking factor amongst 200 other ranking factors.
Google Possum Update
launch date: September 1, 2016
This update affects only local searches. This update was a change in the algorithm which will decide the visibility of local businesses in local searches.
Google Fred update
Launch date: March 8, 2017
Gary Illyes jokingly named this update as Fred. The websites that were showing many advertisements were affected by this update as their focus was more on revenue collection than solving a user’s problem.