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Timeline of Major Google Search Algorithm Updates

Timeline of major Google updates. We don’t go into detail about the rollout of the Panda update which has been ongoing for several years.

Update nameDateCategoryEffectFurther reading
Medic21/08/2018Core updatesLocation and organic results affected.
Lifestyle, money and health websites largely affected.
Mobile-First Indexing26/03/2018 Most websites moved to mobile-first indexing. Google now crawling most websites as if using a mobile instead of desktop.
Penguin 4.023/09/2016Core updates.
Penguin now part of the core algorithm instead of being run at various times.
Mobile-Friendly 212/05/2016Mobile.Google boost mobile-friendly sites further.
RankBrain26/10/2015Core updates.Machine learning now baked into the core algorithm.
Mobilegeddon22/04/2015Mobile.Google announce that mobile and web results will now differ.
Pigeon22/12/2014Local search.Improvements in local search results.
Pirate 2.021/10/2014CoreDownranking of pirate media websites. 
HTTPS/SSL06/08/2014CorePreference now given to secure sites 
Hummingbird20/08/2013CoreGoogle replaces its core engine with prior updates now baked in.
Penguin 2.022/05/2013Core. Penguin.  
Exact Match Domain (EMD)27/09/2012Core.Exact and keyword-match domains no longer given preference.
Penguin 1.024/04/2012Core.Spammy websites penalised.
Freshness3/11/2011Core.Sites with up-to-date content rewarded.
Schema.org02/06/2011 Google, Yahoo and Microsoft sign up to a uniform approach to machine-readable data.
Panda23/02/2011CoreSpammy website, thin content, content farms and built-for-ads sites downranked

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