Google Algorithm Update

Google Algorithm Update

Search engines benefit from the SERP system since the results pages require ranking. Google algorithms are regularly authorized every year to display the most relevant web pages during a query process. Therefore, Google regularly updates its search algorithm every year. 

Most of them do not directly or indirectly influence your website appearance on the result pages based on SEO. However, sometimes Google releases major algorithm updates like Penguin and Panda, which noticeably impacts search results and changes ranking. Every e-marketer interested in SEO should be aware of the release dates of Google updates because knowing what has been added or removed with each update can help you understand changes in rankings and organic site traffic. Thus, you become able to improve search engine optimization strategies.

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The Definition of Google Algorithm Updates 

Google algorithms are software programmed to display the best possible result for a query. These complex systems are to rank in the SERP based on the relevance of the query. In the early years, Google used to release very few updates in its algorithms. However, nowadays, the Google Team develops and releases thousands of algorithm updates every year.

The Importance Of Google Algorithm Updates

Google algorithm updates may end up decreases in your website’s ranking, especially when your content is duplicated version of another or demonstrates low-quality. To avoid getting affected negatively, keep updating and reorganizing irrelevant and low-quality content, or remove them as soon as possible. As Screpy experts, we have to remind you that websites offering poor content to users will not satisfy both Google and information-seekers. As a result, your website will be called “notorious” due to an unsatisfied user experience.

The main point you should pay attention to while producing content is to prepare content for search users. In this way, you can utilize users’ search habits to highlight your content in the rankings. In addition, while producing content, you should provide more than what your competitors offer to users and provide useful information to your target audience.

You should track the Google algorithm updates as much as you can and apply SEO strategies according to your target audience. A high SEO score is through satisfied internet users, while satisfying users is about providing them with the best and highest quality content.

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Year by Year Major Google Algorithm Updates

Below, we have made a list of the algorithm changes that greatly impact the Google Search Engine, based on the information provided by Screpy experts.

Şimdiye kadarki Başlıca Google algoritma güncellemelerinin tam listesi. -  Affdu

Google Toolbar – December 2000

The Google browser toolbar update brought with it a toolbar called Pagerank. With Toolbar Pagerank (TBPR), Google optimization has been renewed, and the first and most important optimization update in history has been released. The phenomenon known as Google Dance emerged when network administrators started to utilize TBPR.

Boston – February 2003

This update was Google’s first named update and was named Boston because it was announced in Boston. Initially, Google planned it as a major monthly update and innovation that would reveal the Google dance. However, Google gave up on this idea since updates required narrower intervals and radically implemented the changes with new updates.

Cassandra – April 2003

One Cassandra To Destroy All Poor Quality Links

Google felt uncomfortable about link quality issues, such as heavy links from public domains. That’s why the Google team started taking extreme measures to prevent such link exploits. As the fruit of these measures, the Cassandra update has been released, putting an obstacle in front of hidden links and hidden texts. The update has brought great solutions for common domains problems such as connection quality. 

Google Index Update – September 2003

With this update, Google had separated some search results from its companion index. To index more documents without losing performance, Google divided some results into ” integrative indexes.” Accordingly, it was stated that the performance ranking would be reconsidered and readjusted. Besides, the risks of having results that would be complementary until the index was later reintegrated was a Search Engine Optimization topic that many companies hotly debated.

Florida – November 2003

The Florida update caused a lot of changes. What’s more, it caused a kind of carnage in search engine rankings because Florida had almost put an end to keyword tactics. As such, major companies declared their negative feelings about the new Florida update. That’s why the Florida update had a huge impact on the Search Engine Optimization industry because, with this update, Google had told everyone how to play the game.

Austin – January 2004

It was released as a better version of Florida and to declare Google’s own rules. With the Austin update, hidden text and Meta tags and all other misleading were taken away from the game. According to most people, this update had shown that Google has activated its algorithm called “Hilltop” and started to take page relevance seriously.

Brandy – February 2004

With this update, Google implemented many changes, including a major index expansion. SLI was capable of detecting keywords and synonyms and has taken word tracking to the next level. 

Gilligan – September 2005

Google stated that index data is not updated monthly but rather daily. But at the same time, Google noted that some data and toolbars receive updates at 90-day intervals.

Jagger – October 2005

Jagger was released by Google within a 3-month phase. The update’s main purpose was to provide a higher quality internet environment by targeting paid connections and poor quality connections.

Big Daddy – December 2005

This infrastructure update focused on URLs and redirects and took several months to release fully. It took so long to be implemented that it was due in March 2006 for it to be completely finished. The Big Daddy update reworked the technical issues of Google canonicalizing URLs, redirects, etc.

Universal Search – May 2007

Google made adjustments to local search results and removed the old 10-list search engine results page. Besides with this update, which impacted the format deeply, new options such as news and videos were integrated into local search results. 

Google Suggestion – August 2008

Did you mean “this”?

As a big change, the Google suggestion option was introduced to Google users. It is aimed to make the searches made by the visitors more accurate through possible suggestion options and to enrich the results to be displayed. 

Caffeine (Preview) – August 2009

It was an update that Google offered as a previewed major infrastructure change. It was announced that this update would take many years to be comprehensive. Besides, it was possible to speed up navigation in real-time, integrate and expand indexing in this way.

Panda Update  – August 2011

Although the Caffeine update released in the past years offered a fast internet experience, it also had some bad effects. This is because some site owners who tried to abuse the algorithm that came with the published Caffeine update increased the production of poor quality content. For this very reason, Google has released the Panda update to eliminate low-quality content.

The Panda update showed how poor and rich content affects ranking in search results. This new update, which affects all websites, has especially destroyed websites that duplicate others’ content.

Penguin Update  – April 2012

It was released as a follow-up to the Panda update and included penalizing over-optimized and abusive websites. With the update, restrictions and penalties were introduced for spammy activities that use excessive keywords or aim to mislead Google in some way. Thus, it was planned to prevent the manipulation of search results. In particular, all websites that obtained back-links with black-hat links were penalized by Google.

DMCA Penalty – August 2012

Google has announced that it will begin penalizing sites that violate copyright. Google informed the websites and users that punishments would take place in line with the requests from the DMCA protection system.

Hummingbird  – September 2013

Designed to provide quick and precise results, Hummingbird was the most comprehensive indexing update after Caffeine and empowered search results. With the update, semantic searches were greatly improved so that Google could become able to detect search queries better. 

Algorithm changes that come with Hummingbird, which is still a part of Google and greatly affect SEO rankings, use natural language processing (NLP).

Page Layout #3  – February 6, 2014

Google has reworked its page layout algorithm and penalized sites that abuse the ranking by using excessive advertisements attached in headlines.

Pirate 2.0  –  October 21, 2014


Google was dissatisfied with the rise of software and digital media piracy. For this reason, to prevent theft of content without paying copyright, the company introduced the pirate update to users. As a result, the ranking of copyright-free websites has decreased noticeably.

Mobilegeddon Update  – April 2015

With the Mobilegeddon update, Google, for the first time, evaluated whether a website is mobile-friendly. Looking for a solution to the increase in mobile usage and thus mobile searches, Google found the necessary key with the Mobilegeddon update. Any website that is not mobile-friendly and has a very small font size, and displays content that is not adjusted for different screen sizes has been penalized by Google. Websites packed with mobile-friendly features have taken priority in search results since then.

RankBrain Update  – October 26, 2015

Google’s artificial intelligence-powered RankBrain algorithm uses machine learning to help searchers see more relevant results. It handles the person’s search with a more personalized understanding by analyzing past search results and implied words.

In summary, RankBrain can detect the complexity of words and phrases by learning on its own. For this reason, the websites most affected by the RankBrain storm were those that did not use relevant terms in their content.

Maccabees Update –  December 12, 2017

It was an update released to regulate how the same keywords repeatedly but different websites affect search results. This algorithm update most impacts individual web pages.

BERT  – October 22, 2019

In order to better understand why the query is made, Google has released the BERT update that will better understand the depth of meaning in words used in the page and search queries. BERT update is still a consideration when creating content, even if the initial impact on websites fell short of expectations.

Google January 2020 Core Update – January 2020

With this update released on a January morning, publishing content that will satisfy users has become a necessity rather than an option. This update, which shakes the content-creator websites in the health and finance industry like an earthquake, has penalized less credible websites. 

Google has released a de-duping update for sites that are featured in Featured Snippets but are also on the first page. This update is an application that directly concerns the sites that are in the first place in the search results. Before the update, a web page in the snippet location could be found twice on the first page of search results. However, this new update by Google now prevents this. If a site is displayed in Featured Snippets, then the same page will not appear on the first page. 

In summary, after the update, a web page will have only one right to appear on the first page. 

Google December 2020 Core Update  – December 2020

This update was the third and last major update offered by Google in 2020. The update mainly affected news sites that directly concern SERP features.

Google Algorithm Update

How To Survive From A Google Algorithm Update

Each Google Algorithm Update is released with a specific purpose and pattern. The main purpose of each update is to enhance internet users’ experience and provide them with the most relevant/high-quality result possible.  While all this is happening, Google also wipes out websites with poor content from ranking so that users can find the “thing” they are looking for as quickly as possible. 

For this reason, we have summarized the steps you can follow to survive after a Google Algorithm Update as Screpy experts.

  1. Visibility in search engines is important, but your main goal should be to get your target audience while producing content.
  2. You should prepare your content in a way that engages users. How you engage will vary depending on the content of your website. An e-commerce site and a blog site may have a point in common, but in general terms, the methods of attracting users are different.
  3. Make sure your website has a smooth navigation interface. 
  4. You should avoid using a single flat content type. Using a variety of content styles, such as visuals, videos, graphics, infographics, gifs, enriches the content of your website while engaging visitors.
  5. As a method that you can always follow, you should monitor your website regularly and frequently. In this way, you can take quick action in case of a potential problem.

What To Consider After An Google Algorithm Update

Before or after every update, there are factors that you should keep in mind and never skip. In particular, you should pay attention to the following variables.

  • When determining your content strategy, you should create it for users’ queries or keywords.
  • You should refresh, improve and, if possible, enrich the existing content.
  • You can strengthen your content that seems insufficient, and you should no-index it.
  • You should make sure that your internal links are correctly hyperlinked.
  • For the quality of your content, make sure that experts in the field create it. Plus, it’s always reassuring and wise to attach a profile of experts who produced the content.
  • You should detect and remove malicious links.

Now we are going to answer frequently asked questions about Google algorithm updates based on Screpy expertise.


What Is Google Algorithm Update?

Every year, Google algorithm updates its algorithm to adjust web page rankings in SERPs while adding new options/ features and getting rid of old-fashioned ones.

Why Does Google Algorithm Always Change?

Google regularly changes its algorithm, aiming to provide the quickest and most relevant results for users at all times.

How Can I Know If There Is A Google Algorithm Update?

Google releases a great number of algorithm updates every year. For this reason, you may have to sacrifice a lot of your time to keep track of changes related to algorithm updates. On top of that, Google does not explain many of the changes it makes regarding the algorithm, which is another factor that makes this process very difficult. However, internet tools such as Algaroo SERPWoo and SERPmetrics will make it easier for you to follow updates.

What to Do Against 2021 Google Algorithm Updates?

There are many things you can do about Google algorithm updates. First, you should create high-quality, rich, and relevant content for your target audience and not abuse SEO tactics. If you follow these, it is unlikely that you will have problems after any update.

Will There Be A New Google Algorithm Update For 2021?

The answer is an inevitable yes. Google has been releasing updates regularly since the beginning of the millennium and will continue to do so. As long as Google exists, new updates will come with it.


Google algorithms are a set of programs designed to help users find the best among millions of websites. Thanks to Google’s algorithms and regular updates, it is aimed to provide the best results by understanding queries. Also, it should be noted that SERP (Search Engine Results Page) has a direct relationship with Google algorithms since Google utilizes the SERP system to rank search results.

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