Skip links
Google Algorithms

The Complete Guide to Google Algorithm That Changes Your SEO Forever!

What is Google Algorithm?

Google Search Algorithm is a systematic function of google. It helps google to identify rank and bring the most relevant content for a query entered by the audience.

Google algorithm prioritizes the results of a query that ranked in Google’s SERPs and gave the appropriate answers to customers.

In the initial stages, google algorithm updates were implemented very rarely.  Now, there are plenty of updates available multiple times per year as a lot of minute changes went unnoticed.

Why Google Algorithm is So Important?

There are a lot of changes that occurred in SEO techniques from 2011. Google introduced numerous updates on its algorithm to reform the way SEO functions.

Google always wants to produce the best user experiences for the searches made in it.

Google algorithm updates were added as an assisting tool that fights with low-quality websites. It helps with identifying the errors to remove the penalty of a particular website.

Google updates often assumed that they will cause disruptions and problems. But, these updates were very useful to learn about the ethics and rules a website holder should follow for providing high authoritative, relevant content.

It is very important to stay up to date with google algorithms to assure that you’re producing the best results for the audience.

Now, let us see some ultimate google algorithm updates that had a strong place in altering the way SEO performs.

Google Panda Update:

Google Panda algorithm was launched on 23rd February 2011.

Initially google panda algorithm update was used as a ranking factor.

Panda update’s primary function was to eliminate the low-quality websites from google SERPs and rank the high-quality websites in Google’s organic search results.

In 2016 January, the panda was permanently set in Google’s core algorithm.

Goals: Thin and Duplicate content, Content farming, Keyword stuffing, Low-quality user-generated content, High ad-to-content ratio.

  • Thin content: Websites that have less accurate and irrelevant content for the search.
  • Duplicate content: It denotes copied content that appears on a website at multiple places.
  • Plagiarized content: It indicates intentionally copied content without any acknowledgment placed on a website.
  • Content farming: Content farming implies a web page that incorporates a large number of waged writers to give content on various search queries. This often resulted in poor quality content.
  • Keyword stuffing: Accidentally repeating keywords at improper places of content.
  • High ad-to-content ratio: websites that have ads more than the contents.

Ways to Recover from Panda Update:

The only way to recover from the Panda update is to improve your content and website quality.

  • Launch the Website Auditor tool and use it for regular website checks.
  • Keep revising and updating content to provide relevance for the search experience.
  • Try to avoid the content farming practice.
  • Make your content accurate, error-free, and appropriate to readers.

Google Penguin Update:

Google launched the Penguin algorithm update in 2012. With that Google began to set instructions about link spamming and manipulative link framing practices.

Goals: Penguin algorithm was an extension, established to demolish the black hat link forming and spamming techniques. It runs to check link schemes and unnatural link building and buying.

Link Schemes: It’s an attempt to manipulate the website by creating artificial popularity and purchasing backlinks from low-quality websites.

Ways to Recover from Penguin Update:

Once you’ve known that your website has been affected by penguin, taking remedial actions would save you from being penalized.

  • Remove all unnatural links and spammed website links from your site.
  • Revise your website’s content and make sure that the content does not have keywords forcefully stuffed.  Avoid keyword stuffing.
  • Keep eying your website’s link profile growth and perform a regular audit with any backlink checker tool.

Google Hummingbird Update:

This algorithm update was released by Google on the 20th of August 2013 officially.

Hummingbird update helps Google to find appropriate search results by understanding searcher’s intent and their language.

Goals:  Avoid keyword stuffing and produce better search results.

  • Knowledge graph: Knowledge graph is one of the features of SERPs launched by Google a year prior to the launch of Hummingbird. It delivers quicker and more precise solutions to the queries searched by the users.
  • Semantic Search:  Semantic searches compares SERP results and the language of searchers by taking their language into a wider context.

To grasp wholly about the hummingbird, we should know about the two terms namely, Knowledge Graph and semantic search.

Ways to Recover from Hummingbird Update:

Hummingbird algorithm wants to relate the searcher’s intent with the broader context of the searched term.

  • Ensure that your website content has the natural language of readers.
  • Try to make your content revolve around the related concepts and synonyms of the keywords.

Google Mobile Algorithm Update:

Google introduced the mobile algorithm on 21st April 2015. It was launched to set the mobile-friendliness of a website. 

The mobile update is nicknamed “Mobilegeddon.”  The basic objective of the mobile update was to increase the number of mobile-friendly pages and decrease the number of non-mobile-friendly pages.

Goals: Increase mobile versions of the website and mobile-friendly pages. It will affect mobile rankings only.

Ways to Adjust for Mobile Algorithm Update:

  • To keep your web page mobile-friendly,
  • Ensure your website is entirely mobile optimized.
  • Adjust and restructure your content to adapt to mobile view.
  • Focus on the speed of your website using the page speed test. Run regular audit for mobile optimization using website auditor.

Google RankBrain Algorithm Update:

RankBrain is announced as Google’s core algorithm on 26th October 2015.

RankBrain algorithm uses machine learning technology to bring relevant answers to the queries searched by the people. It is a sort of Hummingbird algorithm.

It enables Google to get the best possible results for the searches by analyzing and fetching out the implied meaning, the natural language of the user, and the broader context of a search.

Goals: Terminating lack of content relevance, avoid shallow content and poor UX

Ways to Recover from Rankbrain Update:

  • Ensure that your content possesses a broader sense of a query with relevant concepts, synonyms, and implied meanings.
  • To know the comprehensiveness of your content and how your competitors handled the relevant ideas, run an audit using the website auditor tool.

Google Medic Update:

The medic algorithm was launched on 4th May 2018. It was launched to disrupt the medical websites and your money your life websites to provide more Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness.

Goals: Identifying less authoritative websites of YMYL subjects and degrading them.  Ensure high EAT signals in websites.

Ways to Adjust for Medic Update:

  • Make sure that your website produces highly trusted and authoritative content.
  • YMYL subjects need more expertise and trustworthiness since they’re life-changing and life-threatening.  Be an expert on a subject you’re put in your site otherwise hire a subject matter expertise to create content.

Google Bert Update:

Bert algorithm was updated by google on 22nd October 2019.

Bert abbreviates as Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers.

Bert helps google to find understand the natural language of searches, words, texts, and the context.

Goals: Improve poor content with context.

Ways to Adjust for Bert Update:

  • Bert mainly focuses on the language of content and its user-friendliness of it. Thus proper writing of content without any complicated word structures and errors is needed.
  • Regularly go back to your content and modify it according to the change of context.

Google Smith Update:

In Jan 2021, Google released a research paper that introduced a new algorithm made to understand passages based on the entire content. They named that “Smith”. 

Smith’s working objective was quite similar to that of BERT’s. 

The difference was that BERT understands the words based on the passage. Whereas Smith understands the passages based on the entire content. It was considered more effective than BERT and was rumored to replace BERT.

But that didn’t happen and most probably both of them are active now to offer the best results to users.

Ways to Adjust for Smith Update:

The best and simplest way to adjust your rank for the Smith update is to simply write for your audience. Just keep the content relative, meaningful, and engaging and you’re ready to thrive.

Google Core Updates:

Since 2017 Google’s releasing major updates named as core updates. It is often seen as an improvement on the previous updates or a sum of small updates. However, it’s less transparency leaves it inconclusive.

Ways to adjust for Core updates:

  • Since there are no clear ideas of what core updates are, you can track SERP ranking history for your target keywords.
  • You can leverage the rank tracker tool to find SERP history and how your competitors performed with core updates. With that, you can get a better understanding of the effects of core updates on your website.
  • Here we get a clear-cut understanding of some most popular google algorithm updates and their effects on your website. Hope you had good learning about google updates!


Google keeps updating its algorithm to offer users the best results for utmost satisfaction. As an SEO you must keep an eye on these updates. These updates can introduce some new practices to perform or can turn the old ones to waste. And putting your time and effort into practices that do not matter at all would be more than to frustrate you down.

Suggested Article: Google’s Search Algorithm and Ranking System

The best preventive way to ensure that new updates don’t bring bad news for you is to optimize your site for users, not bots. Try your best to create a website or content that is relevant and satisfactory for your target audience.

And all you would need to do is minor changes whenever a new Update rolls down.

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.