The History of Google Algorithm Updates

History of Google Algorithm Update featured image

Google search use algorithms to retrieve data and provide results for queries. The search engine uses a fusion of algorithms, a result page that provides ranking pages on a series of Seo ranking factors and Seo signals.

Search engine algorithm can be used as a search ranking system, by searching the index of many pages in order to almost instantly provide searchers with the right results.

SEO can refer to, in particular, encountered a sudden decline in natural search traffic at a particular time, is generally punished by some algorithm, control algorithm on-line timeline, may be able to help diagnose the problem.

Without some form of confirmation from Google, the SEO community observed even more updates and Google’s announcement of an algorithmic update has tended to be conservative, with few official sources. This type is not confirmed will not be listed.

Here is the list of the history of Google Algorithm Updates:

The actual time spent writing this post is much longer than I expected to spend, finishing more than 10 hours. Reprinted and plagiarized students, even if not linked to this post, please also indicate the original source is SEO a post every day, do not be ashamed to say that they are original.

Maccabees Update

On-line time: December 12, 2017

Affected websites: deliberately create a large number of landing pages for various keyword combinations, such as “place name A + service a”, “place name A + service b”, “place name B + service a”, etc. In order to cover these keywords and create a large number of pages, The quality is usually not high.

Maggie is the name of Barry Schwartz from, not Google’s official name because Google seemingly no longer announces algorithm updates, let alone names. Barry Schwartz played the name because the update took place during the Jewish Hanukkah, which celebrates the Maccabees (Google Algorithm Update). Google, to some extent, confirmed the update but said only that a few minor updates were available during that time as part of its ongoing efforts to enhance relevance.

Related Source: Maccabees Algorithm

Mobile First Index

On-line time: mid-October 2017

Affected Website of Google Algorithm Update: Mobile Priority Index refers to the mobile version of Google’s Preferred Indexed Sites and is based on rankings. Used to index the PC version and calculate the rankings. Mobile priority index Google at the end of 2016 began to promote, but has not been introduced, it is estimated that the impact is relatively large. Around mid-2017, Google revealed that a small number of sites have started to move to mobile priority index.

Related Source: Mobile Index Algorithm

mobile update

Owl update

Published: April 25, 2017

Affected Websites of Google Algorithm Update: Fake news content such as fabricated fake news, extreme prejudice, incitement to hatred, rumors, and more.

Related Source: Owl Google Update

google owl update

Fred Update

On-line time: March 8, 2017

Google algo update Affected Websites: Low-Quality Content Stations with Too Many Ads These sites do exist to put ads like Adsense and do not give users more value.

Why is Fred updated? Because SEO asked Google employee Gary Illyes what’s the name of this update, Gary Illyes casually gave a name that looks like the name of his raised fish. Why did you remember the name of the fish? Because Gary Illyes just took a picture of this fish, this is the right one. Gary Illyes said that all updates will be Fred later unless otherwise noted. So headstrong, so sloppy.

Related Source: Google Fred Update

fred fish google algo update

Intrusive Interstitial Penalty

On-line time: January 10, 2017

Affected Websites: This Google algorithm targets mobile pages: pop-ups that block thematic content, large interstitial ads that interfere with user access, users need to turn off the inline to see the actual content of the page, and sometimes it takes 5-10 seconds to turn off. However, according to statistics, not many punished sites.

Related Source: Intrusive Penalty Google Algo Update

Penguin Update 4.0 (Penguin 4.0)

On-line time: September 23, 2016, completed on October 12

Affected Websites: As with previous penguin updates, websites that have a low quality of outer links are affected. Penguin 4.0 is the last update to the penguin family of Google algorithms since penguin algorithms later became part of the core ranking algorithm in real time.

In addition, the previous Penguin update is to punish the site, 4.0 is not counting the low quality of the outer chain, reducing the possibility of negative SEO.

Related Source: Penguin Algorithm Update

penguin update

Mobile Friendly Algorithm

On-line time: April 21, 2016

Google algo update Affected Website: April 21, 2015, An update to the first Google Mobile-Friendly algorithm enabled more mobile-friendly pages to be seen by users.

Related Source: Mobile Algorithm update

APP Install Interstitial Penalty

On-line time: November 2, 2015

Google algorithm update affected website: The page will pop up a large, occluding inset of the main content, requiring the user to download the APP, which is considered not mobile friendly and will be ranked lower in mobile search. The page can suggest users download APP, but ads do not substantially or even full screen, made the banner at the top of the class is no problem.

Related Source: App Install Penalty Update

app installation


On-line time: The announcement time is October 26, 2015, an article by Bloomberg. Algorithm online time should be a few months ago, the first half of 2015.

RankBrain is strictly not a ranking google algorithm, but a system that understands user query terms based on artificial intelligence, especially long-tailed, infrequently occurring queries. In 2015, just 15% of the query words were processed by RankBrain, which may be very effective. Since 2016, all query terms have been RankBrain processed.

Related Source: RankBrain Algorithm Update

Hacked Spam

On-line time: October 2015

Affected Websites: Hacked Sites, Including Viruses, Guided Traffic to Pornography, Infringing Products, Illegal Drug Websites, and More. These pages will be deleted directly from the search results, so sometimes the search results page may only have 8,9 results. It used to be annotated in the search results this page may be hacked, and now directly deleted. About 5% of the queries are affected. It is still important to check if your website is black.

Related Source: Hacked Spam Update

Panda Algorithm 4.2 (Panda Update 4.2)

On-line time: July 18, 2015

The panda algorithm has undergone nearly 30 updates since it was introduced in 2011, with Panda 4.2 is the last one to be completed in a matter of months. Since then, the Panda algorithm has become part of Google’s core algorithm update, although there will be updates, but no longer a separate name.

Related Source: Panda Algorithm Update

panda update

Quality Content Update

On-line time: May 1, 2015, or so

Affected sites: Pages with low-quality content, but not panda algorithms. Although Google confirmed the update, it said it was just one of the more frequent algorithmic updates Google quality content algorithm update does not make any difference in how it evaluates the quality of its content.

Related Source: Google quality content algorithm update

Mobile Friendly Algorithm

On-line time: April 21, 2015

Affected Websites: Mobile-friendly sites rank higher in mobile searches. Also known as Mobilegeddon – The Grabbing Google Algorithm Update.

The so-called mobile friendly, in fact, not so complicated, the user can normally visit the page on the phone on the line, so the font is not too small,spacing should not be too small, the user does not need to pull around the screen, finger click the link will not point the wrong place, Fast enough and so on.

Look at their own mobile phone to see if their site is mobile friendly. Can also refer to the blog mobile SEO posts.

The mobile-friendly algorithm is for the page level, the need for page re-crawling, indexing to determine whether the mobile-friendly. So the google algorithm itself comes online at the end of April, but the affected page may not see the effect right away.

Google had predicted that the mobile-friendly algorithm will have a bigger impact than the panda and penguin updates, but Google has long been a reminder of the importance of mobile-friendly SEO and many sites have been mobile optimized so the update was not so shocking.

Related Source: Mobile Algo Update

mobile algo update

HTTPS Update

On-line time: August 7, 2014

Google algo update affected sites: Pages using https rank a little higher. Google claims that this is only a small ranking factor, but in fact, the site has played a significant role in promoting the use of https.

Related Source: Https algorithm update

https google algo update

Pigeon Update

On-line time: July 24, 2014

Affected Sites: Pigeon Update is another major Google algorithm update which focuses on the local search algorithm, which improves distance and location ranking algorithm parameters. The name is not from Google, it has been given by SearchEngineLand. The reason why we take the name “pigeon” is that the pigeons go home and have local consciousness.

Related Source: Pigeon Algorithm Update


Hummingbird Algorithm

On-line time: August 2013

Affected Websites: Hummingbird algo update is a rewrite of ranking algorithms to improve understanding of the true intent of query terms, and more importantly, future scalability. Although the code is completely rewritten, ranking factors and parameters probably change a little, so basically, no one on the line after the SEO industry noticed.

Related Source: Hummingbird Algorithm Update


Payday Loan Algorithm

On-line time: June 13, 2013

Affected Websites: Inquiries in some industries popular for trash and black hat SEO are the key blows, such as payday loans, a small, short-term, high-interest loan that normally goes on the next payday, Pornography and so on. Often cheating in these industries is often illegal.

May 16, 2014, Payday Loan Google Algorithm 2.0 is online, June 12, 2014, and Algorithm 3.0 is online.

Related Source: Payday Loan Algorithm Update

payday money

Exact Match Domain (EMD Google Algorithm Update)

On-line time: September 29, 2012

Affected Websites: Low-quality exact match domain sites, that is, exactly the same domain names as the target keywords. URL contains some keywords on the rankings have some help, so many SEO target domain name registration. This domain name does have a good thing, but if it does not work now, it may be punished.

Related Source: EMD Update

DMCA penalty algorithm (DMCA Takedown Penalty)

On-line time: August 13, 2012

Affected Websites: DMCA, Digital Millennium Copyright Act, Digital Millennium Copyright Act, where copyrighted work is infringed and the copyright owner may request the service provider to remove the infringing content. The service provider may be a hosting company, domain name registrar, ISP, And search engine. DMCA algorithm is to receive a lot of complaints of violations of the request to delete the site, Google to give rankings punishment.

DMCA Takedown Penalty is also known as the pirate update, a pirate algorithm.

October 21, 2014, DMCA penalty algorithm on the line version 2.0, a lot of BT seed sites, video sites were heavily punished.

Related Source: DMCA Penalty Algorithm Update


Penguin Update

On-line time: April 24, 2012

Affected Websites: Google’s official post statement addresses the spam websites that violate Google’s quality guidelines. An analysis of subsequent rankings shows that the primary source of penalties is for websites that rank a significant amount of junk, low-quality, and out-of-chain content. Google Penguin algorithm update 1.0 affected 3.1% of English queries, about 3% of Chinese, German and other inquiries.

Penguin and Panda algorithms are two of the most famous Google algorithms, affecting a wide range of websites. According to the survey, 60% of SEO reflects that their website has been punished by the Penguin algorithm.

Penguin has a great influence on today’s SEO methods, especially the construction methods of foreign chains. Not only is it very careful to make the outer chain, most of the methods used to be used are now clearly warned Google may be punished, SEO is now the more troublesome is how to remove the low quality of the outer chain and the previous chain of garbage outside, Chain is also difficult.

Related Source: Penguin Algorithm Update


Page Layout Algorithm Update

On-line time: January 2012

Affected Websites: Pages with too many ads on the first screen are ranked lower. It is often called Ads Above The Fold (first screen advertising)google algorithm update.

1% of the query is affected. After the punished site changes the layout of the page, Google re-crawls, indexes, and automatically resume if the page user experience has improved.

October 9, 2012, Page Layout 2.0, February 6, 2014, Page Layout 3.0, respectively.

Related Source: Page Layout Algo Update

Google Freshness Algorithm Update

On-line time: November 3, 2011

Affected Websites: Google’s official posts make it clear that more fresh content will be displayed more in search results, especially in the most recent and hot topics, events that happen on a regular basis (eg games, etc.), frequently updated Information (such as the latest product). Affected 35% of queries.

Of course, this only applies to more inquiries need fresh information, some queries and not much practical, such as recipes, you do not have to worry too much about.

Related Source: Google Freshness Algorithm Update

google web

Panda Update

On-line time: February 24, 2011

Affected Websites: Pages with low-quality content are downgraded, such as reprinted, plagiarized content, spam messages sent by a large number of users, too few main contents, accumulation of keywords, and the like.

Panda update blow large, affecting about 12 query results, has an important impact on today’s SEO method. Panda algorithm was originally backstage computing, focus on the line, from 2011 online to 2015 into the core algorithm, has undergone nearly 30 updates.

Google Panda algorithm update Initially named as Farmers Update by SearchEngineLand, content farm update, and later Google itself announced the algorithm code is Panda, and our panda does not matter, is one of Google’s internal development of this algorithm, one of the main engineers named Panda.

Related Source: Panda Algorithm Update

Acquisition & punishment algorithm (Scraper Algorithm Update)

On-line time: January 28, 2011

Affected Websites: Matt Cutts’s blog post publishes an algorithm that captures and plagiarizes the content pages that are penalized and rewards originals. 2% of the queries affected.

Related Source: Scraper Algorithm Update

The History of Google Algorithm Updates 1

Negative Review

On the line time: December 1, 2010

Affected Websites: This algorithm update occurs due to a Google article read by the New York Times that one customer had a bad experience at a business and wrote negative reviews online, but negative comments gave the business more links, The link, in turn, led to a rise in merchant website rankings, bringing more business.

Google quickly took steps to detect such negative comments and reduce their rankings.

Related Source: Negative Review Algorithm Update

Caffeine Algorithm Update

On the line time: June 1, 2010

Affected Websites: The Caffeine Algorithm Update is an overwrite of indexing system code that updates content by 50% over the old system, with a larger number of indexes, more scalability, and faster speed.

The original indexing system is hierarchical, some content (important content) crawling index faster, and some content has to wait for a long time. The caffeine system divides the network into small blocks, continually updating the index library, finding new pages, or new content on old pages, directly into the index library.

Related Source: Caffiene Algorithm Update

caffiene update

Mayday Algorithm Update

On-line time: April 28, 2010 – May 3

Affected Websites: According to the Matt Cutts, the Mayday update focuses on long-tail query words and the algorithm looks for which websites have better page quality. Of course, this description is also said and did not say much.

SEO’s observation is mainly affected by large sites from the home click away from a distance, nothing outside the chain, the content has no added value pages – many e-commerce site product pages are like this, the content is provided by the supplier, Nor is it possible to have a foreign chain.

Mayday refers to the Mayday that was not for help in May.

Related Source: Mayday Algorithm Update

Page Speed Ranking Factor

On-line time: April 2010

Affected Websites: As the name implies, opening a fast page rank will be promoted, albeit modestly. The measurement of speed includes the page’s response speed when the spider crawls and the user’s open page time recorded by the toolbar.

In June 2013, Matt Cutts hinted that pages that are extremely slow may be punished, but do not worry about it unless the page is slow enough.

Related Source: Page Speed Algorithm Update

search engine optimization Page Load Speed

Vince / Brand Update

On-line time: February 1, 2009

Google Algorithm Update Affected Websites: Big Brand Websites Pages have significantly improved their position in many query results (both non-long-tailed big words), so they were initially called brand updates.

Matt Cutts later explained that in fact, this update is actually a small change, responsible for the name of Google engineers Vince, so Google internal code name is Vince. This change is not intended for large brands, but to enhance the role of trust in the rankings, and trust, quality, link these aspects, big brands have more advantages, so the effect seems to be the big brand page is promoted.

Related Source: Vince Algorithm Update

Dewey Update

On-line time: March 2008

Affected Websites: Unknown, SEO industry observed drastic changes in rankings, but did not find any obvious rules. The reason for the name Dewey is that Matt Cutts solicited feedback from the webmasterworld forum about this Google algorithm update. The webmaster needs to include the word Dewey in the feedback, which may be an internal Google identification code.

Related Source: Dewey Algorithm Update

The History of Google Algorithm Updates 2

Big Daddy

On-line time: December 2005 – March 2006

Big Dad is a Google algorithm infrastructure rewrite update, to solve the URL standardization, 301/302 turn, and other technical issues. Big Dad is a data center updated by a data center, not on the line at the same time.

What is the name of the big dad? According to the Matt Cutts post, Matt Cutts solicited feedback on this update at the December 2005 Pubcon conference, and Matt Cutts knew that the update was online at one of the data centers, so ask everyone what is the best name for the data center One of the webmasters said BigDaddy, so his kids called him, and Matt Cutts feels good to call that name.

Related Source: Big Daddy Algortihm Update

Jagger Update

On-line time: September-November 2005

Affected Websites: Jagger is launched in 3 stages, so there are Jagger1, Jagger2, Jagger3 names. Jagger updates mainly deal with low-quality links such as exchange links, link farms, trading links and more.

Earlier Google algorithm updates were basically named after webmasterworld, the name of Brett Tabke, founder of webmasterworld, and most of the updates mentioned below are named after them. But it looks like Jagger is the last one, but most later Google’s names were released.

Related Source: Jagger Algorithm Update

jagger update

Bourbon Update

Line Time: May 2005

Affected sites: Early Google algo updates often do not have official information, so for which sites are often unknown, only to monitor the rankings have a relatively large change. Bourbon is generally considered to be related to Website normalization.

Bourbon This name is also WebmasterWorld because WebmasterWorld is about to hold an industry meeting in New Orleans, Bourbon is a famous old street, New Orleans.

Related Source: Bourbon Algorithm Update

Allegra Update

Online Time: February 2005

Affected sites: ambiguous, or a wide range, including low-quality chain, keyword accumulation, excessive optimization and so on.

Related Source: Allegra Algorithm Update

The History of Google Algorithm Updates 3

Announcement Support Nofollow

Online Time: January 2005

SEO nofollow must be very familiar with, all the mainstream search engine support nofollow.

Related Source: Nofollow Algorithm Update

Brandy Update

Online Time: February 2004

Affected Sites: Link anchor text increased, links need to come from the concept of good neighbors for the first time to be raised. Index library growth, crawl index a lot of new links, some sites get a higher degree of authority.

Related Source: Brandy Algorithm Update

Florida Update

Online Time: November 2003

Affected Sites: Florida update is the early most famous Google algorithm update, the impact of large, affected by the commercial intent of the word, some rely on the search flow of small companies closed down, and some SEO companies into a dilemma, because of the customer site rankings decline, not renewed fees.

The aftermath of the Florida update is big enough that Google has promised not to have a big update at the end of the year to avoid a dramatic impact on many businesses ‘ Christmas season sales.

Florida update hits a range of unnatural optimization methods, including hidden text, keyword stacking, link farms, large exchange links, and over optimization. Florida completely changed the SEO, it can be said to be now the starting point of the SEO method.

Related Source: Florida Algorithm Update

Fritz Update

Online Time: July 2003

Fritz Update is the beginning of Google’s shift to a small update of the index every day, and this update is called Everflux.

The name of the Update Fritz is the Google internal name that Matt Cutts mentioned in his 2006 blog post, not in the WebmasterWorld naming series.

Related Source: Fritz Algorithm Update

The History of Google Algorithm Updates 4

Esmeralda Update

Online time: June 1, 2003

This is the last time the Google dance that happened every month in the early months. After this update, Google algorithm changes to a small, continuous, of course, this is relative to Google dance once a month, a few days, the ranking of violent fluctuations.

To be exact, Google dance is an index update, not an algorithm update. Esmeralda Update, Google no longer dance.

Dominic Update

Online time: May 1, 2003

Early Google dance. Dominic is also named WebmasterWorld, a pizza restaurant frequented by people attending the Boston PubCon Convention.

Related Source: Dominic Algorithm Update


Cassandra Update

Online time: April 1, 2003

Brett Tabke and WebmasterWorld the first time they specifically updated Google names. Since the first name is Boston, is a male name, this time should be a C-head woman, we vote, Cassandra Win, no other special significance.

Boston Update

Online time: February 1, 2003

In 2003, at the SES conference in Boston, Google employees announced the update, in order to differentiate from other Google dance, named Boston.

WebmasterWorld founder Brett Tabke thought, give the update name is a good idea, so follow the naming method of the typhoon to Google update named, alphabetically, male-female name interval also got Google’s approval. So most of the early Google algorithm updates were named by webmaster world.

Google Dance

The early Google Index library is updated once a month, is offline, and then focused on the online. Because of a large amount of data, a data center is needed to be online, not at the same time. During the update, the user is visiting a data center this minute, the next minute may visit another data center, see the search results can be very different, so-called Google Dance.

Related Source: Google Dance Update

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About the Author: Amit Purohit

Amit Purohit is an SEO expert and pro-blogger, besides blogging amit assists in planning, organizing, and implementing SEO and content strategy for clients to generate leads and conversions.


  1. Woohoo!! Nice post and a lengthy one too 🙂 Just kidding..thanks for sharing this amit, it was quite an informative post about history of google algorithm update.

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