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Google Algorithm Updates

What are Google Algorithm Updates?

Google Algorithm Updates are changes or improvements made to the complex series of mathematical and logical rules that Google’s search engine uses to sort and present the information it finds on the web. These updates directly affect the ranking of websites on the search engine result pages (SERPs). Google constantly works on improving the relevance and quality of the search results it presents to its users, and these updates serve as stepping stones towards that goal.

Some Google Algorithm Updates focus on improving the importance given to high-quality, original content and trustworthy sources, while others might aim to penalize websites that use manipulative techniques (known as “black hat SEO”) to boost their search engine rankings artificially. For instance, some updates may target websites with low-quality content, keyword stuffing, or those that generate lots of low-quality backlinks. This ensures that the user always finds high-quality, relevant content at the top of the search results page.

In essence, Google Algorithm Updates are Google’s way of keeping its search engine fair, useful, and relevant to its users. These updates often require webmasters and SEO specialists to adapt their strategies to ensure their websites remain highly ranked on Google’s search results. Failure to adapt could lead to a loss in web traffic, lower visibility, and, ultimately, less business for the affected websites.

How many Google algorithm updates are there per year?

The number of Google algorithm updates per year varies and is not set in stone. Google continuously works on refining and improving its search algorithms, leading to minor updates that may happen daily. These minor updates typically go unannounced and unnoticed, except for the most keen-eyed SEO experts, who may notice fluctuations in their site’s rankings or traffic.

However, every once in a while, usually a few times a year, Google rolls out more significant updates known as “core updates.” These are major changes to the search algorithms that have a much more noticeable impact on the SERPs. They often come with official announcements, either in advance or soon after the update, with some degree of guidance from Google on what has changed and how webmasters can adapt. Core updates are what most people think of when talking about Google algorithm updates, and they can significantly affect a website’s ranking.

The exact number of these core updates varies from year to year. Historically, there have been around one to three core updates annually, although there were years when more significant updates were introduced. It’s also worth noting that in between these core updates, Google occasionally rolls out focused updates targeting specific aspects of its algorithms, like the Page Experience update or the Mobile-First Indexing update.

Below is a history of Google Algorithm Updates from 2004-present: 

2023 Google Algorithm Updates

August 2023 Core Update
Release Date: August 22

  • In August 2023, Google rolled out a core update to enhance search outcomes.
  • A decline in page performance after this update doesn’t necessarily point to a problem; it’s more about the relevance of the content.
  • There’s no certainty of recovery after such updates, emphasizing the importance of ongoing content enhancement.

April 2023 reviews update
Release Date: April 12

  • The nomenclature for Google’s “product reviews system” has been modified to “reviews system.”
  • The instructions from Google regarding product reviews have been revamped to encompass all sorts of reviews, including those for services, businesses, destinations, and media.
  • The update was fully implemented by April 25.
  • This update introduced more fluctuations than the preceding product reviews updates.

March 2023 Core Algorithm Update
Release Date: March 15

  • Google did not release any fresh guidelines.
  • The full deployment was achieved by March 28, a process that lasted 13 days.
  • The turbulence was on par with, or exceeded, previous core updates.

February 2023 Product Reviews Update
Release Date: Feb 21

  • Initially, the system only impacted English but now supports an additional 10 languages.
  • The rollout was concluded by March 7, a 14-day span.
  • This update proved to be more turbulent than prior product reviews updates.

2022 Google Algorithm Updates

December 2022 Link Spam Update

Release Date: December 14

This global update, launched in December 2022, aimed to tackle the issue of spammy links and prevent the passing of credit through unnatural links. It coincided with the rollout of the helpful content system update on December 6. Google estimated that the link spam update would take approximately two weeks to fully implement.

Google Helpful Content System Update

Release Date: December 6

Introduced on December 6, the Google Helpful Content System Update included the integration of new signals into its classifier. It expanded the reach of the helpful content update to all languages worldwide. Google expected the rollout of this update to be completed within two weeks.

October 2022 Spam Update

Release Date: October 19

In October 2022, Google implemented its latest enhancements to combat search spam across various forms, including links, content, and other types of spam. The global rollout of this update, which affected all languages, concluded in less than 48 hours.

September 2022 Product Reviews Update

Release Date: September 20

The September 2022 Product Reviews Update marked the second update of its kind for the year and the fifth overall. Despite the ongoing September 2022 Core Update, Google launched this update to reward English-language product reviews that provided helpful and valuable information to searchers. The rollout of this update was finalized on September 26.

September 2022 Core Update

Release Date: September 12

After completing the helpful content update rollout, the September 2022 Core Update was released three days later. Compared to previous core updates, such as the one in May 2022, this update appeared to have a lesser impact overall. The rollout of the September 2022 Core Update was completed on September 26.

Helpful Content Update

Release Date: August 25

On August 18, Google unveiled its helpful content update, designed to reward content that aids and informs users rather than prioritizing content created solely for search result rankings. The rollout of this sitewide signal began on August 25 and concluded 15 days later on September 9. Google provided a list of 15 questions to assess content reviews and emphasized that the impact was primarily seen in specific website categories like ringtones, coding, lyrics, and online education materials. At the same time, the overall effect was relatively minimal.

July 2022 Product Reviews Update

Release Date: July 27

Announced as the fourth iteration, the July 2022 Product Reviews Update was expected to take 2-3 weeks for a complete rollout. However, Google later confirmed that it had fully implemented the update after only six days. This refresh aimed to reward high-quality product reviews and exhibited lower ranking volatility than previous product review updates.

May 2022 Core Update

Release Date: May 25

The May 2022 Core Update represented the year’s first broad core algorithm update and the first in over six months. Google projected a rollout duration of up to two weeks for this update. Like past core updates, it involved extensive changes to how Google’s ranking systems assess content.

March 2022 Product Reviews Update:

Released on March 23

The third installment of the product reviews update by Google aims to enhance the identification of top-quality product reviews and grant them improved rankings. This update builds upon the progress achieved in the previous two releases. Google provided new recommendations regarding ranked lists, “best” product suggestions, and crafting reviews for individual or multiple products.

Page Experience Update (desktop):

Implemented on February 22

This update incorporates all the signals from the mobile version of the page experience update, except for the requirement for mobile-friendliness. The complete rollout of this update took approximately nine days, ensuring a consistent browsing experience on desktop platforms.

2021 Google Algorithm Updates

December 2021 Product Reviews Update:

Unveiled on December 1

The Google product reviews update in December aimed to elevate outstanding product reviews in search results. Google sought to showcase content containing valuable analysis and original insights authored by domain experts or passionate enthusiasts. The update gradually rolled out over three weeks. Google provided additional guidance, encouraging the inclusion of multimedia evidence and links to multiple sellers in product reviews.

November 2021 Local Search Update:

Occurring between November 30 and December 8 

The global local search update was characterized as rebalancing various factors considered in generating local search results. Notably, this update coincided with the December 2021 Core Update and the December 2021 Product Reviews Update, although Google’s confirmation came later on December 16.

November 2021 Core Update:

On November 17, Google launched its third and final Core Update for 2022. This broad-reaching update impacted websites and SEO across all languages, taking approximately two weeks to complete its rollout. As with previous core updates, the November 2021 release aimed to refine search result rankings and improve the overall user experience.

November 2021 Spam Update:

Google introduced an update to its search spam detection systems on November 3. To comply with this update, website owners are advised to adhere to Google’s best practices for search, which are outlined in the Google Webmaster Guidelines. By following these guidelines, websites can ensure they are not inadvertently engaging in spammy practices and maintain a healthy online presence.

Link Spam Update:

Release Date: July 26

Google implemented an update to nullify the influence of spammy links across various languages and the web. Websites containing such spammy links were likely to experience a significant impact on their search rankings. To mitigate the effects, Google advised adhering to best practices for both incoming and outgoing connections.

July 2021 Core Update:

Release Date: July 1

As the second part of a consecutive pair, the July 2021 core update brought about comprehensive modifications to the algorithm without targeting any specific function. This update was rolled out gradually over 12 days, commencing on July 1 and concluding on July 12.

Spam Update (Part 2):

Release Date: June 28

Serving as a sequel to the initial Spam Update, this second part was globally directed toward web and image results. Google aimed to enhance the quality of search results through these updates, although no further details or guidance were provided during the announcement.

Spam Update (Part 1):

Release Date: June 23

In June, Google announced the launch of the Spam Update, which comprised the first part of a two-part series, with the second part scheduled for release the following week. While minimal information was provided, Google did refer to its Webmaster Guidelines in connection with this update.

Page Experience Update:

Release Date: June 15

Google introduced the Page Experience Update, incorporating a fresh set of metrics known as Core Web Vitals, which evaluate users’ perception of web page experiences. These metrics include Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) to measure loading performance, First Input Delay (FID) to gauge interactivity, and Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) to assess visual stability. Additionally, existing ranking signals like page load speed, mobile-friendliness, HTTPS, and non-intrusive ads were integrated into this update. The rollout of this new ranking algorithm, announced in May 2020, commenced gradually and concluded by the end of August.

Multitask Unified Model (MUM) Update:

Release Date: June

Unveiled at Google I/O in May 2021, the Multitask Unified Model (MUM) is a transformer-based architecture similar to BERT but significantly more powerful, enabling multitasking and novel information connections for users. MUM showcased its potential by rapidly identifying over 800 vaccine name variations across 50 languages. In September, Google announced additional applications of MUM technology.

June 2021 Core Update:

Release Date: June 2

As the initial part of a dual release, the June 2021 Core Update, like its counterpart, encompassed substantial changes to the algorithm. Google opted to roll out these updates separately because some of the planned core updates were not prepared for release in June. Consequently, the impact of this update was felt across numerous websites.

April 2021 Product Reviews Update:

Release Date: April 8

The Product Reviews Update aimed to reward high-quality product reviews that surpass standard expectations. Google sought to elevate product reviews in search result rankings if they demonstrated depth, original research, and insightful analysis. To ensure the quality of product reviews, Google provided a list of nine key questions, emphasizing the importance of expertise and a comprehensive understanding of the reviewed topic.

Passage Ranking:

Release Date: February 10

Google commenced the implementation of a change to its search result ranking system, explicitly targeting the ranking of individual passages within web pages. This update aimed to facilitate discovering precise and specific information within vast content. Google estimated that approximately 7% of search queries across all languages would be impacted by this update, which primarily focused on improving content comprehension without providing explicit recommendations for adjustments or changes.

2020 Google Algorithm Updates

December 2020 Core Update:

(Released: December 3)

Google’s final major update of 2020 and the first since May, the December 2020 Core Update, had a wide-reaching impact on websites and SEO across all languages.

BERT Expands:

(Released: October 15)

In a significant leap from its previous usage of 10%, Google announced that BERT now powers nearly all English-based search queries. This update aims to enhance the relevance of search results by improving the understanding of webpage content.

May 2020 Core Update:

(Released: May 4)

Google gradually rolled out its robust May 2020 broad core algorithm update over several weeks. This comprehensive update, similar to other core updates, did not target any specific algorithm aspect.

January 2020 Core Update:

(Released: January 13)

Compared to its successor in May, the January 2020 Core Update was relatively weaker and had a less pronounced impact on SEO experts. Four months later, it was followed by the more substantial May 2020 core update.

2019 Google Algorithm Updates

BERT Natural Language Processing Update:

(Released: October 25)

Google introduced the Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers (BERT) update, affecting 10% of searches. BERT was designed to improve Google’s understanding of queries and webpage content, making it more human-like.

September 2019 Core Update:

(Released: September 24)

Following the pattern of regular broad core algorithm updates, Google implemented the September 2019 Core Update to enhance its search system’s performance and relevance.

June 2019 Core Update: 

(Released: June 3)

Google’s June 2019 core update encompassed various algorithm elements to enhance user experience across multiple areas.

March 2019 Core Update:

(Released: March 15)

The March 2019 Core Update caused confusion in the SEO community as it was released without a name, leading to speculation on Twitter. To address the confusion, Google called it the “March 2019 Core Update” through their social media accounts.

2018 Google Algorithm Updates

August 2018 Core Update (aka Medic Update):

Release Date: August 1

The August 2018 broad core algorithm update significantly changed Google’s algorithm, benefiting previously overlooked web pages. Although some websites experienced drops in rankings, Google stated that there was no specific fix for this, resulting from other under-rewarded sites making gains. To recover rankings, Google advised webmasters to focus on creating high-quality content.

April 2018 Core Update:

Release Date: April 20

The April 2018 core update aimed to enhance the user experience and provide more relevant search results. Google did not initially announce this update, confirming it only after speculations arose about a potential core update. Webmasters who observed ranking drops were encouraged to continue producing unique content, which remains crucial for achieving sustainable rankings.

March 2018 Core Update:

Release Date: March 12

The March 2018 Core Update, closely followed by the April Core Update, constituted a broad and impactful alteration to Google’s core algorithm, focusing on improving user search results. Some websites experienced significant ranking fluctuations, and webmasters were advised against attempting to manipulate the system. Instead, Google emphasized the importance of consistently producing excellent content to achieve enduring rankings.

January 2018 Core Update:

Release Date: January 18

The January 2018 Update encompassed a comprehensive core algorithm adjustment, targeting various aspects of a website’s search engine results pages (SERPs). This update set the stage for subsequent core updates in March and April of that year, emphasizing the continuous refinement of Google’s search algorithm to provide better user experiences and more relevant search results.

2017 Google Algorithm Updates

Mid-December Updates:

Release Date: December 14-19 (approx.)

Google confirmed implementing several minor changes to improve search result relevancy. These updates had a negative impact on websites that excessively targeted a large number of keyword variants. The focus was on delivering more accurate and helpful search results for users.

Local Update:

Release Date: August 22

The Local Update rectified the unintended consequences of the previous Possum update, which had unfairly affected local rankings. The Possum Update in 2016 aimed to enhance SERP relevance by eliminating redundant search results. However, some local businesses were filtered out due to their proximity to similar companies already ranked on Google’s SERPs. The Hawk Update addressed these concerns, making local businesses competing with others more likely to be visible in relevant search queries.

Fred Update:

March 9

On March 9, a Google ranking update was observed, although it remained unconfirmed by the company. This update appeared to focus more on the quality of links within the overall algorithm. It gained the nickname “Fred” in the SEO community, inspired by a humorous suggestion by Google’s Gary Illyes to name all future updates “Fred.”

2016 Google Algorithm Updates

Penguin Update 4.0:

September 23

After nearly two years, Google released an update to its Penguin algorithm, marking its final iteration. The significant change was the integration of Penguin into Google’s core search algorithm, resulting in real-time data refreshes. Furthermore, the update introduced a more granular approach, allowing Penguin to affect rankings on individual pages, specific sections of a website, or the entire site.

Possum Update:

(September 1)

The Possum Update primarily impacted local listings on Google. It involved alterations to the filtering mechanism employed by Google, aimed at improving the user experience. Specifically, the update targeted redundant websites by filtering them out from local results. Consequently, businesses with multiple websites for the same service might observe only one appearing in relevant local searches, which caused a significant drop in visibility for certain companies located near others already ranking on Google’s SERPs.

Mobile-Friendly Update 2:

(April 21)

This update served as an enhancement to the original Mobile-Friendly Update introduced in 2015. It operated in real-time and acted as a page-specific signal exclusive to mobile search results. This update aimed to amplify the impact of the mobile-friendly ranking movement, further promoting websites optimized for mobile devices.

January 2016 Core Update:

(January 17)

Significant fluctuations in search results alerted webmasters to a core ranking algorithm update in January 2016. Google’s Gary Illyes confirmed the occurrence of this update, emphasizing its impact on the core ranking algorithm that determines website positions in search results.

January 2016 Core Update:

(January 10)

On January 12, Google acknowledged a core ranking algorithm update after a weekend marked by frequent changes and fluctuations in rankings. The update had noticeable effects on search results during this period, prompting Google to confirm its involvement in the core algorithm.

2015 Google Algorithm Updates

RankBrain (Oct. 25)

Introduced on October 25, the RankBrain algorithm leverages machine learning to analyze user search queries and evaluate billions of web pages, prioritizing the most relevant ones. Initially implemented on a significant proportion of search results, RankBrain’s influence eventually expanded to cover all Google searches, making it an integral part of the search engine’s ranking process.

Panda Update 4.2:

(July 18)

Released on July 18, the Panda Update 4.2 marked a refreshing modification to the existing Panda algorithm. This update impacted approximately 2% to 3% of English language queries, aiming to improve the quality and relevance of search results.

Quality Update:


In May, Google introduced the Quality Update, which aimed to enhance the overall quality of search results. Although specific details were not provided, this update focused on refining the algorithms to prioritize websites with valuable and authoritative content.

Mobile-Friendly Update:

(April 21)

Released on April 21, the Mobile-Friendly Update aimed to optimize search results for mobile devices. Websites that were not mobile-friendly experienced a decline in their rankings. At the same time, those that were responsive and optimized for mobile devices were rewarded with higher visibility in mobile search results.

2014 Google Algorithm Updates

Pigeon Expansion:

(December 22)

On December 22, Google expanded the Pigeon algorithm update to improve local search results. This expansion aimed to provide users with more accurate and relevant local search results by incorporating traditional web search ranking signals.

Penguin Everflux:

(December 10)

Introduced on December 10, the Penguin Everflux update brought continuous fluctuations to the Penguin algorithm. This update focused on combating web spam and manipulating search rankings by penalizing websites that violated Google’s guidelines.

Penguin Update 3.1:

(November 27)

On November 27, Google rolled out Penguin Update 3.1, which aimed to further refine the Penguin algorithm’s ability to identify and penalize websites engaged in webspam practices. This update targeted sites using manipulative link-building techniques to boost search rankings.

Pirate Update 2:

(October 21)

The Pirate Update 2, launched on October 21, targeted websites with copyright infringement issues, particularly those hosting pirated content. This algorithm update aimed to ensure that search results prioritized legitimate and copyright-compliant websites.

Penguin Update 3.0:

(October 17)

Released on October 17, the Penguin Update 3.0 significantly changed the Penguin algorithm, focusing on penalizing websites with low-quality backlinks and keyword stuffing. This update aimed to improve the quality and relevance of search results.

Panda Update 4.1:

(September 25)

On September 25, Google introduced Panda Update 4.1, which aimed to enhance the precision of the Panda algorithm. This update is intended to provide better rankings for high-quality small and medium-sized websites. Approximately 3% to 5% of English language queries were affected by this update.

Pigeon Update:

(July 24)

Launched on July 24, the Pigeon Update aimed to improve local search results by offering users more valuable and accurate information. This algorithm update incorporated traditional web search ranking signals to provide more relevant local search results.

Payday Loan Update 3.0:

(June 12)

Introduced on June 12, the Payday Loan Update 3.0 targeted websites that promoted payday loans and high-interest loan-related queries. This algorithm update aimed to remove such websites from the top search results, ensuring users were presented with more reputable and trustworthy sources of information.

Panda Update 4.0:

(May 20)

On May 20, Google launched Panda Update 4.0, the 27th Panda algorithm update. This update was designed to be “gentler” on some websites while laying the foundation for future changes. Approximately 7.5% of English queries were impacted by this update.

Payday Loan Update 2.0:

(May 16)

Released on May 16, the Payday Loan Update 2.

2013 Google Algorithm Updates

Penguin Update 2.1:

(October 4):

Released on October 4, the Penguin Update 2.1 introduced significant changes to Google’s search algorithm. It targeted websites with spammy link-building practices, penalizing them by reducing search engine rankings.


(September 26)

On September 26, Google unveiled the Hummingbird algorithm update, revolutionizing the search engine landscape. With Hummingbird, Google focused on understanding the intent behind search queries and delivering more relevant results. This update emphasized semantic search, allowing for more accurate interpretations of user queries.

Panda Update 26:

(July 18):

Google rolled out Panda Update 26 on July 18, refining its algorithm to better target low-quality websites. By incorporating new signals, Google aimed to improve the precision of its ranking system, ensuring that high-quality content received the visibility it deserved.

Multi-week Update:

(June 21)

In June 2013, Google implemented a multi-week update that changed its search algorithm. This update aimed to enhance the overall search experience by fine-tuning the ranking factors and algorithms used to determine search results.

Payday Loan Update:

(June 11)

On June 11, Google launched the Payday Loan Update, designed to combat the manipulation of search results by websites related to payday loans and other spammy financial sectors. This update aimed to improve the search quality and provide users with more reliable and trustworthy information.

Penguin Update 2.0:

(May 22)

Google introduced the Penguin Update 2.0 on May 22, significantly refining its algorithm’s ability to identify and penalize websites that violated its quality guidelines. This update targeted websites employing black-hat SEO techniques, such as keyword stuffing and unnatural link schemes.

Panda Update 25:

(March 14)

On March 14, Google released Panda Update 25, a refresh to its Panda algorithm. This update affected approximately 1.2% of English search queries, further reinforcing Google’s commitment to delivering high-quality content and reducing the visibility of low-quality or spammy websites.

Panda Update 24:

(January 22)

Released on January 22, Panda Update 24 changed Google’s search algorithm, focusing on improving the quality of search results. Although the exact impact on search rankings was not disclosed, it signified Google’s continuous effort to refine its ranking factors and provide users with better search experiences.

2012 Google Algorithm Updates

Panda Update 23:

(Released on December 21)

In December 2012, Google rolled out the 23rd update to its Panda algorithm, affecting approximately 1.3% of English search queries. The purpose of this refresh was to refine the search results and improve the quality of websites ranking in Google’s index.

Panda Update 22 

(Released on November 21)

November witnessed the rollout of the 22nd Panda update, aimed at enhancing search results by targeting low-quality content. This algorithmic change impacted various websites and aimed to provide users with more relevant and reliable information.

Panda Update 21:

(Released on November 5)

Google’s 21st Panda update, introduced in November 2012, focused on refining the search engine’s algorithm to deliver higher-quality search results. The update targeted websites with poor content and aimed to improve the overall user experience by presenting more valuable and trustworthy information.

Please note that the rephrased content provided here is unique and has been formatted to include the name of each algorithm update, the date it was released, and a brief explanation of its purpose and impact.

Page Layout Algorithm (aka Top Heavy): 

(January 19)

Released on January 19, the Page Layout Algorithm, also known as Top Heavy, aimed to address the issue of websites overloaded with excessive advertisements, leading to poor rankings in Google’s search results. This algorithm update is periodically refreshed, and when a new Top Heavy Update occurs, websites that have taken measures to reduce excessive ads may regain their lost rankings. However, newly created sites identified as being excessively “top-heavy” might be affected by this update.

Panda Update 3.2:

(Jan. 18)

As part of the 2011 Google Algorithm Updates, the Panda Update 3.2 was rolled out on January 18. This update aimed to improve the quality of search results by targeting low-quality websites with thin or duplicated content. With Panda Update 3.2, Google continued to refine the search algorithm and provide users with more relevant and valuable content.

Panda Update 3.1:

(November 18):

One of the significant updates in the 2011 Google Algorithm Updates, the Panda Update 3.1, was released on November 18. This update aimed to improve search quality by addressing content quality and relevance issues. By penalizing websites with low-quality or duplicate content, Google sought to ensure that users receive more accurate and valuable information in their search results.

Freshness Update:

(November 3)

Released on November 3, the Freshness Update prioritized fresh and timely content in Google’s search results. This update aimed to deliver the most up-to-date information to users by boosting the visibility of recent content. With the Freshness Update, Google sought to enhance the search experience by ensuring that users can access the latest and most relevant information on the web.

2011 Google Algorithm Updates

Panda Update 3.1 (Nov. 18)
Freshness Update (Nov. 3)
Panda Update 3.0 (Oct. 19)
Panda Update 2.5 (Sept. 28)
Panda Update 2.4 (Aug. 12)
Panda Update 2.3 (July 23)
Panda Update 2.2 (June 21)
Panda Update 2.1 (May 9)
Panda Update 2.0 (April 11)
Panda Update (Feb. 23)
Scraper filter

2010 Google Algorithm Updates

Merchant Reviews (December)
Brand Update (August)
Caffeine (June)
May Day (May)

2009 Google Algorithm Updates

Vince Update:

(February 20)

On February 20, a noteworthy change was observed in search results, with prominent brands gaining increased visibility. Google’s Matt Cutts acknowledged this as a “minor change,” speculating that factors such as trust, quality, PageRank, and other metrics may have influenced the algorithm for broader search queries. Cutts assured that long-tail questions remained unaffected. The update, named after Googler Vince, was responsible for this alteration.

2008 Google Algorithm Updates

Dewey Update:

(March 31)

Significant rearrangements in search results were reported toward the end of March and early April. Google’s Matt Cutts invited webmasters to provide feedback on these changes using a designated form, explicitly requesting the inclusion of the term “Dewey” in their submissions. This unique request led to the update being coined the Dewey Update.

2007 Google Algorithm Updates

PageRank Update:

(October 7)

On October 7, Google officially announced a reduction in the PageRank scores of certain websites involved in link selling. Consequences for these sites ranged from removal from search results to penalties affecting their rankings. The PageRank Update’s impact on sites engaged in paid link practices was chronicled in the article “Google’s PageRank Update Goes After Paid Links?” on October 24.

2005 Google Algorithm Updates

Big Daddy Update:


In December, Google implemented the Big Daddy Update, which significantly changed its infrastructure. This update aimed to enhance the way Google handled URL canonicalization and website redirects, resulting in improved indexation and crawling processes.

Jagger Update:


The Jagger Update, launched in October, sought to refine Google’s handling of backlinks and address link quality and spam issues. It caused notable fluctuations in search rankings, leading to speculation and analysis by SEO professionals and webmasters.

Bourbon Update:


May witnessed the rollout of the Bourbon Update, which targeted issues related to duplicate content and low-quality pages. This algorithm adjustment aimed to provide users with more relevant and accurate search results by improving Google’s ability to identify and filter out subpar content.

2004 Google Algorithm Updates


January 23

Dubbed the Austin update, Google continued its efforts to enhance search result relevance from the Florida update. This algorithm targeted websites that employed on-page SEO techniques, which were once effective but are now deemed spammy and outdated practices.

2003 Google Algorithm Updates


November 15

Considered a groundbreaking update, Florida stirred significant controversy. Google aimed to reduce the success of websites that utilized manipulative SEO tactics to achieve high rankings. Unfortunately, this update adversely affected numerous businesses, including some wrongly flagged, just before the lucrative holiday season. Subsequently, Google pledged to avoid significant algorithmic changes during holiday periods, a promise that stood until 2011.



During the Fritz update, Google transitioned from conducting a monthly algorithmic update called the “Google Dance” to indexing pages daily or even more frequently. This change marked the advent of “ever flux,” wherein Google implemented minor adjustments daily. The shift away from periodic rankings fluctuations over six to eight days brought about a more dynamic and constantly evolving search landscape.


Larry Norris

With over 5 years of experience in agency work as an SEO Manager, I am proud to have assisted many clients in achieving higher search engine rankings and a stronger online presence. My successful track record includes top 3 rankings in SERPS, the attainment of featured snippets, and increased website domain authority.