What you need to know about Google’s major updates


What you need to know about Google’s major updates

Google’s algorithm changes all the time but every now and again they release major search algorithm updates to crack down on black hat SEO, spam and other manipulative strategies.

Over the last few years, Google has made a few major updates and these updates have been continually updated since their releases to ensure Google delivers the best results possible.

Google has made changes to its Penguin update just last month so we thought it would be a great time to refresh your minds on how these updates effect your SEO.

Better understand the direction Google is heading in:


Released: February 2011, last update: September 2014

Google’s Panda update targets low-quality content and poor website user experience. This was a huge algorithm update and had an impact on 11.8% of search queries across the web, where many websites that used large amounts of low-quality content and/or copied content from other websites were penalised.

With the Panda update, you need to focus on quality content, value and the user experience to ensure you avoid penalisation.


Released: April 2012, last update: October 2014

Panda targeted on-site manipulation; Google’s Penguin updates targets inbound link manipulation. This algorithm update targets paid links, link exchange and link campaigns with heavy anchor text.

These strategies have been fairly common in the past, which lead to Google taking action with penguin.

With the Panda update, it has lead to strategies pushing toward more natural link building techniques, such as blogging. This has also lead to websites creating higher quality content in order to receive higher quality links.


Released August/September 2013

Google’s Hummingbird makes Google more intelligent, returning better results for conversational or longtail queries.

In the past, Google focused more so on keywords throughout content, but Hummingbird explores deeper into the page to learn more about the content to deliver better results. Knowing the content better, Google can now deliver results that are capable of answering questions.

Hummingbird delivers content that Google believes best represents the end goal of the user instead of one that just mentions a keyword throughout the page. 

Luke Stanley