List of major Google algorithm updates

Would you be surprised to know that there are around 40,000 searches on Google per second? Well, that’s quite high statistics, but it’s true!
The procedure to match relevant content with the terms you type in Google requires the use of complex algorithms and a set of automated data processing formulas.

Google algorithms are a complex system used to retrieve data from its search index which in turn helps in delivering quick result for a query.
From time to time, Google keeps changing and updating its algorithms.

The motive of these updates is to improve your experience with the search engine for promoting the most relevant content on the web.
So, if you are willing to learn more about Google algorithms and it’s updated, then just keep on reading!

Here in this below guide, we will be discussing some of the major Google algorithm updates:


Panda was launched on 24th Feb 2011 and its goal was to de-rank sites with low-quality content.
Initially, Panda was more of a filter rather than a proper Google’s algorithm. It is used to assign a content quality score to web-pages.
How to stay safe when using Panda: Check for duplicate content across your site, check for plagiarism, identify thin content, audit your site for keyword stuffing and fix the problems you find.


Penguin was launched on 24th April 2012 and its goal was to de-rank sites with spammy, manipulative link profiles.
Google Penguin works by identifying and down ranking sites with unnatural link profiles deemed to be spamming the search results with the help of manipulative link tactics.
How to stay safe when using Penguin: Monitor link profile growth, check for plenty of risks and get rid of harmful links.


Pirate was launched on August 2012 and its goal was to de-rank sites with copyright infringement reports.
The pirate update was designed to prevent sites that have received numerous copyright infringement reports. Many well-known websites made pirated content and Google Pirate helped to reach them.
You legally can’t distribute anyone’s content without the copyright owner’s permission.


Hummingbird was launched on 22nd August 2013 with the goal to produce more relevant search results by better understanding the meaning behind queries.
This major algorithm can interpret search queries, particularly long conversational ones for providing results that match.
How to stay safe when using Hummingbird: Expand your keyword research, discover the language your audience uses, ditch exact match and think concepts.


The pigeon was launched on 24th July 2014 with the goal to provide high quality, relevant local search results.
Searcher’s location plays an important part in Google Pigeon’s task implementation. In this case, SEO factors are used to rank local and non-local search results.
How to stay safe when using Pigeon: Optimize your pages properly, by setting up a Google My Business page, make sure your NAP is consistent across your local listings and get featured in regular local directories.

6.Mobile friendly update

The mobile-friendly update was launched on 21st April 2015 with the goal to give mobile-friendly pages a ranking boost in mobile SERPs and de-rank pages that aren’t optimized for mobile.
It was designed to make sure that pages optimized for mobile devices rank at the top of the mobile search and in the down list are pages that are not mobile friendly.
How to stay safe when using Mobile friendly update: Go mobile cap and take the mobile-friendly test.


RankBrain was launched on 26th October 2015 with the goal to deliver better search results based on relevance & machine learning.
This machine learning system is well known for helping Google solve the meaning behind queries and to serve better search results.
How to stay safe when using RankBrain: Maximize user experience and do competition research.


Possum was launched on 1st Sept 2016 with the goal to deliver better, more diverse results based on the searcher’s location and the business’ address.
This updated version helped in boosting businesses with a physical address, businesses outside physical city area and businesses. But the businesses that share an address with other similar businesses may be de-ranked in the search results.
How to stay safe when using Possum: Do geo-specific rank tracking and expand your list of local keywords.


Fred was launched on 8th March 2017 with the goal to filter out quality search results whose sole purpose is generating ad and affiliate revenue.
This is the latest and updated Google’s algorithm that tracks down the ones that violate Google’s webmaster guidelines.
How to stay safe when using Fred: Review Google’s guidelines and look for thin content.

Well, the bottom line is that Google is a search engine that will always find ways to optimize and innovate their search rankings and services for improving the overall user experience.
Well, that’s why you need to keep researching for staying updated!

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