This writing is a continuation of the previous post, titled, “Major Google Algorithm Updates of the Past Decade (Part I)”, in which the algorithm updates from the year 2000-2005 were taken into consideration. This writing gives a detail of the updates from the year 2006, till present date. The updates are mentioned below and the person having interaction with internet marketing world must have to keep him/herself deeply.
The major update of year 2006 is given below.
Supplemental Update- After a long year of changes in supplemental index, Google, in November 2006, declared that supplemental was not a penalty.
The major updates that took place in the year 2007 were:
Universal Search- Rolled out in May 2007, though this update was not an algorithmic update, but Google did integrate News, Images, and Videos with search results.
Buffy- In June 2007, Google named the accumulated algorithm changes as Buffy.
2008 witnessed two major algorithm changes, which are given below:
Dewey- Though the real reasons still unknown, webmasters speculated that Google was including its internal features in the search, like Google Books in April 2008.
Google Suggest- In August 2008, Google introduced the suggest feature, where suggestions would appear below the search box while user typed query.
The major updates that took place in Google’s algorithm in year 2009 were:
Vince- The first major update introduced in February, which would go on to favor big brands, and had long term implications.
Rel-canonical Tag- The second update in February, in which all the major search engines supported canonical tags.
Caffeine- Introduced in August, the major objective of this update was to speed crawling, integrate indexation, expanding of index, and ranking the website in real-time.
Real-time Search- introduced in December, this update integrated real time feeds from Twitter, Google News, and more with the SERPs.
The year 2010 witnessed numerous changes in the algorithm of Google. The major changes are given below.
Google Places- In April, Google with this update, integrated local search results with Places pages, and added features like local advertising.
May Day- In the month of May, webmasters witnessed a significant drop down in their long-tail traffic, which was later confirmed by Google.
Caffeine (Rollout) – With this update in June, the Google index became 50% fresher and crawling was made tighter.
Brand Update- This was not a conventional algorithm update, but with this update in August, Google allowed the appearance of same domain multiple times in SERPs.
Google Instant- An elaborated form of Google Suggest, this update was introduced in September, as per this update, suggestions would appear in response to the query being typed by the user.
Instant Previews- With this update, in November, a user was able to view the landing page, whilst staying on the SERPs.
Negative Reviews- Google made a big change in December. The websites that were ranking on their negative reviews were targeted in this update.
Social Signals- The second update in December. Google confirmed that it considers social signals from Facebook and Twitter in ranking of a website. It brings social media optimization impact in the ranking of any website.
The year 2011 was the year that witnessed most changes in algorithm in the past decade. This was the year when internet marketing services providers had to be on their toes and had to make frequent adjustments in their strategies. The major updates are given below.
Overstock dot com Penalty- The websites like JCPenney that had black hat SEO tactics, were hit by this update in January 2011.
Attribution Update- This update in January, helped in sorting out scrapers and content attributors.
Farmer- A corner stone to Panda update, this update started hitting websites with content farms, high ad-to-content ratio, and thin content in February.
Panda 2.0- The new Panda update was released for worldwide English queries and other data was also integrated with the update in April 2011.
Panda 2.1- In May 2011, another Panda update was rolled out, but Google did not elaborated on any changes.
Schema.org- Yahoo, Microsoft, and Google supported a consolidation approach in structured data giving it the name of Schema in June 2011.
Panda 2.2- The Panda was further updated and officially acknowledged.
Google+- The social media competitor of Facebook introduced by Google in June 2011.
Panda 2.3- This update was not acknowledged, but was a mere speculation of webmasters.
Panda 2.4- In August 2011, the Panda update was rolled out globally.
Expanded Sitelinks- Pertaining to Brand queries, Google introduced expanded site-links in August 2011.
Pagination Elements- In September, Google introduced rel= “next” and rel= “prev” link attributes to fix duplication and crawling issues.
Panda 2.5- Another Panda update in September, the details of which remained unclear.
Query Encryption- As per this update, from October 2011, Google started to encrypt search queries for the sake of user privacy.
Freshness Update- According to this update, the freshness of content affected 35% of the queries from November onwards.
Panda 3.1- Another update in Panda sequels, which occurred in November, but were not officially acknowledged by Google.
Three major updates that took place this year in the month of January are:
Ads above the Fold- Some webmasters referred to this update as “Top Heavy”, as per which, the algorithm devalued sites with high ad-space above the fold.
SPYW- Google pushed Google+ forcefully in the SERPs, in the form of search + your world update.
January 30-Pack- Google acknowledged over 30 changes in the month of January, like rich snippets, related-query improvement, and inclusion of search landing-pages.
The above-mentioned updates show that how Google algorithm has evolved over the past decade, and it is still in the evolution process. All webmasters are on their toes to the further changes that will take place in this year.