2016 Updates

2015 Algorithm Updates





2014 Updates


Penguin Everflux — December 10, 2014

A Google representative said that Penguin had shifted to continuous updates, moving away from infrequent, major updates. While the exact timeline was unclear, this claim seemed to fit ongoing flux after Penguin 3.0 (including unconfirmed claims of a Penguin 3.1).

Google Says Penguin To Shift To “Continuous Updates” (SEL)



Penguin 3.0 — October 17, 2014

More than a year after the previous Penguin update (2.1), Google launched a Penguin refresh. This update appeared to be smaller than expected (<1% of US/English queries affected) and was probably data-only (not a new Penguin algorithm). The timing of the update was unclear, especially internationally, and Google claimed it was spread out over “weeks”.

Google AutoCorrects: Penguin 3.0 Still Rolling Out & 1% Impact (SER)

Penguin 3.0 Analysis – Penguin Tremors, Recoveries, Fresh Hits, and Crossing Algorithms (GSQi)





HTTPS/SSL Update — August 6, 2014

After months of speculation, Google announced that they would be giving preference to secure sites, and that adding encryption would provide a “lightweight” rankings boost. They stressed that this boost would start out small, but implied it might increase if the changed proved to be positive.

HTTPS as a ranking signal (Google)

Google Starts Giving A Ranking Boost To Secure HTTPS/SSL Sites (SEL)




Payday Loan 3.0 — June 12, 2014

Less than a month after the Payday Loan 2.0 anti-spam update, Google launched another major iteration. Official statements suggested that 2.0 targeted specific sites, while 3.0 targeted spammy queries.

Google Spam Algorithm Version 3.0 Launches Today (SER)





2013 Updates





Hummingbird — August 20, 2013

Announced on September 26th, Google suggested that the “Hummingbird” update rolled out about a month earlier. Our best guess ties it to a MozCast spike on August 20th and many reports of flux from August 20-22. Hummingbird has been compared to Caffeine, and seems to be a core algorithm update that may power changes to semantic search and the Knowledge Graph for months to come.

FAQ: All About The New Google “Hummingbird” Algorithm (SEL)

Some Reports Of An August 21/22 Google Update (SER)



Unnamed Update — July 26, 2013

MozCast tracked a large Friday spike (105° F), with other sources showing significant activity over the weekend. Google has not confirmed this update.

Was There A Weekend Google Update? (SER)

MozCast Update (Google+)


Knowledge Graph Expansion — July 19, 2013

Seemingly overnight, queries with Knowledge Graph (KG) entries expanded by more than half (+50.4%) across the MozCast data set, with more than a quarter of all searches showing some kind of KG entry.

The Day the Knowledge Graph Exploded (Moz)


Panda Recovery — July 18, 2013

Google confirmed a Panda update, but it was unclear whether this was one of the 10-day rolling updates or something new. The implication was that this was algorithmic and may have “softened” some previous Panda penalties.

Confirmed: Google Panda Update: The “Softer” Panda Algorithm (SER)


Multi-Week Update — June 27, 2013

Google’s Matt Cutts tweeted a reply suggesting a “multi-week” algorithm update between roughly June 12th and “the week after July 4th”. The nature of the update was unclear, but there was massive rankings volatility during that time period, peaking on June 27th (according to MozCast data). It appears that Google may have been testing some changes that were later rolled back.

Google’s “Multi-Week” Algorithm Update (Moz)

Google’s Matt Cutts: Multi-Week Update Rolling Out (SER)





Domain Crowding — May 21, 2013

Google released an update to control domain crowding/diversity deep in the SERPs (pages 2+). The timing was unclear, but it seemed to roll out just prior to Penguin 2.0 in the US and possibly the same day internationally.

Google Domain Crowding Update: May 2013 (High Position)

Google Domain Clustering Update (Justin Briggs)