History of Google Algorithm Updates

What are Google Algorithms?

Google’s algorithms are a complex system used to retrieve data from its search index and instantly deliver the best possible results for a query. The search engine uses a combination of algorithms and numerous ranking factors to deliver webpages ranked by relevance on its search engine results pages (SERPs).

In its early years, Google only made a handful of updates to its algorithms. Now, Google makes thousands of changes every year.

Most of these updates are so slight that they go completely unnoticed. However, on occasion, the search engine rolls out major algorithmic updates that significantly impact the SERPs such as:


  • Fred
  • Intrusive Interstitials Update
  • Mobilegeddon
  • RankBrain
  • Panda
  • Penguin
  • Hummingbird
  • Pigeon
  • Payday
  • EMD (Exact Match Domain)
  • Page Layout Algorithm

Below we have compiled a full list of Google algorithm launches, updates, and refreshes that have rolled out over the years, as well as links to resources for SEO professionals who want to understand each of these changes.


All Updates

February 10, 2021

Passage Ranking

Google’s Public Liaison for Search, Danny Sullivan, tweeted today that as of February 10th, 2021, Passage Ranking is live for English-language queries in the United States.

Google’s Martin Splitt discusses Google’s new ranking system and shares 16 key points you need to know about it in a virtual get-together with a trio of top SEO professionals – Cindy Krum, Bartosz Goralewicz, and Tomek Rudzki.

Read: What Is Google Passage Ranking: 16 Key Points You Should Know


December 3, 2020

December 2020 Core Update

Google confirms a core algorithm update, the December 2020 Core Update, is rolled out on December 3, 2020. This is the third core algorithm update of the calendar year. A fair amount of time has passed since the last core update, compared to the average time between these types of updates.

Read more about this update below.

Read: What Is a Google Broad Core Algorithm Update?

Read: Google on Broad Core Algorithm Update Recovery – 4 Takeaways

Read: Recovering from a Google Core Algorithm Update with Lily Ray [PODCAST]

Read: Google Confirms Rollout of Core Algorithm Update

Read: Google December 2020 Core Update Insights

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.