The Essential Guide to Navigating the Latest Google Algorithm Update

By Bastien, on December 5, 2022, updated on March 6, 2023 - 5 min read

Every few months, Google releases a new algorithm update that impacts how its search engine ranks websites.

Google has released several different algorithm updates in the past year, each with its own set of changes that businesses need to be aware of. This guide will provide you with an overview of the main algorithm updates over the last decade.

What is the Google Algorithm Update?

The Google algorithm update is a process by which Google updates its search engine ranking algorithm.

This algorithm affects how websites are ranked in Google SERP’s (search engine results pages). The update is released every few months and can impact a website’s visibility and relevancy in Google search results.

Why is it important for Google to update its algorithm?

Google’s algorithm updates are essential to Google’s mission of delivering the best results to searchers.

  • The company wants users to get the most relevant and accurate information possible, so they continually update algorithms in order to push webmasters and SEOs to create better contentand better sites.
  • These updates also give Google an edge over its competitors, by helping them stay ahead of the curve when it comes to providing quality search results.

By updating their algorithms regularly, Google is able to ensure that its search engine remains one of the best in the world.

What are the main google Algorithm updates over the last decade?

Google has released a number of updates over the last decade, each with its own purpose and impact on SEO. Some of Google’s most noteworthy algorithm updates include:

  • Panda Update (Fabruary 2011)
  • Penguin Update (April 2012)
  • Hummingbird Update (August 2013)
  • Mobile Friendly Update (April 2015)
  • RankBrain Update (October 2015)
  • Possum Update (September 2016)
  • Google Core Update (March 2018)
  • Google BERT Update (December 2019)
  • Google Page Experience Update (June 2021)
  • Google MUM (Multitask United Model) Update (June 2021)
  • Google Helpful Content Update (September 2022)

But let’s talk about each update in more detail.

Google Panda Update (2011)

Google’s Panda update was released in 2011 and focused on improving the quality of websites that Google deemed to be low-quality, such as content farms.

This update targeted websites with thin and duplicate content, keyword stuffing, and other poor practices that Google wanted to reduce from its search results.

Google Penguin Update (2012)

Google’s Penguin update aimed to reduce the amount of spammy link building tactics used by some websites in order to artificially manipulate their search engine rankings.

Google Penguin looked at the links a website got from other sites and determined whether the backlinks were genuine or if they’d been bought to trick Google. If Google found artificial links, it assigned a negative value to the site concerned, rather than a positive value that would have previously been assigned.

Google Hummingbird Update (2013)

Google Hummingbird was an algorithmic update released in 2013 with the goal of improving search accuracy and understanding natural language queries better. It focused on semantic search – analyzing searchers’ intent instead of just looking at individual words within queries.

Google Mobile Friendly Update (2015)

Google’s mobile-friendly update was an algorithm change released in 2015 to help Google deliver better search results for users who use mobile devices. This Google algorithm update rewarded websites that were optimized for mobile devices by giving them higher rankings in Google’s mobile search results.

Google RankBrain Update (2015)

Google’s RankBrain update is the company’s AI-based system for understanding user queries and returning more relevant search results. It works by using machine learning algorithms to learn from data gathered through Google searches, helping it understand user intent better and improve its overall accuracy.

Google Possum Update (2016)

Google’s Possum update aimed to diversify local search results and deliver more relevant results based on a user’s location. Google Possum looked at the proximity of a business to the searcher’s location, as well as other factors such as Google My Business and keyword usage.

Google Core Update (2018)

Google’s core update was released in 2018 and focused on improving Google’s algorithms for returning more relevant search results.

This Google algorithm update targeted content quality, relevancy, E-A-T principles “Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness” and delivered better search rankings for websites that met Google’s criteria.

Google BERT Update (2019)

Google BERT is an AI-based system released in 2019 to help Google understand the context of user queries better. Google BERT looks at the intent behind certain queries, so Google can understand natural language on a deeper level and deliver more accurate search results.

Google Page Experience Update (2021)

Google’s page experience update is an algorithm change released in 2021 to help Google assess how users perceive the experience of interacting with a web page.

This update focuses on how quickly pages load, whether they are mobile-friendly, and if they provide a safe browsing experience for users.

Google MUM (Multitask United Model) Update (2021)

Google’s MUM update is an AI-based system released in 2021 to help Google better analyze the content on web pages and determine which sites should rank higher in Google’s search results.

It combines Google’s natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning algorithms to better understand the context of user queries and deliver more relevant results. Google MUM helps Google serve up pages that match a user’s query more accurately, while also considering other factors such as E-A-T, content quality and relevance.

Google MUM is an important tool for webmasters who want to improve their Google rankings.

Google Helpful content update (2022)

Google’s helpful content update was released in 2022 and is focused on rewarding ‘people-first’ content that truly answers users questions and provides a satisfying experience. This Google algorithm update looks at the quality of the content appearing in search results, eliminating low-quality results to make way for more diverse voices.

Google has made it clear that this isn’t a one-off, but an ongoing effort to tidy up the SERPs. Sites with a lot of low-quality content may perform less well as a result. Google’s helpful content update is an important consideration for any webmaster looking to maximize their Google rankings.

Google continues to roll out algorithm updates that focus on improving user experience and delivering more relevant search results.

History of the biggest Google algorithm updates in 2022 & 2021

September 2022– Google Product Reviews Update- Google Core Update
August 2022Helpful contentData center Outage
July 2022Product reviewsUnnamed update
June 2022Unnamed update
May 2022Core update
March 2022Product reviewsUnnamed
February 2022Page experienceUnnamed
2021– Google Page Experience Update – June- Spam Update – June & November & July- Core Update – November & July & June- Product reviews – December & April

How Does the Google Algorithm Update Affect Websites?

Google algorithm updates have a major impact on SEO strategies. While some updates may be beneficial for certain businesses or websites, others can cause major damage if not taken into account.

It’s essential for SEOs to stay up-to-date on Google’s algorithm updates, in order to ensure that their strategies are optimized for Google’s ever-changing algorithms.

If your website is not ranking well in Google search results, the update may change:

  • how your website is ranked in relation to other websites.
  • the terms that are associated with your website.
  • the structure of your website’s content.
  • the types of links that are pointing to your website.

How Can I Optimize My Website for the Google Algorithm Update?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the impact of the Google algorithm update will vary depending on the specific situation and website. However, some tips on how to optimize your website for the update include:

  • Regularly monitoring your website’s ranking in Google search results.
  • Making sure your website’s content & structure is optimized for search engine results.
  • Optimizing your website for mobile devices.
  • Creating links to your website from other websites.
  • Monitoring the level of traffic to your website.
  • regularly testing your website’s SEO (search engine optimization) strategies.
  • remaining vigilant about potential online attacks.

By keeping an eye on Google’s algorithm updates and adapting their strategies accordingly, webmasters can maximize the visibility of their websites, ensuring they are always one step ahead of the competition.

Google algorithm update: the essential…

In a nutshell, Google algorithm update is Google’s way of ensuring users get the most relevant and highest quality search results.

  • Understanding Google’s approach to sorting its content can be essential for webmasters looking to maximize their Google rankings.
  • The Google algorithm update impacts website visibility, relevancy, structure, terms and links associated with a website – so it’s important for webmasters to stay up-to-date on Google’s algorithm changes in order to optimize their websites for success.
  • Taking advantage of Google algorithms will help ensure your website becomes more visible and ranks higher in Google search results – giving you an edge over the competition!