SEO Updates


Google SEO Updates & Algorithm

Read here the Google update which helps in cracking SEO interview questions and update your knowledge. Below are links to some of the most important updates.

1.  Google Hummingbird Update:-

“Hummingbird” is the name of the new search platform that Google is using as of September 2013”

The name ‘Hummingbird’ comes from its ability of being “precise and fast” and it is mainly designed to better focus on meaning of a phrase or keyword rather than individual keywords. Hummingbird looks at the entire phrase to decipher the meaning of that phrase. Google Hummingbird SEO updates aid pages matching the meaning do better in search results.

SEO new updates related to Hummingbird:

•    Application of meaning technology to billions of pages from across the web

•    Use of Knowledge Graph facts to ensure better search results

•    Easy recognition of Keyword stuffing

•    Effectiveness of Long-tail keywords

2. Google Panda Update:

Google’s Panda Update is acquainted in February 2011 and it is known as the powerful search filter implied to stop sites with low quality content from making their way into top search results of Google. Panda is updated every once in a while. At the point when this happens, sites already hit; may get away, if then they have rolled out the correct improvements according to Panda updates. Through its different updates, Panda can likewise catch sites that got away some time recently. Google Panda was quite effective in affecting ranking of entire sites or a specific section rather than individual pages on a site.

Some important SEO updates according to Google Panda Update are:

•    No Multiple Pages with the Same Keyword

•    Get Rid of Auto-generated Content and Roundup/Comparison Type of Pages

•    No Pages with 1-2 Paragraphs of Text Only

•    No Scraped Content

•    Panda Likes New Content

•    Be Careful with Affiliate Links and Ads

•    Too Many Outbound Links with Keywords are bad

Latest version Panda 4.1, Sept. 25, 2014

3.  Google Penguin Update:

Google propelled the Penguin Update in April 2012 to catch the websites that are spamming Google’s search results. This update is mainly aimed at decreasing search rankings of websites that violate Google’s Webmaster Guidelines and use black-hat SEO techniques to artificially increase ranking of their websites, by obtaining or buying links through some wrong practices. The primary reason behind this update was to penalize websites that use manipulative techniques for achieving high rankings.  As per Google’s estimates, Penguin influences approximately 3.1% of search queries in English, and approximately 3% of queries in languages like German, Arabic and Chinese, and an even much bigger percentage of them in “highly spammed” language categories. Pre-Penguin sites normally utilized some negative external link building tactics to rank good in SERPs and boost their traffics. However, once Penguin was introduced it implied that content was vital and those with incredible content would be recognized and those with little or spammy content would be punished.

When a new Penguin Update is released, sites that have taken action to remove bad links (such as through the Google disavow links tool or to remove spam may regain rankings.

Some confirmed Google Penguin SEO updates are:

•    Penguin 1-on April 24, 2012

•    Penguin 2-on May 26, 2012

•    Penguin 3-on October 5, 2012

•    Penguin 2.0- on May 22, 2013

•    Penguin 2.1- on October 4, 2013

•    Penguin 3.0- on October 17, 2014 

On December 1, 2014, Google confirmed that the update was still rolling out with webmasters continuing to report significant fluctuations.

•    Penguin 4.0- on September 23, 2016

•    Penguin 4.0, Phase 1 — September 27, 2016

•    Latest version Penguin 4.0, Phase 2 — October 6, 2016

4. Google Pigeon Update:

Propelled on July 24, 2014 for U.S. English results, Google Pigeon Update” is another search algorithm update introduced to give more valuable, significant and exact local search results that are attached more closely to conventional web search ranking factors. Google said that this new search algorithm enhances their distance and location tracking parameters in more result-oriented manner. The changes made through Google Pigeon Update will also affect search results shown in Google Maps as this update lets Google provide search results based on the user location and listing at hand in the local directory. The main purpose behind introducing Google Pigeon Update is to provide preferences to local search results in SERPs and that is why this is extremely beneficial for local businesses.

Latest updates in SEO based on Google Pigeon Updates are:

•    Location Matters More Than Ever

•    Don’t Over-Optimize Your Website

•    Strong Domains Matter more

5. Google: Payday Update:

Propelled on June 11, 2013, Google Payday Update was a new Google search algorithm focused at cleaning up list items related to “spammy queries” such as payday loans or pornographic or some other kinds of heavily spammed queries. It can be understood as a set of algorithm updates for the Google search engine results initiated to identify and penalize web sites that use different kinds of search engine spam techniques (also known as  Black Hat SEO or spamdexing) for improving their rankings for particular search queries that are actually “spammy”.

Recent Google Payday updates are:

•    Google Payday Loan 1.0

•    Google Payday Loan 2.0

•    Google Payday Loan 3.0

6. Google: Pirate Update:

Introduced in August 2012, Google’s Pirate Update is a filter that prevents sites that have many copyright infringement reports, as documented through Google’s DMCA system. It is periodically updated and at the point when updates happen, websites beforehand affected may get away, if they have made the correct changes. It may likewise catch new websites that circumvented being caught recently; in addition, it may also release ‘false positives’ about those who were caught.

Some of the latest Google Pirate SEO updates:

•    The Pirate Update Penalized Websites That Received A High Volume Of Copyright Violation Reports

•    The Pirate Update Is A Win For Media And Artists

•    Getting A Page Removed From The Index Requires Valid Documentation

7. Google: EMD Update:

Launched in September 2012, The EMD (Exact Match Domain) Update is a filter used by Google to impede low quality sites from positioning admirably just on the grounds that they had words that match search terms in their domains. At the point when a crisp EMD Update happens, sites that have enhanced their content may recover great rankings. New sites that comprise poor content or all those that were previously missed by Google EMD updates may get caught. Likewise, “false positives” may also get discharged.

 According to Matt Cutts, “EMD is set to reduce low-quality ‘exact-match’ domains in search results.”

8. Google: Top Heavy Update

Google Top Heavy update was propelled in January 2012 as a way to avoid sites that were “top heavy” with advertisements from positioning well in Google search listings. Top Heavy is updated repeatedly, and at the point when a Top Heavy Update occurs, websites that have evacuated extreme advertisements may recapture their lost rankings. New sites considered as “top heavy” may get caught again with new Top-heavy  update.

Some of the Google Top Heavy SEO Updates:

•    Google Updates Its Page Layout Algorithm To Go After Sites “Top Heavy” With Ads

•   Have The Same Ad-To-Organic Ratio As Google Search? Then You Might Be Safe From The Top Heavy Penalty

•   The Top Heavy Update: Pages With Too Many Ads Above The Fold Now Penalized By Google’s “Page Layout” Algorithm

9. Google’s ‘Possum’ algorithm update

For those of you wondering what “Possum” is, it’s the name we in the local search community decided to give the massive Local algorithm update that happened September 1, 2016.

"Possum" is an update to Google’s local search rankings algorithm, and it decides when businesses will show up in local search results, sometimes filtering business listings out of search results. This means that some local businesses might not always appear for the same search.

The update will filter out similar listings for an industry and location in the same way it would normally filter out a business’s second listing. This would happen if you have more than one Google My Business page, or if your listing was duplicated because of a change of NAP (name, address and phone number). Google is taking this a step further, though.

10. Google Mobile-Friendly Update:    

Introduced On April 21, 2015, Google introduced its Mobile-Friendly search algorithm that is intended to give a lift to mobile friendly sites pages in Google’s mobile search results. The change is significant to the point that the date it happened is being alluded by a variety of names such as Mobilegeddon, Mobilepocalyse, Mopocalypse or Mobocalypse. One of the ideal approaches to get ready is to test that Google considers your site pages to be mobile friendly by utilizing its Mobile-Friendly Test tool. It is very effective in including approaches that bring more mobile-friendliness in SEO campaigns. One of the best ways to prepare is to test that Google considers your web pages to be mobile-friendly by using its Mobile-Friendly Test tool.

Latest Google Mobile-Friendly SEO updates are:

•    Google mobile-friendly testing tool now has API access

•    Google may pick desktop over AMP page for the mobile-first index

•    Google begins mobile-first indexing, using mobile content for all search rankings

•    Google will show AMP URLs before App deep link URLs in mobile results

•    Google says page speed ranking factor to use mobile page speed for mobile sites 

11. Google Fred update:  March 8, 2017

The latest of Google’s confirmed updates, Fred targets websites that violate Google’s webmaster guidelines. The majority of affected sites are blogs with low-quality posts like Thin, affiliate-heavy or ad-centered content that appear to be created mostly for the purpose of generating ad revenue.

12. Google's Hawk Update : August 22, 2017

The update, which I have dubbed “Hawk,” was a change to the way the local filter works. To get some history here, Google actively filters out listings from the local results that are similar to other listings that rank already. Basically, Google picks the most relevant listing of the bunch and filters the rest. It’s very similar to what they do organically with duplicate content. (Note: Google is typically loath to confirm algorithm updates, usually only saying that it rolls out several updates every day, so these observations are based on an analysis of how local results have changed rather than on any official announcement or acknowledgment.)

13. "Brackets" Core Update : March 7, 2018

An update to promote the best content

14. Zero-result SERP Test : March 14, 2018

Google is now showing zero search results for some types of specific use cases.  Zero results search results pages are search results where there is simply an answer in the answer box /  featured snippet style, with zero organic search results on the page.

15. Mobile-First Index Roll-out : March 26, 2018

Mobile-first indexing means that we'll use the mobile version of the page for indexing and ranking, to better help our – primarily mobile – users find what they're looking for.

16.  Snippet Length Drop    May 13, 2018

After testing longer display snippets of up to 300+ characters for a few months, Google rolled back most snippets to the former limit (about 150-160 characters).

17. Video Carousels    June 14, 2018

Google moved videos from organic-like results with thumbnails into a dedicated video carousel, causing a shake-up in results that were previously tracked as organic. At the same time, the number of SERPs with videos increased significantly (+60% in MozCast).

18. Mobile Speed Update    July 9, 2018

Six months after announcing it, Google rolled out the mobile page speed update, making page speed a ranking factor for mobile results. Google claimed that this only affected the slowest mobile sites, and there was no evidence of major mobile rankings shifts.

19. Chrome Security Warnings (Full Site)    July 24, 2018

After warning users of unsecured (non-HTTPS) forms months earlier, Chrome 68 began marking all non-HTTPS sites as "not secure." The changes rolled out on July 24, but rely on users installing the latest Chrome version, which can take weeks or months.

20. "Medic" Core Update    August 1, 2018

Google confirmed a "broad core algorithm update," with wide reports of massive impact. It rolled out over the period of about a week, but peaked on August 1-2. This update seemed to disproportionately affect sites in the health and wellness vertical, although large-scale impact was seen in all verticals.

Resources to find latest SEO Updates

 3. Search Engine Journal -

 5. Search Engine Watch -

6. Webmaster World -

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