What are the Different Google Algorithm Updates?

Google Updates are crucial activities everywhere, for webmasters and SEOs. These improvements in algorithms, philters, refreshments of data, or other alterations are mostly to blame when a website experiences a decrease in ranking or SEO visibility. Here we’re giving a rundown of all the relevant Google Updates.


This update was jokingly referred to by Google’s Gary Illyes as “Fred” and the name ended up sticking. But for those affected, this algorithm was no laughing matter. This big update of the algorithm seemed to target low-value content primarily. Illyes has officially confirmed the update on March 24.

Intrusive Interstitials Update:

Google revealed an imminent update on August 23, 2016, that would target distracting interstitials and pop-ups on mobile devices that harm the search experience. This update rolled out on January 10, 2017, as expected. The effect of this change was marginal on the rankings.

Mobile-Friendly Update (#2):

The second mobile-friendly update (or “Mobilegeddon 2”) was an update to the first mobile-friendly update from Google, intended to “increase the ranking signal effect.”


Although it’s been in testing since April 2015, on that date Google officially launched RankBrain. RankBrain is a machine-learning algorithm that philters search results to help users answer their question in the best way possible. RankBrain was originally used for about 15 percent of requests, but now it’s active in almost every question Google entered into.

Panda Core Algorithm

Google announced the integration of Panda into the core Google algorithm, apparently as part of the sluggish Panda 4.2 rollout. In other words, after completing its job, Panda was no longer a philter added to the Google algorithm but was implemented as another of its key ranking signals.

Penguin Update:

It was merged into Google’s core algorithm in the final update to the Penguin algorithm, meaning that Penguin was now analyzing websites and links in real-time. Another major change was the Penguin devalued ties, instead of downgrading the page rankings.

Hummingbird Update:

A big revision of Google’s core search technology was the Hummingbird update. As a result of the emergence of conversational search, Google needed a way to better interpret and return the most important outcomes to more complex queries. Google said about 90 percent of searches worldwide have been influenced by the new algorithm.

Pigeon Update:

To impact local search results, Pigeon update was a vital local search change that saw Google start using more conventional website ranking signals. It also strengthened Google’s criteria for distance and position rating.

Payday Loan Update:

Google’s Payday Loan update 3.0, which centered primarily on fixing spammy questions, also included improved protection from negative SEO assaults.

Exact Match Domain (EMD) Update:

The Exact Match Domain (or EMD) algorithm update from Google focused on ridding the SERPs of exact match domains that are spammy or low-quality.

Page Layout Refresh:

Matt Cutts from Google confirmed that the page layout refresh algorithm has been updated. No changes were listed to the algorithm-it seemed that Google simply reran the algorithm and modified its index.

It’s important to update your SEO strategy periodically. Digital marketing is a fast-paced business, and keeping up is vital-but it is also easier said than done to do so. That’s why we’ve created a list on this page that you can use as a starting point to update your plan for this year.

Leave a Comment