Top 5 Google Algorithm Updates: An Overview

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Google’s algorithm is a system that helps Google to retrieve data from its search index and always delivers the best possible results for a user’s query. Google uses a combination of algorithms and different ranking factors to bring web pages ranked by relevance on its result pages. Google’s algorithms were only modified a few times in its early years, but now it updates algorithms frequently. 

Google has announced itself, it updates thousands of changes every year. Even if you are a website owner or SEO service provider, If you want to rank on the 1st page of Google, then you need to be aware of Its major algorithms. Here are the top 5 Google updates that you need to know for better SEO performance.

Top 5 Google Algorithm Updates

1. Panda 

Google Panda was launched in Feb 2011. It is a major algorithm update that aimed to lower the rank of low-quality content or thin sites and to reward unique, compelling content. Users had complained about the rampant growing influence of “low-quality content”. If Panda has penalized your website and you want to recover from Google Panda then you should optimize your site according to this algorithm.  

Google Panda Algorithm

Identify the thin content of your site, then replace it with good quality content. You also need to fix the broken link on your site. Look for errors in spelling and grammar in your site content and correct them. Remove bad links which come from penalized websites. Google doesn’t give value profile backlinks so It should be cleaned up.

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2. Penguin

The Google Penguin update was announced on April 24, 2012. Google announced this update as a “webspam algorithm update”, that aims to find link spam and manipulative link building practices. Google started to fight against low-quality content with the Panda algorithm, then Penguin joined the battle to help Google fight against low-quality content. 

Google Pernguin Algorithm

The aim of the Penguin algorithm was to take control over a black hat spamming techniques, and overcome their effectiveness on SERP’s result. If you want to optimize your website according to this algorithm then you need to focus on natural, authoritative and relevant links. One interesting fact about the Penguin algorithm is that it deals with a site’s incoming links and ignores outgoing links at all from that website.

3. Page Layout Algorithm

The Page layout algorithm update was launched on January 19, 2012. The algorithm was aimed to target those websites who use too many static ads above the fold. Users will have to scroll down the page to see the content because of these commercials. According to Google, this algorithm would impact less than 1% of websites. These 1% sites had to improve their user experience. However, the algorithm did not include Pop-ups and overlay advertisements. 

Here is the image to display which is provided by Google 

Page Layout Algorithm

If your website is among the 1 percent of the site affected by the update then you look at the way to recover from this page layout Google algorithm update properly. The above fold area is determined by the screen resolution your user is using. If a user on their tablet will see a difference above the fold space than they look from their desktop. You can use Screen Resolution Tester Chrome extension before deleting any above-the-fold ads.

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4. Hummingbird

Hummingbird update was the big major update to Google’s search algorithm on 26 September, 2013. The main aim of this update is to decrease the effectiveness of keyword stuffing. Hummingbird improves semantic search and helps search engines to understand the purpose and conceptual sense of  the words used in a query. 


With the help of Hummingbird update, Google is able to give better answers to those long-tail queries even if a page is not optimized for them. As a result, these pages will now have a greater chance of being identified for specific queries. 

Google’s emphasis on serving results that appeal to the human side of user intent was felt in both head-level and long-tail inquiries, and Hummingbird deserves credit for helping users capitalise on “micro-moments” that cover topics to Do/Know/Go.

5. Rankbrain

On 26 October 2015, Google announced the RankBrain update which is a machine learning-based search engine algorithm. The algorithm helps Google in processing search results and providing users with more accurate search results. The algorithm is important not only for what it is, but also for what it means. The algorithm was Google’s first step towards machine learning application to search results. 


If you want to optimize your website content according to this algorithm then you just need to consider some simple techniques. The first thing is that you should build your site’s reputation and optimize it for medium tail keywords. Keep in mind, you need to write for users, not only for search engines or Google. 

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These are the top 5 Google algorithms that affect direct on ranking of a website. You need to follow, understand the requirements of these algorithms and prepare your site according to them. Google always wants the best source to provide its users, that’s why it brings new algorithms according to needs. 

hIf you don’t want to do it yourself, then you can take help from search engine optimization companies that provide SEO services. Always remember, Google will come with more algorithms, you just need to adopt new algorithm changes with time. 

Author Bio: Pankaj Yadav is a digital marketing specialist working at Discover WebTech Pvt. Ltd.  Follow him to get the latest news about digital marketing industry”. 

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