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Overview of Google Updates and their Perception behind Launching

Google Updates

After a long time span, Seogdk brings valuable information about Google updates and their impact on websites. In this post, Seogdk explores the brief about Google updates and their importance as well as the impact on a web search.

Since Google tries to provide the most relevant content in response to its user's search queries, it is constantly reinventing and transforming itself in order to achieve this goal. From providing suggestions while you type queries into the search bar, to localized and personalized results, every Coffee or Caffeine, Panda, Penguin, and Hummingbird addition Google makes aims to be faster, more precise, and more relevant. Let’s take a look at some of the more impactful changes, updates, and modifications that Google has made to its search algorithm in the last few years.

Top Google updates as below:

- Caffeine Update
- Panda Update
- Penguin Update
- Hummingbird Update

Caffeine Update

Caffeine Google Update

This update comes in 2010, Caffeine marked an enormous infrastructure change to Google’s search results ranking algorithm. This change was designed to speed crawling, expand indexing and integrate indexation and ranking in nearly real-time. According to Google, it provided 50% fresher or more recent results for web searches than their last index as well as it is also the largest collection of web content that they have offered thus far.

Panda Update

Panda Google Update

Rolled out in 2011, the Panda algorithm aimed to lower the rankings of sites that were deemed to have low-quality and “thin” content. With Panda’s release, the motivation to create relevant, high-quality content became known among SEOs and marketers. Low-quality content on some parts of a website can impact the whole site’s rankings, and thus removing low-quality pages, merging or improving the content of individual low-quality pages into more useful pages, or moving low-quality pages to a different domain could eventually help the rankings of your higher-quality content. 

Matt Cutts announced it, “This update is designed to reduce rankings for low-quality sites—sites which are low-value add for users, copy content from other websites or sites that are just not very useful. At the same time, it will provide better rankings for high-quality sites-sites with original content and information such as research, in-depth reports, thoughtful analysis, and so on.”

Below see the list of released dates of the Panda update:

- February 23, 2011 – Panda 1.0 (#1)(Ranking signals; 11.8% of queries impacted)
-April 11, 2011- Panda 2.0(#2) (Ranking signals; 2% of queries impacted)
-May 9, 2011- Panda 2.1(#3) (Ranking signals; No estimate given)
-June 21, 2011 – Panda 2.2(#4) (Ranking signals; No estimate given)
-July 23, 2011- Panda 2.3(#5) (Ranking signals; No estimate given)
-August 12, 2011 – Panda 2.4(#6) (Ranking signals; 6-9% of queries impacted)
-September 28, 2011 – Panda 2.5(#7) (Unclear; No estimate given)
-Oct. 19, 2011 - Panda Update 3.0(#8) (2% of queries impacted)
-November 18, 2011 – Panda 3.1(#9) (Data refresh; less than 1% of queries impacted)
-January 18, 2012 – Panda 3.2 (#10) (Unclear; No estimate given)
-February 27, 2012 – Panda 3.3 (#11) (Unclear; No estimate given)
-March 23, 2012 – Panda 3.4 (#12) (1.6% of queries impacted)
-April 19, 2012 – Panda 3.5(#13) (Unclear; No estimate given)
-May 27, 2012 – Panda 3.6(#14) (Unclear; No estimate given)
-June 8, 2012 – Panda 3.7 (#15) (1% of queries impacted)
-June 25, 2012 – Panda 3.8 (#16) (1% of queries impacted)
-July 24, 2012 – Panda 3.9 (#17) (1% of queries impacted)
-August 20, 2012 – Panda 3.9.1 (#18) (1% of queries impacted)
-September 18, 2012 – Panda 3.9.2 (#19) (0.7% of queries impacted)
-Sep 27, 2012– Panda (#20) ( Ranking Signals; impacting 2.4% of English searches)
-Nov 5, 2012 - Panda (#21) (Data Refresh; impacting 1.1% of English searches)
-Nov 21, 2012, Panda (#22) (Data Refresh; impacting 0.8% of English queries; confirmed, not announced)
-Dec 21, 2012 Panda (#23) (Data Refresh; impacting 1.3% of English queries; confirmed, announced)
-Jan 22, 2013 Panda (#24) (Data Refresh; impacting 1.2% of English queries; confirmed, announced)
-Mar 14, 2013, Panda (#25) (Data Refresh; No estimate given)
-May 20, 2014, Panda 4.0 Panda (#26) (Ranking Signals; impacting 7.5% of English searches)
-Sept 23, 2014, Panda 4.1 Panda (#27) (Ranking Signals; impacting 3% - 5% (Location dependent))

Penguin Update

Google Penguin Update

Launched in 2012, Penguin was essentially a webspam update, adjusting a number of spam factors such as keyword stuffing and other over-optimization tactics. The focus on creating high-quality, remarkable content carried over from Panda.

The Penguin algorithm is a filter that assembles on top of Google’s regular algorithm and attempts to catch link spam. Link spam refers to the controlling ways that spammers and black hat SEOs create links to boost their rankings in the SERPs. This is usually done using software, so the links and content it creates are generally useless for human readers – the very definition of spam.

Below see the list of released dates of Penguin update:

-April 24, 2012 – Penguin 1.0 (#1)
-May 26, 2012 -Penguin1.1 (#2) (Data Refresh; impacting less than 0.1%)
-October 5, 2012 -Penguin1.2 (#3) (Data Refresh; impacting around 0.3% of queries)
-May 22, 2013 -Penguin 2.0(#4) (Ranking Signals; impacting 2.3% of queries)
-October 4, 2013 - Penguin 2.1(#5) (Data Refresh; impacting around 1% of queries)
-October 14, 2014 - Penguin 3.0 (#6) (Data Refresh; impacting <1% of US English searches)

Hummingbird Update

Google Hummingbird Update
This update released in 2013, Hummingbird has named the biggest change to Google’s algorithm in the past 12 years, focusing on better responding to “conversational” and more difficult search queries that Google was receiving from searchers. Again, this move was aimed to provide faster, more precise results.

Hummingbird has been introduced to closer match queries with relevant results. One major point of this is “conversational search”, where users type in full sentences rather than questions tailored to search engines – for example, “where can I get info about traveling?” rather than “traveling websites”.

Hummingbird will now consider the value of the full sentence, rather than just generating a search based on several select words within a sentence.


From the above information, you can understand the basic purpose of Google update releases and their impact on websites. So friends, convey your feedback about this article via comments and emails. In the next article, Seogdk will bring useful information about SEO, SEM, and Web technologies. Till then take care and enjoy your life!!!

Gangadhar Kulkarni

Gangadhar Kulkarni is an internet marketing expert and consultant having extensive experience in digital marketing. He is also the founder of Seogdk and Director at DigiTechMantra Solutions, a one-stop shop for all that your website needs. It provides you cost-effective and efficient content writing and digital marketing services.

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