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Whether you are a working & experienced professional, SEO expert or just started your carrier in Digital Marketing world as a fresher/newbie and recently started exploring this field you must have heard, read or familiar with the term Google Algorithms Updates. In this post I am going to discuss  The Top 10 Major Google’s Algorithm updates you should be aware of :

  1. Panda
  2. Penguin
  3. Pirate
  4. Pigeon
  5. Possum
  6. Mobile Friendly Update (Mobilegedon update)
  7. RankBrain
  8. Hummingbird
  9. Google EMD (Exact Match Domain) Update
  10. Google Florida

According to John Muller who is a Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google says “We Make Changes Almost Every Day”.

So almost every single day, throughout the year Google introduces releases updates to its search ranking Algorithm. As per my research, It could be several thousand times a year including all the major and minor updates, out of which some changes are minor and unnoticeable but Google Occasionally rolls out some major algorithm updates which seriously revamp the Search Engine Results.

Google is constantly evolving its ranking algorithm, resulting thousands of websites move up, and down in the rankings every single time Google updates their algorithm.

Google wants to provide only the best relevant & quality search results to its user by doing this would increase chances to lift their market share and profit.

Google provides little, less and sometimes absolutely no information about Algorithm Updates. Most of them are unannounced and unconfirmed. Although the search engine giant Google does not announce the exact algorithm publically, if you want to track Algorithm updates or changes, you can either track it via graphical presentation through Algoroo or you can also stay updated with the latest trend, news, and history of all the Algorithm updates using RankRanger. and Cognitiveseo

Now let’s have a quick sneak peek at Top 10 Major Google’s Algorithm updates below:

1. Google Panda Update

  • Release date: 24, February 2011
  • Rollouts: ~Recorded Monthly throughout the year.
  • Target: Spammy Poor low value and copied content: plagiarized or thin content sites.
  • Goal: Build a healthy web ecosystem.
  • Misconception: Panda is a Penalty
  • Impact: Heavy

2. Google Penguin Update

  • Release date: 24 April 2012
  • Rollouts: Total 5 update since release date, unlike Panda, it works in real time now.
  • Target:
    1. Spamdexing or irrelevant backlinks.
    2. Backlinks generated with over-optimized anchor text.
    3. Especially those sites who purchase backlinks from third-party sites.
  • Goal: Penalize and prevent link spamming
  • Misconception: Remove backlinks using google disavow tool
  • Impact: Heavy

3. Google Pirate Update

  • Release date: July 24, 2014
  • Rollouts: October 2012
  • Target: sites with pirated content that were violating copyright laws. (particularly torrent sites)
  • Goal:  Affect rankings of sites received a high volume of copyrights complaints filed under Google’s DMCA.
  • Impact: Moderate

4. Google Pigeon Update

  • Release date: 20 August 2013
  • Rollouts: October 2012
  • Target: Poor On-Page/Off-Page SEO
  • Goal: Improve ranking parameters based on distance and location.
  • Impact: Moderate

5. Google Possum Update

  • Release date: September 1, 2016
  • Rollouts: Unconfirmed
  • Target: Local businesses with multiple google my business listing (Fake listing) and having same NAP listing.
  • Goal: Diversification of local results depending on the searcher’s location.
  • Impact: Moderate

6. Mobile Friendly Update (Mobilegeddon)

  • Release date: April 21, 2015
  • Rollouts: Unconfirmed
  • Target: De-rank pages that aren’t mobile friendly or in simple words not optimized for mobile
  • Goal: Give mobile-friendly pages a ranking boost in mobile SERPs.
  • Impact: Heavy

7. Rank Brain

  • Release date:26 October 2015
  • Rollouts: April 2015
  • Target: Lack of search query specific relevancy with the page/post
    Google’s own processes and search Algorithms
  • Goal: Rankbrain is a part of Google’s Hummingbird algorithm.It was Introduced as artificial intelligence (AI) program to refine queries (understand the meaning behind queries) that Google processes to enhance the efficacy of their search results
  • Impact: Moderate

8. Google Hummingbird

  • Release date:26 September 2013
  • Rollouts: August 22, 2013 (about a month prior than official announcement)
  • Target: Keyword stuffing
  • Goal: Better focus on the meaning behind the search query rather than finding matches for words and provide precise and fast search results using LSI.
  • Impact: High

9. EMD – Exact Match Domain

  • Release date: September 2012
  • Rollouts: Unconfirmed
  • Target: Spammy website stuffed with precisely matching keywords in their domain name.
  • Goal: De-value low-quality websites trying to trick Google’€™s SERPs just because such websites have the relevant keywords search term in their domain names.
  • Impact: Heavy

10. Google Florida Update

  • Release date:16 November 2003
  • Rollouts: Unconfirmed
  • Impact Level: Very High
  • Target: keyword stuffing, the use of multiple sites under the same brand, invisible text, and hidden links.
  • Goal: Battle against search engine optimizers, who are trying to influence Google’s rankings for profit.