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8 Major Google Algorithm Updates – A Complete History

Google Algorithm Update

Google is a very complex search engine. It is the ultimate destination where most people reach when they want to know anything. So, the responsibility of the search engine increases and it implements various techniques to make its quality better. Google algorithm is such a technique. Using these algorithms Google retrieves data from the search index and deliver the accurate result to user’s query. There are many factors that determine a website’s s ranking. Using Google algorithms and by considering all those ranking factors Google lists the pages that are more relevant to the user’s search term.

The algorithms are changing as a part of improving service. With each change, Google is bringing something useful updates to make their service better. If websites want to reach the top position of SERP they must have knowledge about all changes happening in Google algorithm. Then only they can do proper search engine optimization on their pages and ensure the top position. Google introduces new updates to their algorithm every year and some of them are very slight to be noticed. Here are some major algorithm updates

google algorithm updates

  • Panda
  • Penguin
  • Hummingbird
  • Pigeon
  • Mobile-friendly update
  • RankBrain
  • Possum
  • Fred

   Here we are going to discuss each update and changes bought by those updates to your website ranking factors

Panda (February 24, 2011)

Google panda update
Google Panda update

How Panda works


Panda Update mainly aimed to improve the website quality by getting rid of sites with low quality. It looks for fresh content. It will check for duplicate, thin contents which are generated to get top rank. As a part of updating quality, Google wants to remove such content which is not useful to users. It will remove contents with unnecessary keyword stuffing. When Panda indexes webpages it gives a score called quality score to all webpage. This is considered one of the important ranking factors. Changes are happening very fast and Panda now finds duplicate contents and penalizes it very fast.


How to keep your website Panda friendly


Frequently conduct site audits to make sure your website runs without any issues. If Panda detects any broken links, speed issues and can cause a penalty to your website. Make sure to keep your rank well by reducing the bouncing rate. Avoid duplicate, low-quality contents and perform necessary site improvements to make it attractive to this algorithm.

Penguin (April 24, 2012)


google penguin update
google penguin update

How it works


Penguin algorithms deal with link quality. The main aim of this algorithm is to find out websites which that uses black-hat SEO techniques to by using paid links. After 2016 Penguin also became a part of the Google algorithm and it mainly works to degrade sites who gain links using manipulative methods.


How to correct your website


Get quality backlinks and avoid getting paid links to manipulate search engines. Don’t use black-hat techniques and avoid excessive link building efforts.


Hummingbird (August 22, 2012)


Google hummingbird update


How it works


Hummingbird mainly concentrates on low- quality content with unnecessary keyword stuffing. Keywords are very important to the search engine. Now everyone stuffs keyword to make the website on the top of the search result. Even if Hummingbird couldn’t find the words a user enters it will show the search result related to it. This is possible because of using natural language based on LSI and synonyms.  

How to correct your website


When you use keywords to make sure to include all possible terms related to it. Sometimes users won’t use the exact word to search. If you can understand the user’s intent and include such words in your content it will easily appear on the top of the search result. Improve content quality also and make your content information to provide some useful information to users.

Pigeon (July 24, 2014 (US))

Google Pigeon update

How it works


Initially, Google introduced this only in the US and then on December 22, 2014, for the UK, Australia. Pigeon mainly focuses on search engine optimization both on-page and off-page. Pigeon update mainly focused on local SEO and rankings. Through this algorithm, Google ensures to provide an accurate local search result for its users.


How to correct your website


Make your website well optimized for local search results by using local business directories. Improve on-page and off-page optimizations and make your website a perfect one. making your website locally optimized and fault-free will help you to get good search engine ranking

Mobile-friendly update (April 21, 2015)


Google Mobile Friendly Update


How it works

This update mainly focused on the mobile optimization of a website. Without mobile optimization rank of a website will get affected. In this digital age, everyone uses their mobile to check everything and mobile-friendliness also has become an integral part if you want to rank your website higher

How to correct your website


Use a tool like Google’s mobile-friendly test and check your website’s mobile-friendliness. If it is not optimized, then create a mobile version of your website and update that soon to avoid ranking issues

Possum (September 1, 2016)


google possum update


How it Works


Possum update mainly focuses on local business listings. It finds out business listings with the same address and integrates it as a single search result. When search engine indexes all local businesses sometimes there will be a business with the same address and location. To integrate it Possum filters multiple results and shows you as a single one. Also, it helps to show the nearer business address you are searching for based on your location.


How to correct your website


Perform geo-specific ranking on your website and include your target keywords while you list your business to Google. One more important thing is to avoid duplication of addresses


Fred (March 8, 2017)


google fred update


How it works


Fred targets contents mainly create for generating revenue out of it. Fred finds out low- quality content which violate Google’s rule and creates content just for making income.

How to correct your website


There is no problem in publishing ad if your webpage contains quality useful content. Don’t try to cheat search engines by using any black-hat techniques or including high-quality links.

These are some important updates from Google as a part of ensuring top-quality search results. There are many other updates in between the above updates. You can follow them to make your site ranking better.

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