The Essential Google Algorithm Update History from 2000-Present



2021 Updates

July 2021 Core Update — July 1, 2021

The last announcement of Google rolling out another core update to the algorithm was a bit of surprise as they were releasing the updates in two parts. In June, Google announced they were ready to move forward with the parts that were ready and release the rest of the improvements when they will be ready in the upcoming days. The July 1 update comprises Core Web Vitals that affected both news results and organic results.


Spam Updates — June 23, 2021

On June 23rd and June 28th, Google released two spam updates, yet there was no clarification on how the two updates were connected to each other or the things it was affecting. Although particular sites were impacted, there was no visible effect on comprehensive ranking volatility.


June 2021 Core Update — June 2, 2021

Google in an unusual move announced the June and July 2021 core updates which apparently seemed to be linked. The core update of June rolled out from June 2-12 that had a major impact in the form of rank fluctuation in forums and thin-content websites. Moreover, larger enterprises with relevant companies were also affected to a great extent.


Product Reviews Update — April 8, 2021

The intent of the update was to reward in-depth reviews compared to thinner review content. Many analysts have found that this update has affected various niche categories comprising site-level funding, user experience, and others. It is also considered that this update was like a core update for some sites that have been experiencing surges or heavy drops based on their reviews.


Passage Indexing (US/English) — February 10, 2021

In October 2020, Google announced a passage indexing update which went live on February 10, 2021. It is a new type of Google raking particular passages from a web search. This update is a 'breakthrough' according to Google, claiming that it better understands the relevancy of particular passages instead of the complete webpage which helps in meeting specific searches whose answers are buried deep inside a web page.


2020 Updates

December 2020 Core Update — December 3, 2020

It seemed nothing less than a Christmas present when Google announced a new core algorithm update that officially started rolling from December 3, 2020. As a result of this update, several sectors were impacted where SERPs of many sites reached a 9.4 volatility mark. However, a sudden surge in the shopping results was observed, yet it went back to pre-update levels quickly. The most affected industries were Real Estate, health, and Law & Government.


Indexing Bug, Pt. 2 — October 12, 2020

The Google search results were very unstable that left people confused whether it is a ranking update or an indexing update. Many witnessed indexing issues, but Google stated that 99% of the issues have been resolved by the 14th of October, 2020. However, the left edge cases would get resolved in the following weeks.


Indexing Bug, Pt. 1 — September 29, 2020

Google faced an indexing issue with news content. However, the engineers assured that it will be resolved soon. Many found indexing issues with news content as well as some non-news content also saw decline or indexing problem with mobile pages AMP pages simultaneously. Nonetheless, a few hours later the issues were resolved and confirmed by Google on Twitter.


Google Glitch — August 10, 2020

Google confirmed that they detected a problem with their indexing systems that impacted the search results. After the issue was identified, it was soon fixed by the Site Reliability Engineers. The algorithm suffered a substantial glitch that led to a major fluctuation in the search engine results.


May 2020 Core Update — May 4, 2020

Another core update announced by Google led to heavy ranking flux between May 4 and 6 as it took two weeks to completely roll out. It was a big update after the August 2018 Medic update.


Featured Snippet De-duping — January 22, 2020

Google announced a change in policy about Featured Snippets that only one page of one website will be shown in the SERPs to de-duplicate the search result pages. Previously, a website had the chance to get featured twice on the SERPs.


January 2020 Core Update — January 13, 2020

Google announced the January Core Update that affected search results across the world. This core update didn't target any particular site or page, yet highlighted that the changes are subject to improve their overall systems assessment content. Google also stated that these changes may help some unrewarded pages to do better.


2019 Updates

International BERT Roll-out — December 9, 2019

Google's aim behind the BERT update was to understand search queries in a better way. The update rolled out in 72 languages which the BERT affected. Also, the BERT affected 10% of the search queries for the English language in the United States.


BERT Update — October 22, 2019

Google updated its algorithm and relevant hardware to increase support for the BERT natural language processing (NLP). Google also confirmed that it will impact 10% of the search queries. Hence, it can be said that this is one of the largest of all Google updates in the past 5 years.


September 2019 Core Update — September 24, 2019

Google pushed a broad core update yet another time on 24th September. This rollout saw many sites dropping and surging across many countries. The sectors that were most affected by the update are Food, Drink, Computers & Electronics, and Finance among the worst impacted categories.


Site Diversity Update — June 6, 2019

This update by Google provided a particular scope because Site Diversity allowed people to directly measure. Some news sites took a big hit from this update. At the same time, it impacted SERPs layout where more video carousels were seen appearing on desktop searches.

June 2019 Core Update — June 3, 2019

A pre-announcement was made by Google regarding a 'core' update with limited information on June 3rd, 2019. The websites that were affected by earlier core updates appeared to have been impacted. It was observed that the volume of impact was lesser than the August Medic update as stated by MozCast.


Indexing Bugs — May 23, 2019

Google tweeted about experiencing a new indexing issue that was entirely different from the indexing use they faced yesterday. There were no details provided, however, there was mixed response regarding how the bug affected the websites. The SEO community said that there were spikes in traffic and a few problems witnessed by most sectors.


Deindexing Bug — April 5, 2019

Google accepted that due to the internal management of the Search Index, a few pages of websites may have dropped from the index for some days. Google also stated that it was their fault and no action is needed from the user's side because the matter will get resolved soon.


March 2019 Core Update — March 12, 2019

This was the first update from Google that caused major volatility in search results across the world. Several websites in the health sector got impacted due to this update. Google intends to fine-tune search results of sensitive subjects, especially those which are relevant to health queries.


2018 Updates

"Medic" Core Update — August 1, 2018

Google Medic update is meant to enhance the identification