Ever Changing Nature of the Google Search

The Google Search Algorithm is a mathematical formula used by Google to determine which website appears first, second, third, etc. No one but Google knows the formula and it is updated very often. In 2014, Google admitted that it updated its Algorithm over 600 times. Of the 600 times, 15 of those updates were major ones that affected most people’s website rankings. Web designers and SEO specialists spend a lot of time, effort, and research trying to stay abreast of Google changes. Here is a list of Google well-known and major changes:

  1. Page Layout #3 — February 6, 2014—penalizing sites with too many ads
  2. Unnamed Update — March 24, 2014—a softening of the restrictions that hurt some sites too much
  3. Payday Loan 2.0 — May 16, 2014—targeted what they called “very spammy queries”
  4. Panda 4.0 (#26) — May 19, 2014—major update affected 7.5% of searches
  5. Payday Loan 3.0 — June 12, 2014—More targeting of “spammy queries”
  6. Authorship Photo Drop — June 28, 2014—Google drops author pictures drawn from Google+ profiles
  7. Pigeon — July 24, 2014—Changes in the way local listings were used and how location is determined
  8. HTTPS/SSL Update — August 6, 2014–Google promised a mild preference for secured SSL sites
  9. Authorship Removed — August 28, 2014—All authorship was completely dropped from the search
  10. Panda 4.1 (#27) — September 23, 2014—major change affecting about 5% of searches
  11. “In The News” Box — October 2014—News items appeared in the Search more than before
  12. Penguin 3.0 — October 17, 2014—a further expansion of a previous update, affected about 1% of searches
  13. Pirate 2.0 — October 21, 2014—focus on punishing software piracy, content, and digital media piracy
  14. Penguin Everflux — December 10, 2014—Began a process of constant everyday updating of the algorithm

Pigeon Expands (UK, CA, AU) — December 22, 2014—major update that expanded the U.S. updates to other country’s Google sites (Moz, 2015)


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