Google Algorithm Update History and Latest Changes

Google Algorithm Update History and Latest Changes

Ashkar Gomez
11min read
Table of Contents

Google algorithm updates are an important factor that helps SEO professionals to stay updated. 

Google does these updates frequently to guarantee that users receive the best search results. These updates have made Google a preferred search engine, as Google puts its users first.

Web admins and search engine optimization (SEO) professionals must stay updated on the latest changes.

Here is the complete list of Google Algorithms from 2013 to the latest algorithm updates.

Google Algorithm History- 2013 to Today

Before diving into all major algorithm updates, understand the basic definition of Google’s algorithm.

What Are Google Algorithms?

Google Algorithms are a complex set of rules that help search engines rank relevant webpages for the user’s query in the Search Engine Result Page(SERP) of Google.

By obtaining information from its search index, Google’s sophisticated algorithms quickly return the most pertinent results for a query.

The search engine uses various algorithms and ranking factors to rank websites on its search engine results pages (SERPs) according to relevance.

In the early years of Google, they built the basic Google algorithms, but it took lots of time to fix all the bolts and nuts through various algorithm updates. Most of these updates are negligible.

Today, SEO has upgraded a lot, one crucial explanation is that search engines have been constantly enhancing their algorithms to provide users with the best results. 

Google has undergone multiple updates over the past years, and each one has had a significant impact.

This has helped Google to provide the desired result that the user needs, and thus it maintains nearly 90% of the market share among search engines.

Google Algorithm Updates 2024

Google Algorithm March 2024 Update

Spam Update March 2024


Google Algorithms works hard to reduce spam in our search results, they always update spam-fighting policies and systems for evolving abusive spam practices, and the rollout may take up to 2 weeks to complete.

This March 2024 spam update mainly targets these spam 

  • Scaled content abuse
  • Site reputation abuse
  • Expired domain abuse

Scaled Content Abuse

This spam update will affect the content solely created in high volume to boost ranking irrespective of the Human-written, AI-generated, or both involved. 

For Example, new spam policies will take action on pages that answer the most searched query in search engines but do not aim to deliver helpful content for users.

Site Reputation Abuse

To improve site reputation some websites with good content host low-quality content from third-party websites to reach more audiences and earn ranking benefits. This is called site reputation abuse

This is an example of site reputation abuse stated by Google, Have a look to understand the criteria of Google.

“A third party might publish payday loan reviews on a trusted educational website to gain ranking benefits from the site. Such content ranking highly on Search can confuse or mislead visitors who may have vastly different expectations for the content on a given website.”

Expired Domain Abuse

Some people purchase an expired domain and repurpose it for the sake of boosting rank with low-quality content, It is considered spam because people will think that the content is part of the old website and it is the act of misleading the user, which Google does not entertain. 

Core Update March 2024

This update aims to decrease low-quality, unhelpful, and unoriginal content in search results and direct more visitors to useful and high-quality sites, the rollout may take up to a month to complete.

Google states that In 2022, they started training their ranking systems to cut down on unhelpful and unoriginal content in search results.

Now, in March 2024, they started executing the learnings to refine the ranking systems. These updates will help ranking systems figure out if webpages are not helpful, provide a bad user experience, or seem like they are made just for search engines, not people. 

Google stated that it will reduce unoriginal content in search results by 40% by the combination of this update and previous efforts.

Google Algorithm Updates 2023

Reviews Update November 2023 

Google states that review updates will be at a regular and ongoing pace, they will no longer be posting about future review updates on the status dashboard. so, it seems that the review update is a real-time update always.

This rollout was started on November 8 2023 and completed on December 7, 2023, and took 29 days.

The reviews update is to check the relevancy of reviews on products, services, destinations, games, movies, and other reviewable businesses.

Core Update November 2023

The core update of the November rolled out on November 2, 2023, and completed on November 28, 2023, and took 25 days, and 21 hours.

There are different ranking systems available to generate search results, and updates are to improve the ranking systems to the next level. This update focuses on improving one of the core systems of ranking.

Core Update October 2023

October Core update targets primary search algorithms to improve results and downgrade low-quality sites. The main focus of this update is to promote authoritative and high-quality content.

The core update of the October rolled out on October 5, 2023, and completed on October 19, 2023, and took 13 days, and 23 hours.

Spam Update October 2023

The October spam update rolled out on October 4, 2023, and was completed on October 19, 2023, and took 15 days, and 12 hours.

If interested, you can learn about Google Search Spam Report by Google in a detailed manner.

This spam update is to improve Google’s spam detection systems based on the user’s request.

People reported more spam when performing searches in their native languages,  so this update is to tackle the spam reported by users in languages like Turkish, Vietnamese, Indonesian, Hindi, Chinese, and more. 

This effort targets various spam types, including cloaking, thin, auto-generated, and scraped content. 

Helpful Content Update September 2023

Google says this update includes an improved classifier and brings several important changes to the Helpful Content System, designed by Google to promote people-first content and downgrade content written for search engines.

The update alters guidance on AI content, Google changed the helpful content page by removing the words “written by people” and just writing “helpful content created for people in search results.” some experts suspected this is to say AI-generated content is fine when it is helpful to users.

The update also tackled the widespread practice of hosting third-party content on a website’s main domain or subdomain. 

While some site owners may have thought this would boost their main site’s ranking, the September 2023 update could harm websites with third-party content. Google suggests blocking such content from indexing if it doesn’t align with the main site’s purpose or lacks direct oversight.

The September helpful content update rolled out on September 14, 2023, and was completed on September 28, 2023, and took 13 days, and 11 hours.

Core Update August 2023

The core update of the August rolled out on August 22, 2023, and completed on September 7, 2023, and took 16 days.

The core update aims to update and refine Google’s search algorithms to provide more reliable search results and quality content for users.

During the August core update rollout, Google updated the Search Central documentation that they are indexing CSV files.

Reviews Update April 2023 

The review update of the April rolled out on April 12, 2023, and completed on April 25, 2023, and took 13 days.

The update expands Google’s previous focus on product reviews to include evaluations of various reviewable topics such as services, businesses, destinations, and media like games and movies. 

Google has renamed its “product reviews system” to simply “reviews system” and has adjusted the language in its guidance documentation to encompass all types of reviews, not just product reviews.

Core Update March 2023

The Core update of the March rolled out on March 15, 2023, and completed on March 28, 2023, and took 13 days.

Google frequently updates its algorithms to improve how it assesses and ranks content, aiming to provide more relevant and high-quality search results, This is one of the core updates which helps to improve the ranking systems. 

These updates require SEO professionals and website owners to stay updated and adjust their strategies accordingly. 

Product Reviews Update February 2023 

The Product review update of February rolled out on March 21, 2023, and completed on March 7, 2023, and took 14 days.

In this update, Google expanded its impact to include 10 additional languages beyond English. This update affects global users in languages such as Spanish, German, French, Italian, Vietnamese, Indonesian, Russian, Dutch, Portuguese, and Polish.

The notable change in the product review documentation is the shift in focus from the “product reviews update” to the “product reviews system.” This adjustment clarifies that the update is specifically altering the functioning of the “product reviews system.” Additionally, a new passage in the guidance explains that Google periodically enhances the product review system.

Google Algorithm Updates 2022

Link Spam Update December 2022

The December 2022 link spam update was then made available by Google on December 14, 2022. The launch of this update, which ended on January 12, 2023, took 29 days. 

Google used SpamBrain AI for the first time to identify and eliminate link spam in this instance. It appeared to affect rankings and links.

Helpful Content System Update December 2022

The helpful content update increased attention on the value of the content that appears in search results. 

It all comes down to rewarding “people-first” content or material that genuinely responds to users’ inquiries and offers a satisfying user experience.

Although the initial effects on search results were minimal, Google has stated this is a continuing trend.

The helpful content update is part of an ongoing effort to clean up the SERPs by removing unreliable results and making room for more voices from various backgrounds.

Sites with a lot of low-quality content are particularly affected by this update, so they might need to rank better in search.

Spam update October 2022

The October 2022 spam update, which was the first of the year, was released on October 19, 2022. The implementation of this update lasted just 48 hours, ending on October 21, 2022.

To more effectively identify spam and de-rank it in Google Search, Google used SpamBrain, a type of artificial intelligence. 

Although the spam update didn’t seem significant, it was targeting spam rather than content created by regular people for regular purposes.

Product Reviews Update September 2022

Despite being a typical update, this one generated a lot of buzz because it was released one week after the core update and just before the helpful content update.

Core Update September 2022

When modifications are made that are significant enough to be noticed by publishers and search marketers, Google announces a core algorithm update.

A change to several components of Google’s algorithm is known as a core algorithm update. Although the algorithm constantly evolves, a core algorithm update is usually more obvious.

As the changes are implemented in data centers, anticipate seeing the algorithm changes within the next few days.

There is no evidence to support how this affects search engine results pages (SERPs) across the globe and in various languages.

Helpful Content Update August 2022

Updates to helpful content encourage the creation of more unique, valuable content by people, for people as opposed to content produced primarily for search engine traffic. The rollout of this update could take up to two weeks

Product Reviews Update July 2022

Content that demonstrates first-hand familiarity and expertise with the products is given priority in product review updates.

This update, which was finished on August 2, focuses exclusively on product reviews in English.

Core Update May 2022

The broad core algorithm was updated for the first time in 2022 and in more than six months.

The full rollout could take up to two weeks, according to Google. Like all previous core updates, Google has made significant adjustments to how its ranking algorithms evaluate content.

Product Reviews Update March 2022

Content that demonstrates first-hand familiarity and expertise with the products is given priority in product review updates. On April 11th, this update was completed.

Desktop Page Experience Update February 2022

On February 23, 2022, Google came up with a Page Experience update for desktop feature pages that provide excellent user experiences. 

This includes what is known as Core Web Vitals, or metrics for speed, safe browsing, intrusive interstitials, and mobile friendliness. On March 3rd, this update was completed.

Google Algorithm Updates 2021

Product Reviews Update December 2021

Content that demonstrates first-hand familiarity and expertise with the products is given priority in product review updates. December 21st marked the completion of this update.

Google Core Update November 2021

This one was the third and last core update of 2022. The November 2021 core update, like all of Google’s core updates, had a significant impact on websites and SEO in all languages and took about two weeks to roll out fully.

Local search update November 2021

Updates to local search emphasize improving user experience with local search results. 

Usually, they are rebalancing factors like prominence, distance, and relevance. The revision was finished on December 8th.

Google’s Local Update November 2021

Google confirmed after the rollout was complete that it performed a local search update in late November, not to be outdone by the web search algorithmic updates.

This update began on November 30, 2021, and ended on December 8, 2021.

MUM: Multitask United Model

MUM, which stands for “Multitask United Model,” gives away the strength of this new algorithm by indicating that it can manage several tasks at once. 

More than 75 languages can be read, understood, and learned using various media, including video and audio!

The concept behind MUM is to combine data from various sources to deliver multi-layered responses to challenging search queries. 

The COVID-19 vaccine searches have already demonstrated it, but that is only the beginning.

Don’t anticipate significant changes to occur overnight because Google’s MUM AI will be gradually implemented over the ensuing months and years.

Product reviews update December 2021

If the initial April update to the product reviews wasn’t enough, Google launched the December 2021 product reviews update on December 1 of that same year.

The rollout of that update took about three weeks, and it was finished a few days before Christmas, on or about December 21, 2021.

Google Core Update November 2021

Then, a few months later, Google surprised us with the November 2021 core update, which went live on November 17, 2021, just in time for the busy holiday shopping season. 

Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday saw the rollout of that update, which was finished on November 30, 2021, 13 days after it began.

According to the data, the November core update hit hard and quickly, but many SEOs felt caught off guard by the timing of that update.

Link spam update July 2021

The July link spam update that Google released the following month went into effect on July 26, 2021.

Google predicted that the rollout would be finished in about two weeks, but it took four weeks to complete, two weeks longer than anticipated.

The rollout, which targeted spammy links that attempted to skew Google search results, ended on August 24, 2021.

Google Core Update July 2021

On July 1, 2021, Google released the July 2021 core update, which was essentially a continuation of the June 2021 core update that had just been released.

The rollout of this update took roughly 12 days, and it was finished on July 12, 2021. According to the data providers, the July core update was released quickly compared to the June core update.

Spam update June 2021

On June 23, 2021, Google released a spam update that was active for only one day. A 24-hour update was made to Google Search to combat spamming.

Then, the week after, Google released the June 28 spam update, part two. A 24-hour rollout of that update also began and ended on the same day.

Google Core Update June 2021

The June 2021 core update, which started rolling out on June 2, 2021, was Google’s first core update of the year after a lengthy release process.

This update was fully implemented on June 12, 2021, about ten days after it began.

Based on the information provided to us by various data providers, this core update appeared to have been a slow rollout with a lot of inconsistent results.

Google’s Page Experience for Mobile Update June 2021

The Page Experience Update was released by Google on June 15, 2021, after being delayed by a few months.

That rollout took a while; it began rolling out a few months ago and was completed around September 2, 2021. 

As a reminder, there shouldn’t have been any significant ranking changes for this release in Google Search. 

Because of the slow rollout, Google initially cautioned users not to anticipate significant changes.

Product reviews update April 2021

The first Google update for product reviews went live on April 8, 2021. Although Google stated that this was not a core update and only affected English content, much of the recovery guidance still applied.

Although there may have been some edge case tremors later, Google effectively finished rolling out that update on April 22, 2021, taking about two weeks to do so.

The data providers stated that while that update was substantial, it was not as substantial as a typical core update.

Google Algorithm Updates 2020

Google Core Update December 2020

The December 2020 Core Update will be made available on December 3, 2020, according to Google. 

This is the year’s third update to the core algorithm. Compared to the typical interval between these types of updates, quite some time has elapsed since the most recent core update.

Featured Snippet De-duping update January 2020

Your page will now only appear once in the SERPs thanks to this update. A page could previously have both a featured snippet and an organic listing. 

Websites in the featured snippet position will no longer be repeated in the regular Page 1 organic listings, Google’s Danny Sullivan confirmed via Twitter. Worldwide, this change impacted 100% of all search results.

Google Core Update January 2020

A major core algorithm update was about to be released, Google’s Danny Sullivan tweeted.

As it did for all other recent broad core algorithm updates, Google once more offered advice.

Google Algorithm Updates 2019

International BERT Roll-out update December 2019

BERT uses machine learning to enhance user query comprehension and deliver more pertinent results.

Google’s Danny Sullivan tweeted that BERT’s global rollout had started and that it now supported the following languages:

  • Afrikaans
  • Amharic
  • Arabic
  • Armenian
  • Azeri
  • Basque
  • Belarusian
  • Bulgarian
  • Catalan
  • Chinese (Simplified & Taiwan)
  • Czech
  • Danish
  • Dutch
  • English
  • Estonian
  • Farsi
  • Finnish
  • French, etc.

Local Search Update November 2019

Updates to local search emphasize improving user experience with local search results. Usually, they are rebalancing factors like prominence, distance, and relevance.

In this particular update, neural matching was also added, which aids Google in comprehending the relationships between words and concepts. The revision was finished on December 2nd.

BERT Update October 2019

The BERT Update was announced by Google, who described it as the biggest update to Google search in the past five years. 

Google employs BERT models to comprehend search queries better. Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers, or BERT, will be used on 10% of the USA.

BERT uses machine learning to enhance user query comprehension and deliver more pertinent results.

Broad Core Algorithm Update September 2019

A broad update to Google’s core algorithm would be released in a few hours, according to a tweet from Danny Sullivan, and it would take a few days to fully roll out.

The advice provided by Google was the same as it had been for all other recent updates to the core algorithm.


As previously stated, Google’s advice in relation to this update is unchanged. Here is a quick recap of Google’s recommendations for core updates

It is reasonable to anticipate widespread noticeable effects, such as changes in search engine rankings.

Core updates are “broad,” i.e., they don’t focus on any particular issue. Instead, they aim to enhance Google’s systems as a whole.

  • Pages that experience a drop in rankings aren’t subject to any penalties; rather, their performance is being compared to other web content that has been published since the last update.
  • Large-scale updates to the core occur periodically. Sites may take some time to recover from one update before the next one is released.
  • Recovery is not always assured by improvements. However, deciding against making any improvements will all but ensure no recovery.

Featured Snippets Update August 2019

Google revealed an adjustment to the algorithm that affects how recent featured snippets are in search results.

With the help of this update, Google will be able to discover the featured snippets that are most relevant to recent information for queries.

The update was made in order to make Google’s featured snippets in its search results more useful and informative for users.

The change made it simpler for Google to determine which content is the most pertinent and helpful for a given search query and to show it as a featured snippet at the top of the search results.

This improved the search experience and made it easier for users to find the information they needed.

The Featured Snippets update significantly changed search results and emphasized how crucial it is to give users high-quality, pertinent, and helpful content.

It was a part of Google’s ongoing initiatives to raise the caliber of its search outcomes and give users the best search experience possible.

Google Core Update – June 2019

On June 2, Google Search Liaison Danny Sullivan tweeted that Google would release a new broad core algorithm update on June 3rd. 

The following day, Google announced the update was live and would gradually roll out to all of its data centers.

Google claims that there is nothing specific to fix because a core update takes a broad range of factors into account, as is the case with any major update to the core algorithm.

Google Core Update March 2019

A global broad core algorithm update has been released, according to Google’s Search Liaison Danny Sullivan, who confirmed this via Twitter. 

This update is one of the most significant Google updates in recent memory, according to SEJ. Sullivan reiterated its recommendation to adhere to the instructions it gave after the March 9, 2018 update. 

Google Algorithm Updates 2018

Google Medic Update – August 2018

This is also known as the Medic update by some SEO specialists. August 8 marked the completion of this update.

For the third time this year, Google has acknowledged the release of a broad core algorithm update via Twitter.

Google’s Search Liaison Danny Sullivan advised doing as instructed after the March 9, 2018 update.

Even though Google stated that this update was a general ranking update and wasn’t specifically targeting medical sites, some in the industry have dubbed it “Medic.”

Broad Core Algorithm Update April 2018:

Google announced the rollout of a new broad core algorithm update on Twitter and said it was similar to the one from March 9, 2018, which focused on content relevance.

Updates to the core algorithm have a substantial impact on many websites’ rankings across industries. 

Even though they received a lot of attention particularly around the August 2018 Core Update more than just health-related websites were impacted by Google’s broad core algorithm updates.

Broad Core Algorithm Update March 2018:

Google acknowledged a “broad core algorithm update” had been implemented the previous week on Twitter on March 12.

Google did not provide many specifics, but it did state that the modifications were made to “benefit pages that were previously under-rewarded” and that everyone should “continue building great content.”

Google Algorithm Updates 2017

Maccabees Update December 2017

Some search community members claimed updates between December 12 and December 14 had affected their websites. 

Google acknowledged a few small adjustments to the fundamental algorithm during that time but downplayed their importance.

Fall flux Update September 2017

Industry rumors and SEO tracking tools suggested that a (yet-unconfirmed) Google update might have taken place on this day. 

Beginning on September 8, Glenn Gabe, the CEO of G-Squared Interactive, also observed several notable Google changes affecting traffic and search visibility. 

Additional turbulence and fluctuations then occurred on September 18, 25, and 29, as well as on October 4, 8, and 12.

Quality Update August 2017

On August 19–20, webmasters and SEO ranking tools noticed some minor volatility; there are indications that this may have been the result of another (unconfirmed) Google quality update.

According to an analysis by Glenn Gabe(GSQi President) category pages, pages with aggressive advertising, lower-quality/thin content, and other detrimental user experience elements are among the ranking casualties. 

Pages that were impacted (positively or negatively) on this date were further impacted on August 19, leading some to speculate that Google started testing this algorithm on August 14.

Google Core Update March 2017

John Mueller from Google has confirmed that the algorithm update on March 7th did not specifically target low-quality sites. Instead, it was more about the content’s relevance. 

To start, Mueller explains that the majority of Google’s algorithm updates are relevant-focused. It is not a sign that a site’s content is of low quality if rankings were impacted by last month’s update.

Mueller claims that a lot of websites eventually become less relevant, regardless of how good the content is. 

Mueller advises getting user feedback on what you might be doing differently to enhance the site overall to determine how to make a site more relevant.

Google Algorithm Updates 2016

Unconfirmed Update 2016

Lastly, Google released the third unconfirmed update to cap off the year. According to rumors, this update was related to the mobile-first index testing that would eventually be implemented.

There were conflicting opinions about the change’s strength and overall impact, and only those with their finger on the SERP pulse were aware of it.

It’s reasonable to assume that this was a minor update that will be connected to upcoming algorithm updates and the general situation with website rankings.

Penguin 4.0 Update September 2016

Penguin 4 was introduced after a two-year hiatus and helped to significantly reduce spam on a page-by-page basis. The most important aspect of this update is that it is still in progress.

As a result, companies with web pages that have been penalized can quickly make changes, and Google will immediately assess the changes.

Businesses won’t be prohibited or suspended anymore due to a methodical algorithm update.

Possum Update September 2016

The Possum update, which focuses on the 3-pack and local results—more commonly known as Google Maps results—went live in September. 

Even though Google, once more, has not confirmed this, it significantly impacted website rankings based on local factors and helped hide spam sites.

The update’s goal was to enhance local search results and give users more precise and pertinent information. 

With a focus on relevance and closeness to the searcher’s location, the update changed how Google ranked local results. 

Additionally, the update made it simpler for Google to comprehend the context and intent behind local search queries, improving user experience.

Local search results were significantly impacted by the Possum update, with many businesses and websites involved in local search experiencing changes in their search visibility.

The update confirmed the value of local search optimization and demonstrated Google’s dedication to enhancing users’ local search experiences.

Mobile-Friendly 2 Update May 2016

Google implemented a new ranking signal boost to favor mobile-friendly sites on mobile search just over a year after the initial “mobile friendly” update. 

The majority of the websites we monitor are already responsive to mobile devices, so the impact of the most recent update was probably minimal.

AMP Listings Update February 2016

Google introduced its AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) listings in mobile search results the day after the AdWords update.

As a result, the search results layout was altered once more; the AMP listings were now displayed above the top results or in a carousel format.

This was a significant development for publishers and advertisers because it gave them better click-through rates and increased visibility.

AdWords Placement Update February 2016

The annoying right-hand ad bar vanished from Google searches at the end of February (February 23) after Google changed its AdWords settings.

Instead, the top four ads were now listed first after the search results, which was a significant improvement considering that only one to three ads were previously displayed.

Even though this was excellent for advertisers, organic search results and their click-through rates have suffered as a result of this change.

Mobile-Friendly Update February 2016

On February 12, Google acknowledged this update, which supported giving mobile-friendly websites on mobile searches a ranking boost.

If you recently optimized your website, this was good news for you because it raised your website’s ranking on mobile, where so many searches are made. Now is the right time to optimize your website.

Google Core Update January 2016

On January 6, the first algorithm change of the year, which Google aptly dubbed the “core update,” greatly impacted how many websites ranked.

Insisting that it was merely a quality update, Google insisted that it was unrelated to the Panda or Penguin updates.

Spam websites were essentially demoted in search results to make room for legitimate business websites.

With a focus on elevating high-quality, pertinent, and reliable content higher in the search results, the update was created to enhance the overall quality of Google’s search results.

The update had a sizable impact on search results and a sizable portion of search queries.

Many websites experienced changes in their search visibility, and some websites experienced notable traffic increases or decreases.

The Core Update reaffirmed how crucial it is to produce high-quality content and pay attention to the user experience because doing so will help you rank well in Google’s search results.

The update was a part of Google’s ongoing initiatives to give users the best search experience possible.

Google Algorithm Updates 2015

Google Rankbrain Update – October 2015

Machine learning powers the RankBrain algorithm, which analyzes user searches and sorts through billions of web pages to place the best ones at the top. 

It was initially utilized on a “very large fraction” of search results before being rolled out and utilized by all Google searches.

Panda 4.2 Update July 2015

On July 18, the Panda algorithm had previously been updated. About 2–3% of English-language queries were affected, which increased the algorithm’s precision and effectiveness.

The update improved Panda 4.1’s website evaluation process, making it simpler for Google to differentiate between high-quality and low-quality websites.

The update also added more ranking indicators to help Google more effectively recognize websites with scant or subpar content.

Many websites experienced changes in their search visibility as a result of the update’s significant impact on search results.

Google’s ongoing efforts to enhance the caliber of its search results and give users the best search experience possible were part of the Panda 4.2 update.

The Quality Update May 2015

On May 3, Google acknowledged a fundamental algorithmic change affecting “quality signals” after receiving numerous reports on significant ranking changes that were initially dubbed “Phantom 2.”

The impact of this update appears to be widespread, but Google withheld any information regarding the specifics of the signals at play.

Mobilegeddon Update April 2015

In a rare move, Google pre-announced an algorithm update, informing us that starting on April 21st, mobile rankings would be different for mobile-friendly sites.

This update had a much smaller immediate effect than anticipated, and according to our data, algorithm flux peaked on April 22nd.

Google Algorithm Updates 2014

Pigeon Expands: Update December 2014

On December 22, the “Pigeon” major local algorithm update by Google was extended to the UK, Canada, and Australia, in addition to the original Pigeon update’s target locale of local search results improvement. 

The initial update arrived in the USA in July 2014. The update may have gone live as early as the 19th, but it was officially confirmed on the 22nd.

In these nations, the update had a significant impact on local search results, giving users more precise, pertinent, and helpful results for their local search queries. 

The update emphasized the necessity of a strong local presence to rank well in local search results, reinforcing the significance of local search optimization for businesses and organizations. 

The Pigeon Expands update gave companies new ways to connect with local customers and demonstrated Google’s dedication to enhancing the local search experience for users.

Penguin Everflux Update December 2014

On December 10, a Google representative claimed that Penguin had moved away from major, infrequent updates and toward ongoing updates. 

Although the exact timeframe was unknown, this assertion fits the ongoing change following Penguin 3.0. (including unconfirmed claims of Penguin 3.1).

The update’s goal is to continuously improve how Google’s algorithm detects and penalizes manipulative or spammy link practices. 

The Penguin algorithm’s operation underwent a significant change with the update as it switched from a periodic update model to a more continuous, real-time update model. 

Instead of waiting for significant, infrequent updates, the Penguin Everflux update allowed Google to make more frequent, smaller adjustments to its algorithm. 

The update had a big impact on search results because it made it possible for Google to better address spammy link practices in real time and raise the standard of its search results as a whole.

Pirate 2.0  Update October 2014

On October 21, Google released yet another update to thwart the piracy of software and digital media more than two years after the initial DMCA/”Pirate” update. 

A relatively small number of sites experienced dramatic drops in ranking as a result of this update, which was highly targeted.

Although only a small portion of search queries were affected, the update penalized websites found to be hosting copyrighted content without authorization to fight online piracy. 

Google’s response to online piracy was strengthened by the Pirate 2.0 update, which also demonstrated the company’s dedication to upholding the rights of copyright holders. 

The update also emphasized the need for websites to obtain permission before using or hosting copyrighted material and the significance of upholding intellectual property rights.

Penguin 3.0 Update October 2014:

On October 17, more than a year after the release of the previous Penguin update (2.1), Google released a Penguin refresh. 

1% of the US queries were reportedly affected by this update, which was smaller than anticipated and most likely data only (not a new Penguin algorithm). 

Google claimed that the update was spread out over “weeks,” but the exact timing was ambiguous, particularly internationally.

“In The News” Box 

On October 1, Google changed the way the News-box results appeared but later revealed that they had expanded the news links to include a much wider range of potential websites. 

Additionally, the number of news results in SERPs increased, and major news websites noted significant traffic changes.

Panda 4.1 update September 2014

On September 23, a significant Panda update that had an algorithmic component was announced by Google. They calculated that 3–5% of queries would be impacted. The precise timing was uncertain due to the “slow rollout.”

Google Panda 4.1, a small update to the Panda algorithm, was made public. Around 3–5% of search queries were affected by this update, which was made to increase the algorithm’s efficiency and accuracy. 

The update was designed to make it easier to recognize low-quality content and penalize websites with little or duplicate content. 

The Panda 4.1 update also improved how websites were assessed, making it simpler for Google to distinguish between high-quality and low-quality websites. 

Many websites experienced changes in their search visibility as a result of the update’s significant impact on search results.

Authorship Removed Update August 2014

On June 28, Google announced that it would entirely remove authorship markup after the authorship photos were removed. The following morning, authorship bylines had vanished from all SERPs.

This update is called the Authorship Removal update that affected how authorship information was displayed in search results. 

Before this change, Google displayed the author’s Google+ profile information and a thumbnail image of them next to the search result. 

The update was a part of Google’s broader initiative to downplay Google+’s importance in its search algorithms.

Google Pigeon Update – July 2014

On July 24, with an update that drastically changed some local results and altered how they handle and interpret location cues, Google rocked the world of local SEO.

The update aimed to enhance local search results and give users more precise, pertinent, and helpful local results. 

The update changed how local search results were ranked, giving importance to traditional web ranking factors like relevance, prominence, and distance.

Additionally, the update made it simpler for Google to comprehend the context and intent behind local queries, improving user experience. 

Overall, the Pigeon update significantly changed the search visibility of many companies and websites involved in local search.

According to Google, Pigeon strengthened the local and core algorithm(s) connections.            

Payday Loan Update 3.0- June 2014

The Payday Loan update 3.0 from Google aimed primarily at fighting spammy queries and introduced enhanced safeguards against negative SEO tactics.

Panda Update 4.0 (#26)- May 2014

This update was rolled out on May 20, 2014, and aims to refresh the Pand Alogorithm.

Matt Cutts of Google announced Panda 4.0, a significant update to the algorithm that affected 7.5 percent of English queries.

Payday Loan Update 2.0- May 2014  

The Algorithm was rolled out on May 16, 2014, This 2.0 update represented the “next generation” of Google’s Payday Loans algorithm, designed to more effectively target spammy websites.

Page Layout Refresh- February 2014

The Page layout refresh algorithm was rolled out on Feb 6, 2014, and it focused on reviving the page layout algorithm.


Matt Cutts of Google announced a refresh of the page layout algorithm. No alterations to the algorithm were specified; it seemed Google simply re-executed the algorithm and updated its index as usual.

Google Algorithm Updates 2013

Penguin Update 2.1- October 2013

On October 4, 2013, Google implemented the Penguin 2.1 update, building upon its previous Penguin algorithm changes. 

Matt Cutts of Google announced the first and only Penguin 2.0 algorithm data refresh via Twitter, affecting approximately 1 percent of searches.

Hummingbird Update –September 2013

The Hummingbird update, announced on September 26, 2013, marked a significant transformation in Google’s core search technology. 

Google disclosed that approximately 90 percent of global searches were impacted by this update. Despite the announcement date, the rollout of this update commenced in August 2013.

It aimed to enhance Google’s ability to understand and deliver relevant results for complex queries, particularly in response to the rise of voice search.

Payday Loan Update- June 2013

Google introduced The Payday Loan update on June 11, 2013, aimed at fighting spammy queries, particularly those associated with suspicious industries like high-interest loans, payday loans, casinos, debt consolidation, and pharmaceuticals.

Its implementation spanned approximately 1-2 months to take effect fully and had an impact on around 0.3 percent of U.S. queries.

Penguin Update 2.0- May 2013

Google introduced the Penguin Update 2.0 on May 22, 2013, as described by Matt Cutts in a blog post.

This update represented a “next generation” of the Penguin algorithm, with a focus on scrutinizing beyond just the website homepage and top-level category pages to detect instances of link spam directed at the website. Penguin 2.0 had an impact on approximately 2.3 percent of English queries.

Panda Update (#25)-March 2013

Although not officially confirmed by Google, tools indicate that the Panda Update (#25) occurred around March 14, 2013. 

Matt Cutts of Google hinted that this update could be the last before Panda integration into the core Google algorithm. Contrary to expectations, Panda data refreshes commenced monthly over 10 days without further confirmation from Google.

Panda Update (#24)-January 2013

On January 22, 2013, Google disclosed a Panda update and this data refresh impacted 1.2 percent of English queries.


Wrap Up:

These are some of the Google update history from 2013 to the present, As you are aware SEO is an ongoing process and Google’s algorithm keeps changing, 

These Google algorithm changes make websites adhere to the Google guidelines, which help users to find the exact solution for their query.

Picture of Ashkar Gomez

Ashkar Gomez

Ashkar Gomez is the Founder of 7 Eagles (a Growth Marketing & SEO Company). Ashkar started his career as a Sales Rep in 2013 and later shifted his career to SEO in 2014. He is one of the leading SEO experts in the industry with 8+ years of experience. He has worked on 200+ projects across 20+ industries in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, UAE, Australia, South Africa, and India. Besides SEO and Digital Marketing, he is passionate about Data Analytics, Personal Financial Planning, and Content Writing.

Table of Contents

Related Articles

Your Business
Starts Here

Let’s Have a Cup of Digital Tea

Request Your Free Quote

Book Your Free Marketing Consultation

Your Monthly ads spend