5 Major Google Algorithm Updates

Google Search Engine UpdatesGoogle Algorithm updates are a multifaceted system used to recover data from its search indexes and instantly carry the best possible result for a query. The various search engine uses a combination of algorithms and numerous ranking signals to deliver webpages sited by significance on its Search Engine Result Pages.

Almost every day, Google presents something new to its ranking algorithms. The changes vary from tiny tweaks to significant changes that shake up the Search Engine Result Pages or SERPs. Google has a very sophisticated algorithm to serve the search results, and it changes gradually. The formula Google uses to rank the resulting web-pages from a user’s query is Google Algorithm updates.

Working of Google Search Engine Algorithm

The search engine is the answering machine to any query of the user. To show up in search results, they exist to discover, understand, and organize the internet’s content into an order. Search Engines are performing primary three functions – Crawling, Indexing, and Ranking.


Crawling is the detection process in which search engines send out a team of crawlers to find newly updated content. Content can vary in different forms like webpages, images, PDF, videos, etc. but the material discovered by links, regardless of the format. Spiders or crawlers work in a specific way, hopping from link to link to find new webpages. Crawling is the fundamental part of having a search engine to recognize your page and to show it in search results.


Indexing is the course in which search engines organize information before a search enables rapid response to the queries. By index, we mean where your discovered pages stored, and after the process of finding and analyzing content by search engines, all of that information stored in an index. Once the content extracted, the crawler or spider puts it on the visited indexed pages and organizes all data. The data then used to check the relevance of the page with similar pages.


By ranking under SEO, we mean that it is the process of positioning the website in Search Engine Result Pages. Multiple factors affect the positioning of your content or influence whether a website appears higher on the SERPs based on the relevance of the user, quality of backlinks referring to the page. Search visibility means how prominently your content displayed or shown in search engine results.

Why Google Algorithm change?

Google AlgorithmGoogle is altering its search engines algorithms frequently, in a way to move that is sure to annoy everybody involved in SEO. In its early years, Google only made a handful of changes to its algorithms, but now Google makes thousands of moves every year. Most of these updates are slight that they go entirely unnoticed. Google focuses on updating its search algorithms to deliver the best result for each search result.

Five Major Google Algorithm Updates

Google is reasonably transparent about how it offers rank to different sites. Google issued five major google algorithm updates, named Panda, Penguin, Hummingbird, Pigeon, and Mobile-Friendly. In between these significant tweaks, Google engineers also made some algorithms that were not heavily publicized but had an impact on the ranking of your website in search results. Let’s discuss these updates in brief:

Google Panda

Google Panda update introduced on February 24, 2011. The primary and foremost goal of this algorithm was to reduce the number of low-grade or low-rank sites appearing at or near the top results of Google. Initially, Panda was a filter rather than an algorithm, but in January 2016, it officially incorporated in ranking Algos. It deals with hazards as follows:

  • Thin content
  • Keyword stuffing
  • Plagiarism
  • Poor user experience
  • Duplicate content
  • User-generated spam

This algorithm was the first significant step that Google took in more precisely, providing value and up-to-date data to users and filtering out the ones of low-quality. If you want consistent top ranking on Google, you can regularly check your website with a site crawler.

The Panda:

  • Analyze the content of the website
  • Governs its quality
  • Sites the data as per the quality norms

Google Penguin

Google Penguin algorithm launched on April 24, 2012 in Google Algorithm Updates. It shares a joint base with Panda to give better and current outputs, and it also emphasizes on the backlink profiles of the sites that affect their ranking. Since 2016, it is a part of the core ranking Algo of Google and operates in real-time, which means penalties are now applied faster, and recovery also takes less time. The risks associated with this are as follows:

  • Paid links
  • Links coming from sites created purely for SEO link buildings
  • Overly optimized anchor text links.
  • Irrelevant sites links.
  • Links coming from poor-quality, spammy sites

The Penguin:

  • Is entirely automatic.
  • Holds your website with natural and reliable links.
  • Make a worthy link to count a vote for your website.

Google Hummingbird

Google Hummingbird is another Google Algorithm update launched on September 26, 2013. The name of the algorithm originates from its capability of being precise, fast, which aims to focus on the meaning of the word or phrase to provide better results in search. It interprets search queries and offering the search results that match user intent, rather than individual keywords within the question. The points triggering Hummingbird are as follows:

  • Keyword stuffing
  • Exact-match keyword

This algorithm helps Google to:

  • Interpret search queries effectively.
  • Deliver appropriate results that comply with the user’s intent.
  • Make a page rank above for an asked query.

Google Pigeon

Google Pigeon algorithm released on July 24, 2014. It created closer ties between the local algorithm and the core algorithm, and it means that the same SEO factors used to rank local or non-local Google results. The hazards related to this algorithm are as follows:

  • NAP inconsistency
  • Poorly optimized pages
  • Lack of citations in local directories
  • Inappropriate setup of a Google My Business Page

Google’s Mobile Update

Mobile Results GoogleGoogle’s Mobile-Friendly or also known as the Mobilegeddon algorithm, launched on April 21, 2015. It focused on mobile optimization and usability of sites. It meant to ensure that pages optimized for mobile devices rank at the top of search results, and down-rank pages that are not mobile-friendly. The risks associated with it are as follows:

  • Unreadable content
  • Absence of the mobile version of the page
  • Plugin use
  • Inappropriate view front arrangement



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