When people search… Google would like to give the most relevant answers.

This has been at the core of Google’s business since it began and has been going at it trying to improve the value search users get from their queries. They do this through search algorithm updates, doing it between 500 to 600 times each year. The following provides a brief history and overview of the top Google algorithm updates, the changes and the impact they posed for digital marketers.

A Bit of History and Main Reasons for Algorithm Updates

Before the first formal update to Google algorithms was publicly announced back in September of 2002, the search engine has been conducting monthly index refreshes and PageRank update Internet marketers called the Google Dance. This monthly exercise eventually ended as major algorithm updates became a regular thing starting with the first named algorithm change – Boston.

After that, major changes to the search algorithm were rolled out throughout the years. While you need not memorize all these updates, understanding the main reasons for these updates can give you clear insights that will help improve your search marketing efforts.

Quick view on the key Google Updates:

  1. Panda – In Google’s quest to provide search users with relevant contents, algorithm changes like the Panda update were rolled out for the purpose of boosting the rankings of high-quality sites that provide good content over sites that are link-infused and provide irrelevant or low-quality content.
  2. Penguin – Google aims to crack down on black hat SEO and webspam-practicing websites and reward those that make use of organic/white hat techniques and provide good quality content, and they continue to do so with the Penguin update formally rolled out on April 2012.
  3. Hummingbird -The advent of semantic search took its turn with the formal announcement of the Hummingbird update last September 26th, 2013, the term used to denote precise and quick results, in a major attempt to focus more on the intent of the words used in the search queries.
  4. Pigeon – Greater emphasis on local results was put in the spotlight with the launching of the Pigeon update last July 24, 2014, with changes to algorithms focusing on how search engines interpret local signals.

Check the infographic below for the full coverage of these updates.

Embedded from CJG Digital Marketing.