Google has been updated its algorithms time to time, to improve search engine results. That also affected and continuously search engine rankings of many websites. These are too many that anyone can hardly get them remember. So, to recall these algorithms at one place here I am providing some basic information about 9 major Google algorithms. : 

Google Panda:

Released Date: Feb 2011.

Effect: Lower the rank of low quality sites or we can say thin or duplicate sites. Improve the ranking of higher quality sites. Almost 12% SERP results affected by this algorithm.

Safety Checks:

Check your site content for plagiarism

Avoid Keyword Stuffing

Improve website’s user experience

Updates Till Now: Last Panda Update was Panda 4.2 on July 18,2015. It was 30thpanda update of Google.

Google Penguin:

Released Date: April 2012.

Effect: Aimed at lower the search engine rankings of the website that doesn’t follow google’s webmaster guideline by using black-hat seo techniques like unnatural link building, keyword spamming, doorway pages, etc.

Safety Checks:

Monitor Link Profile Growth

Check for penalty risks in webmaster

Get rid of harmful links through Google’s Disavow tool.

Updates Till Now: Last Penguin update was Penguin 4.0 on Sep. 23, 2016. The major problem with Penguin is that you will not notify ever if your website will be hit by this. So, you have to check your site’s back links time to time.

Hummingbird Algorithm:

Released Date: August 22,2013

Effect: It is complete new algorithm that helps Google to better interpret search queries and providing search results that match search intent. The use of synonym also has been optimized with Hummingbird. 

Safety Checks: 

Expand your keyword search with related search, synonyms, and co-occurring terms instead of using short-tail terms.

Identify the language your audience use to search similar keywords

Avoid exact-match, think concepts.

Google Pirate Update:

Released Date: Oct. 21,2014

Effects: Aimed at illegal torrent sites and other sites with large amounts of pirated content.

Safety Checks: Don’t distribute anyone’s content without the copyright owner’s permission. 🙂

Google Pigeon Update:

Released Date: Jul. 24,2014

Effects: Altered the results Google returns for queries in which the searcher’s location plays a part. According to Google, Pigeon created closer ties between the local algorithm and the core algorithm, meaning that the same SEO factors are now being used to rank local and non-local Google results. This update also uses location and distance as a key factor in ranking the results.

Safety Checks: 

Optimize your pages properly.

Set up a Google My Business page

Make sure your NAP is consistent across your local listings.

Get featured in relevant local directories.

Mobile Update:

Released Date: Apr. 21,2015

Effects: According to this update, mobile-friendly pages rank at the top of mobile search, while pages not optimized according to mobile are filtered out from the SERPs or down ranked. 

Safety Checks: 

Go mobile and focus on speed and usability

Take help from Google’s mobile-friendly test.

Optimized your site accordingly.

Google’s Rankbrain Update

Released Date: Oct. 26,2015

Effects: Rankbrain is a part of Hummingbird’s update. It is a machine learning system that helps Google to understand search queries meaning and provide best matching search results in response to those queries. It is also an important ranking factor in Google.

Safety Checks: 

Maximize User Experience

Do Competition Research properly 

Possum Update:

Released Date: Sep. 1,2016

Effects: Ensured that local results vary more depending on the searcher’s location. The closer a user to business’s address, the more chances user will show in local search results. 

Safety Checks: 

Do geo-specific rank tracking

Expand your list of local keywords

Fred Update

Released Date: Mar. 8, 2017

Effects: Targets sites that violate Google’s webmaster guidelines. Most effected sites are content sites with low quality articles.

Safety Checks:

Review Google’s guidelines

Watch out for thin content

Tried to list down important updates into one place. Hope that will help you to know in short and easy way. If I missed any please let me know. Comments are welcomed. 


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