Google challenges users to update their search algorithm numerous times per year. In the simple majority of cases, Essential Google algorithms updates are too small to notice. But, every once in a while, Google offers a change so basically, that it confuses the way we do SEO forever.

In this post, we will be including down eight of the most Essential Google algorithms changes. We will look into why these updates is introducing, how they work, and what improvements we has to make to our SEO strategies in response.

Before we start, let’s see if you have ever been affected by an algorithm update. All you need to do is launch Rank Tracker, sync it with your Google Analytics account, and change to Organic Traffic.

Just move your mouse over the dash lines on the graph to see if some algorithm updates correspond with your site’s traffic changes.

1. Panda


Released Date:- February 24, 2011

Panda is the real name of a Google algorithm update developed to reduce the prevalence of low-quality, small content in the search results, and to reward different, compelling content.

At the time Panda launched, user criticisms about the growing importance of content farms were growing rampant. 

Google’s Panda algorithm assigns pages a quality classification, used inside and reduce after human quality ratings, that is include as a ranking factor.

How It’s Work

Panda algorithm update names a so-called “quality score” to web pages. This score then worked as a ranking factor. 

Originally, the effects of Panda was mild, but in January 2016 it is permanently include into Google’s core algorithm. 

Since then, update rollouts have become more famous, so both Panda punishments and improving now happen faster.

Google is regularly changing and advancing the signals and metrics it uses to manage a website’s value. 

This allows Google to stay on top of what is consider good and bad content, and continuously provide an excellent user experience.

What Does Panda Target?

Google’s Panda Algorithm update targets websites with the following:

“Thin” onsite content

    • Domains lacking quality content over many pages do not provide a relevant user experience.
  • This could indicate pages with just a few sentences or pages with an inarticulate volume of words. Grammar and spelling matter!
    • If there is a large volume of duplicate content—pages with very related or specifically the same content—then this may be a sign of search engine manipulation.

Duplicate content

  • In the history, domains may have tried duplicated pages which targeted a special same keyword to try and improve their possibilities of ranking for this term.
    • It’s also known as spun content, this is copy automatically created by the software to fill web pages with keyword-rich, but ultimately poor quality, knowledge

Machine-generated content

Excessive onsite adverts

    • Pages which are flooded with adverts negotiate user experience.

Panda is not a Penalty

While there have certainly been cases of entire domains diving in rankings as a result of Panda updates, the algorithm is not a punishment.

It is still possible for websites which have been targeted by Panda to rank well overall.

This is because rather than decrease domains with spammy content, it simply decreases the specific pages to lower SERP position.

Panda Prevention

Preventing Google Panda from negatively affecting your site is quite simple. The best way to probably and sustainably improve SEO is to produce unique content, high-quality and not cut any difficulties along the way.

Digital marketers are always trying to build a campaign which panders to Essential Google algorithms decisions. From content strategies to professional website construction,

There are a number of factors to be kept in mind:

  • The page must provide the user with the knowledge, solution or service engaged.
  • A domain should become strong external links as references.
  • Backlinks are vital.
  • Panda reads your reviews.

2. Penguin


Released Date:- April 24, 2012

The Penguin algorithm update massively improved SEO, as Google targeted webspam and manipulative link building tactics. Here’s a complete history.

In 2012, Google officially started the webspam algorithm update which definitely targeted link spam and manipulative link building methods.

The webspam algorithm following became known as the Penguin algorithm update via a tweet from Matt Cutts, who was later head of the Google webspam team. 

While Google approved the algorithm named Penguin, there is no official word on where this name began. The Panda algorithm name came from one of the key engineers included with it, and it’s more than likely that Penguin started from a related source. 

One of my favourite Penguin naming methods is that it gives homage to The Penguin, from DC’s Batman.

Earlier to the Penguin algorithm, link quantity played a larger part in arranging a web page’s scoring when analyzed, crawled, and indexed by Google.

This involved when it came to ranking websites by these numbers for search results pages, some low-quality websites and sections of content appeared in more leading positions of the organic search results than they should have.

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Why Essential Google Algorithm Penguin Was Needed

Google’s battle on low-quality started with the Panda algorithm, and Penguin was an extension and increase to the magazine to fight this war.

Penguin was Google’s reply to the growing usage of managing search results and rankings by black hat link building methods.

The essential Essential google algorithms purpose was to gain greater control over and decrease the effectiveness of a number of blackhat spamming techniques.

By better understanding and rule the types of links websites and webmasters were earning. Penguin worked by ensuring that natural, reliable and relevant links rewarded the websites they looked to, while manipulative and spammy links were decreased.

Penguin only deals with a website’s incoming links. Google only looks at the links leading to the site in issue and does not look at the outgoing links at all from that site.

Initial Launch & Impact

At Penguin first launched in April 2012, it changed more than 3% of search results, according to Google’s own opinions.

Penguin 2.0, the fourth update including the original launch to the algorithm was published in May 2013 and affected about 2.3% of all questions.

Key Google Penguin Updates & Refreshers

There have been plenty of updates and refreshes to the Penguin algorithm since it was started in 2012, and possibly a number of other tweaks that have moved down in history as unknown algorithm updates

Google Penguin 1.1: March 26, 2012

This wasn’t a change to the algorithm itself, but the first refresh of the data within it.

In this case, websites that had originally been affected by the launch who had been dedicated to clearing up their link profiles saw some improvement, while others who had not been caught by Penguin first time round saw an impact.

Google Penguin 1.2: October 5, 2012

This was a different data refresh. It changed queries in the English language, as well as interested international queries.

Google Penguin 2.0: May 22, 2013

This was an also technically advanced version of the Penguin algorithm and improved how the algorithm affected search results.

Penguin 2.0 crashed around 2.3% of English inquiries, as well as other languages proportionately.

This was also the first Penguin update to look more difficult than the website’s homepage and important category pages for proof of link spam being directed to the website.

Google Penguin 2.1: October 4, 2013

The only refresh to Penguin 2.0 (2.1) came on October 4 of the current year. It hit about 1% of queries.

While there was no official statement from Google, data suggests that the 2.1 data refresh also promoted how deep Penguin looked into a website and crawled deeper and attended the further analysis as to whether spammy links were contained.

Google Penguin 3.0: October 17, 2014

While this was named as an important update, it was, in fact, another data refresh; allowing those changed by previous updates to develop and recover, while many others who had continued to use spammy link practices and had avoided the radar of the early impacts saw an impact.

Google Pierre Far reinforced this through a post on his Google+ profile and that the update would need a few weeks to roll out fully.

Far also declared that this update affected less than 1% of English search queries.

Google Penguin 4.0: September 23, 2016

Almost 2 years after the 3.0 refresh, the last Penguin algorithm update was launched.

The biggest difference with this iteration was that Penguin converted a part of the core algorithm.

When the algorithm transforms to become a part of the core, it doesn’t mean that the algorithm’s functionality has become or may change dramatically again.

It means that Google’s understanding of the algorithm has changed, not the algorithm itself.

Now running concurrently with the core, Penguin decides websites and links in real-time. This indicated that you can see the instant impacts of your link building or remediation work.

The new Penguin also was not closed-fisted in giving out link-based penalties but rather decreased the links themselves. This is a contradiction to the previous Penguin emphasis, where the negative was punished.

That meaning said studies and, from personal experience, algorithmic penalties relating to backlinks quite do exist.

Data released by SEO professionals as well as understanding algorithmic downgrades lifted through disavow files after Penguin 4.0, enforce this idea.

3. Hummingbird


Released Date:- August 22, 2013

Google becomes a new search algorithm, the system it uses to sort through all the learning it has when you search and come back with results. It’s called Hummingbird and below, what we know about it so far.

What is Hummingbird?

It’s the name of the new search algorithm that Google is doing, one that Google says should return more useful results.

So that “PageRank” Algorithm Is Dead?

No. PageRank is one of over 200 major ingredients that go into the Hummingbird method. It’s looking at PageRank — how important links to a page are believed to be — along with different factors like whether Google thinks a page is of good quality, the words related to it and many other things.

What does it mean that Hummingbird is now being used?

Remember of a car built in the 1950s. Its forces have a large engine, but it might also be an engine that requires things like fuel injection or be unable to use unleaded fuel. 

When Google shifted to Hummingbird, it’s as if it left the old engine out of a car and placed it in a new one. It also did this so fast that no one actually noticed the switch.

When was the last time Google replaced its algorithm this way?

Google tried to recall when any type of major renovation like this last happened. In 2010, the Caffeine Update was a large change.

But that was also a change frequently proposed to help Google better gather information indexing rather than ordering through the information.

Google Search Chief Amit Singhal said that perhaps 2001 when he first joined the company, was the last time the algorithm was so completely rewritten.

What about all these Penguin, Panda and other Updates?

Panda, Penguin and other updates were modifications to parts of the old algorithm, but not a complete replacement of the whole. Think of it over as an engine. 

Those things were as if the engine got a new oil filter or had an improved pump put in. Hummingbird is a brand new engine, though it remains to use some of the same parts of the old, like Penguin and Panda

What type of “New” search activity does Hummingbird help?

Conversational search is the best example Google gave. People, when conversing searches, may find it more helpful to have a conversation.

“What’s the nearest place to buy the iPhone 11 pro max to my home?” A traditional search engine might concentrate on finding matches for words — finding a page that says “buy” and “iPhone 11 pro max,” for instance.

Hummingbird should fully focus on the meaning following the words. That may better understand the original location of your home if you have shared that with Google. It might know that place means you want a brick-and-mortar store. 

It might get that “iPhone 11 pro max” is a particular type of electronic device provided by certain stores. Knowing all these definitions may help Google go beyond just exposing pages with matching words.

In special, Google said that Hummingbird is paying more care to each word in a query, ensuring that the entire query — the full sentence or conversation or meaning — is taken into account, rather than special words. 

The goal is that pages matching the purpose do better, rather than pages matching just a few words.

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4. Mobile


Released Date:- April 21, 2015

Google publish an important new mobile-friendly ranking algorithm that is create to give an increase to mobile-friendly pages in Google’s mobile search results.

The change is so significant that the date it appear is being referrer to by a mixture of names. Here, we are calling it mobilegeddon, but sometimes it’s also related to as mopocalypse, mobilepocalyse.

One of the best ways to make it is to test that Google analyses your web pages to be mobile-friendly by applying its Mobile-Friendly Test tool. More about the algorithm, including ways to bring change to the mobile-friendliness of your pages.

Google’s mobile-friendly update hit the foundation for all other tweaks and updates to the mobile SERPs. It solved the problem of getting people to invest dollars into their site to make them mobile-friendly, and set the tone for our industry going forward:

If you aren’t mobile-friendly, you are not allow to hang out here anymore.

Looking forward, this was the precursor to the coming mobile-first indexing action Google will anytime soon roll out to the world, which will set the mobile experience.

While the result of this update, in common sense, may have been short, this was by far one of the most significant milestones in the history of Google’s algorithms.

Google Goes Mobile-first

This was not just an algorithm update, it was a social shift, and Google was about to move the market.

A common misunderstanding about Google is that they are trouble with making search people’s lives more complicate with changes like this.

Google is control with improving the user experience as much as possible and following it with user behavior and aims in the market.

This update was not really about organic search. It was about returning to customer behavior, which was trending in the direction of mobile.

Google made a decision to turn and adjust to buyer behavior. And it was the right decision for Google.

Why does Google worry so much about a user’s experience with their search engine? Mainly because most of their revenue still grows from paid ads.

They need to provide the best experience so people keep clicking on them and supporting their free lunches and robotic dreams.

So far Google has been second to none in delaying and turning to search trends. Google’s crystal ball is original, and it works.

Mobilegeddon 2.0

About a year later, on March 16, 2016, Google declare that they would be increasing their mobile-friendly ranking signal in early May and giving a more powerful ranking boost to these who complied.

The Legacy of Mobilegeddon

In the end, Google both prove and learn a few things were possible with this update:

  • They can determine change behind traffic and rankings, and get people to change how they create their sites to support the market.
  • Not all algorithm updates have to be a complicated mess to understand.
  • When you provide people sufficient time to prepare and understand a correction is coming, you can avoid inciting a riot.

The first and last points on that list are the two most important to note. This update was a huge step forward for Google both in how they communicated with our business and the types of change they can change impact upon.

To this day this was reasonably the softest and most successful rollout that Google has done concerning their algorithm updates.

5. RankBrain


Release Date:- October 26, 2015

What is Google RankBrain? How does it work? Can you optimize for it? Here’s everything you need to know about Google’s RankBrain algorithm.

It is not an enhancement to state that Google RankBrain is a change in how search results are achieve.

In 1996 the idea of links as a ranking signal changed search with what would become Google PageRank.

A lot has arrive, and a lot of huge shakeups and algorithms have been include since then, but arguably none as significant as RankBrain.

As we will explain below, this is not due only to its influence on results but rather something it means – machine learning is add into what we think of as a search for the first time.

What Is RankBrain?

RankBrain is a method by which Google can better know the likely user intent of a search query. It was roll out at the beginning of 2015, but not announce until October 26 of that year.

In the beginning, RankBrain was apply to doubts that Google has not previously found which consider then and still do, for about 15% of all searches. It was develop from there to change all search results.

At its core, RankBrain is a computer learning system that builds off Hummingbird, which took Google from strings to things environment.

This is to say, it took it from reading written characters, and instead of seeing the entity, they described.

Why Did Google Introduce RankBrain?

RankBrain was originally roll out to satisfy one simplistic but large problem.

Google had not seen 15% of questions used, and as such had no meaning for them, nor past analytics to decide if their results were good or not at satisfying the user’s intent.

How Does RankBrain Work?

Unsurprisingly, Google has never described how RankBrain functions individually.

But, we can make some trained opinions about what’s going on behind the displays.

New Search Function

As argued above, we need to stop believing in terms we know and start thinking like a machine.

Where I might see:

“pizza victoria bc”

Google sees:

/m/0663v /m/07ypt

Basically, because they know the species of how things function, they can look behind the query, and into the object.

Common Entities

As described above, one of the core devices they will use is entity identification. 

If they understand that a question contains the same things as another they have seen already with little in the way of qualifiers then that would be evidence that the result sets may be equal, extremely related, or at least moved from the same shortlist of URLs.


Remember that this is a machine learning method. Original in that is the function to discover, test, track, and improve.

Basically, the system will be looking at questions with a benefit metric in mind.

It will then change how it weights different signals and which it supports and then watch for success.

This will not be make on a query-by-query basis. 

Remember, this system started to address the difficulty of queries that Google had never found before, there are going to often be no-or-low volume words that can’t be controlled themselves.

6. Medic


Released Date:- May 4, 2018

Google is regularly updating and developing their algorithms to provide more clean, high-quality search results for users looking to solve pain or difficulties. In August, Google moved out a broad core algorithm update which has been called the ‘Medic Update’ online.

Since the update is publish, many businesses have report a significant shift in their website’s search engine rankings – and not all for the better.

See the rest of the blog to read more about what Google’s Medic Update is and how it operates, who’s been changed and how you can grow and protect your B2B website in that face of it.

What Is The Google Medic Update?

It was a push for the search engine giant to help improve the connecting of authority and expertise online. 

This is done threw the algorithm’s core ranking factors to assure the quality, reliable and expert content is getting rank in the search results.

Who’s Been Affect?

While Google climb that the algorithm update was a large, global one, it look to have a huge effect on health and medical, financial, legal and “Your Money Your Life” sites.

This is why the update was composed as the Medic update due to the number of websites in that niche that reported a huge change in their rankings.

If you think you may have been hit by this update, we suggest that you review your rankings and connect them to their positions from before 1st August and note down the changes.

If you have seen a meaningful drop, don’t panic. There are some things you can do that will help you hold over your ranking positions better.

How to Fix It?

Google has given a user guideline for its search quality evaluation. There is a lot to take in but we did recommend a centre on section 4.0 which discuss “High-Quality Pages”. Google’s step of these pages is known as “Expertise-Authorotativeness-Trustworthiness” or “E-A-T” for short.

Those who were negatively affected could have been down to ideas where “Trust” was a problem. Here are some examples of how you could address these issues:

  • If a site was trading a product that could compromise safety
      • Review and assure there aren’t any issues as to their safety.
  • Negative reputation
      • Improve the trust of your page by adding clear and helpful contact information and customer service pages which can be easily navigate to.
  • Lack of positive reputation compared to competitors and/or a great number of negative reviews
      • Work on developing this by gaining more accurate feedback and reviews from customers
  • Lack of authority in the industry
    • Build authority by increasing backlinks from other high-quality, reliable websites in your niche.

Other things you can do to enhance the E-A-T of your website is to secure a high standard through:

  • Maintaining the quality of your content and creating certain the expertise of the author writing the content. Your content should also be evaluate and updated regularly, too
  • Maintaining and updating the website means demonstrating to Google that you have up-to-date information for your guests
  • Creating an innovator profile or biography of the people who write your content and link to any relevant URLs that can help Google recognise their expertise – i.e. linking to any whitepapers, published journals, their social media account.


Released Date:- October 22, 2019

Google publish what they called the most important update in five years. The BERT update affects 10% of search questions. What is BERT and how will it impact SEO?

What is BERT?

BERT, which is for Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers, is a neural network-base method for natural language processing pre-training. 

In common English, it can be use to help Google better see the context of words in search inquiries.

For instance, in the phrases “nine to five” and “a quarter to five,” the word “to” has two separate meanings, which may be visible to humans but less so to search engines. 

BERT is design to separate between such differences to facilitate more important results.

Google open-sourced BERT in November 2018. This implies that anyone can use BERT to train their personal language processing system for question answering or different tasks.

How does BERT work?

The discovery of BERT is in its capacity to train language models based on the whole set of words in a sentence or query rather than the traditional way of training on the required sequence of words.

BERT allows the language model to learn word context based on surrounding words rather than just the word that directly leads or follows it.

Google calls BERT “strongly bidirectional” because the contextual information of words starts “from the very bottom of a deep neural network.”

Google has given several examples of how BERT’s application in Search may change results.

Does Google Use BERT to Make Understanding Of All Searches?

No, not specifically. BERT will improve Google’s understanding of about one in 10 searches in English in the U.S.

“Especially for longer, also conversational queries, or researches where prepositions like ‘for’ and ‘to’ matter a lot to the purpose, Search will be able to know the meaning of the words in your inquiry,” Google wrote in its blog post.

However, not all queries are conversational or combine prepositions. Branded searches and shorter expressions are just two examples of types of queries that may not need BERT’s normal language processing.

How will BERT impact my featured snippets?

As we saw in the example above, BERT may affect the results that appear in featured snippets when it’s applies.

In another instance below, Google compares the featured snippets for the query “parking on a hill with no curb,” explaining, “In the past, a query like this would involve our systems — we placed too much value on the word ‘curb’ and ignored the word ‘no’, not realising how critical that word was to properly respond to this query.

What other Google products might BERT Affect?

Google’s advice for BERT pertains to Search only, though, there will be some force on the Assistant as well. When queries transferred on Google Assistant trigger it to provide featured snippets or web results from Search, those results may be affected by BERT.

Google say that BERT isn’t currently being use for ads, but if it does get mixed in the future, it may help ease some of the bad close variants matchings that plague sponsors.

8. Core Updates

Released Date:- 2017 – Present

Thankfully, Google presented us with a more useful clue when they updated their quality raters guidelines on July 20th, 2018. The quality raters guidelines are the instructions that human raters are prepare to use in order to score the quality of pages and their importance for search queries.

Those scores have no direct result on how Essential Google algorithms work, but they are use to develop Google’s algorithms. Machine learning algorithms are instruct on these scores, any manual changes to the algorithm are design to assure that better-scored pages do to rank higher for the right doubts.

In short, if you are building pages that would take a high score from human raters following those guidelines, particularly for the kinds of search queries you are attempting to rank for, there is a better chance you will rank higher for those inquiries.

In the post that follows, we will review what those changes were, as well as any other marks pointing to what may have become with the algorithm, to ensure that you can rank well following this update.

What Is Google Core Algorithm Update?

Before we jump below into what changes were most likely make by the algorithm update, it’s great that we understand specifically what type of update this is.

Let’s start with what a core algorithm update is not. It is not a focus update like Panda or Penguin mean to address a specific issue. 

Update like these are new algorithms which are include into the main algorithm, sometimes run fully separate from it aside from giving the main algorithm with a score or classifier of some description which is then use to weak rankings.

A core algorithm update suggests that the main algorithm itself has been renovate in some way. 

This can involve changing the way in which some existing ranking factors was weight upon one another. How they communicate with one another, or how they form a cohesive entity.

This may also include modifications  to improve efficiency like Caffeine or, like Hummingbird, how it performs user queries.

It’s also completely possible that the update include new ranking factors that weren’t before taken into evidence.

Broad Core Algorithm Update Clues

  • The update was concentrate on providing better search results
  • There is nothing wrong with sites that failed rankings
  • There is no space to “fix” sites that lost rankings
  • The changes are focused on the content but it is not a “quality” issue

This is possibly related to previous core algorithm updates, only on a broader range. Google has been updating the core algorithm on a daily basis as at least 2012.

Google Squashes Usual Phantom Update Speculation

That Sullivan went out of his way to specifically declare there is nothing to fix can be seen as a pre-emptive move to stop the baseless thought that Google was targeting low-quality websites.

Takeaway 1: What is Google Improving?

I read the current research papers and patents. Research today is concentrate on 22 areas. None of that analysis focuses on targeting low-quality web pages.

Here are areas that relate most to SEO

  • Understanding User Intent
  • Understanding Content

Takeaway 2: This is True Not About Low-Quality

You will notice that I do not mention research about finding low-quality web pages. That’s because it is not something that Google’s researchers direct on.

One has to reach back several years to find research papers and patents that are associate with finding low-quality content. The majority of information retrieval research is focus on user intent and understanding content itself.

Takeaway 3: Seriously, What Can be Done to Regain Ranking?

Although Google declared there is no fix, SEO is proactive. Google suggested waiting for your content to rise related to other pages. But that’s declared on your content is “great” and more important, on your content being greater than your opponent.

In my point of view, a way out involves creating content. That is not direct on keywords but on solving problems. Focusing on the problems that site visitors want to solve may be rich.

I hope you get better learning about Essential Google Algorithms.

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