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Algorithm updates and their effects

The people who have spent sometimes in online marketing must have heard about the terms like "Google Dance", "Florida", "Vince", "Big Daddy" and more recently “Panda”. We all know that all these terms describe the ever changing landscape of the Google search engine result page (SERP).  All these terms reflects one thing that Google has updated its algorithms many times.

Google will continue to make algorithm updates and changes in future also. These updates are very useful to know as it could affect your site. Here are details of some previous Google algorithm updates:

1.    Google Panda Update (February 2011 to Ongoing): This is one of the most popular update done by Google. Google first announced that it will impact around 12% of Google search results in the first phase of the Panda update. During this update, Google’s index grew exponentially.

2.    Google Caffeine Update (June 2010): This Google update was made in June, 2010. Caffeine was an infrastructure change that let Google to crawl the Web more efficiently resulting in their index growing from billions of pages to billions possibly even trillions more.

3.    Google Mayday Update (April/May 2010): Google made this update during April, May, 2010 and it was focused on long tailed keywords traffic. Most of the web masters found a drop in their long tailed keywords rankings. They also found a sharp decrease in the traffic. Most of the sites were affected by this Mayday update. However, Mayday was only a sample of what was yet to come in 2011.

4.    Google Vince Update (February 2009): This update had a great impact on the search engine results. This update, however, could easily rank higher. Google demanded it as a minor update; however, many of the top brands were seeing favorable results.

5.    Google Universal Search Update (May 2007): This Google update was liked by many web owners. Most of the web masters were experiencing a rich search results page with things such as news, images and video populating Google's search results.

6.    Google Big Daddy Update (December 2005/January 2006): It was the first major algorithm update made by Google to look at the duplicate contents issues. A large part of this update was focused on redirects and URL canonicalization.

7.    Google Jagger Update (October 2005): It was an update that focused on the link farms, low quality links and worthy paid links. This update also looked at some canonical issues.

8.    Google Brandy Update (February 2004): This particular update was mostly focused on Latent Semantic Indexing or LSI. It is a kind of increased focus on anchor text relevance and link neighborhoods.  This update even placed less emphasis on tag optimization.

9.    Google Austin Update (January 2004): This Google algorithms specially focused on spam tactics such as link farms, invisible texts, and over optimization of keywords stuffing. A large number of sites were affected by this update.

10.     Google Florida Update (November 2003): It was a big update and it affected most of the sites. After these update keywords stuffing was no longer acceptable. As a result many sites dropped off from the landscape of search engine.

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