Major Google SEO Algorithm Updates


Major Google SEO Algorithm Updates

Major Google SEO Algorithm Updates

Google changes its SEO algorithm around 500-600 times in a year. The main aim of this search engine is to provide quality content to its users. Many websites using black hat SEO techniques for better ranking of their pages are ruled out. Pages having highly spamming content are also restricted and penalized frequently to provide good user experience.

The major google SEO algorithm updates in last 10 years are:

  •  Hummingbird
  •  Penguin Update
  •  Panda Update
  •  Pigeon Update
  •  Pirate Update
  •  Mobile Friendly Update
  •  EMD (Exact Match Domain) Update
  •  Top heavy update
  •  Payday update


Google Humming Bird

Google humming bird is the new and one of the major google SEO algorithm updates introduced in the year of 2013.

Plays significant role in ranking of web pages. It is made up of more than 200 factors to affect search results and rankings

It mainly focuses on meaning of phrase or key word rather than individual key word.

Humming bird uses knowledge of graph facts to ensure better search results.

Effectiveness of long tailed key words comes into picture.

Google Penguin Update

The major google SEO algorithm update was mainly deployed to catch the website with highly spamming content. Decrease the page rankings of websites which violate google webmaster guidelines and those which use black hat techniques to increase page ranking.

With the penguin update google ensured that the webpages with quality content get good page ranks than those with little or spamming content.

Google panda update:

Introduced in 2011, Google panda has powerful filter to detect and stop the sites with low quality content. It is updated occasionally.

Rules by panda:

No multiple pages with same key words.

Get rid of auto generated content.

No page with 1 or 2 paragraphs text only

High number of outbound links with key words are bad.

New content preferred.

Google pigeon update:

Propelled in the year 2014, to extract more accurate local search results to benefit local small businesses. This helps google to enhance distance and location measuring, which is also useful for google maps.

  • Location has become very important
  • Do not over optimize your page
  • Strong domains preferred


Google pirate update:

Google’s Pirate Update is introduced in the month of August 2012. It is a filter that prevents sites that have more number of copyright infringement reports from getting good ranking on Google.

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

Google mobile friendly update:

In 2015, google intended to provide a lift to mobile friendly websites. This update has shown great difference in search page results.

  • mobile-friendly testing tool now has API access
  • may pick desktop over AMP page for the mobile-first index
  • begins mobile-first indexing, using mobile content for all search rankings
  • will show AMP URLs before App deep link URLs in mobile results
  • says page speed ranking factor to use mobile page speed for mobile sites

Google EMD update:

EMD Update launched in 2012, filters out webpages with low quality content which rank high only because they have words matching the searches.

Top Heavy Update:

This update was propelled to stop websites with heavy advertisements from positioning high in search pages.

Google updates its page layout algorithm to go after sites “top heavy” with ads

you need to have the same ad-to-organic ratio as google search to 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

Google Pay Day Update:

Google Payday Update is another major google SEO algorithm update released in 2013, it is focused at cleaning up list items related to “spammy queries” such as payday loans or pornographic or some other kinds of heavily spammed queries.

Payday update is 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”.

Thank you for reading our blog. Hope you found it useful.

Comment ( 1 )

  • Sreekanth Sadhu

    Good information. Very Useful to professionals and digital marketing students.

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