From Panda to Pigeon: Summary of Google Algorithm Updates over the Years

Google’s algorithms, in a nutshell, are systems used by the search engine to retrieve data from their search index and provide results for an online search. These algorithms are combined with different ranking signals to provide users with a list of webpages arranged according to relevance.

Over the years, Google has updated its systems to further provide better service to millions of people who use the Internet. Here are some of Google’s most recent algorithms and their main purposes.

Google Panda (2011)

Google Panda put a stop to black-hat SEO practices. It started penalizing sites with copied content and removed them from top search results. This algorithm promoted the use of original and quality content.

Google Penguin (2012)

Google Penguin ended the use of backlinks that are unnatural and scheming. It demoted websites that use such practices. This update encouraged SEO people to go for natural links from high authority websites.

Google Hummingbird (2013)

Hummingbird is Google’s move to address the need for better answers to search queries. It caused serious fluctuations in the rankings, with experts saying it was a complete revamp of Google’s algorithm in its entirety. It responded to the popularity of conversational search by factoring in natural languages and long tail keywords.

Google Pigeon (2015)

Google Pigeon focused the spotlight on local listings in search results. It affected both the search page and Google Maps as it considered the user’s location. This algorithm proved to be helpful for millions of local businesses.

Google continues to innovate and transform itself as a search engine. While its algorithms and updates usually shake not just digital marketing services in Hongkong, but the entire SEO climate, it endeavors to provide better service to the growing number of Internet users.

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