Google Algorithm Updates & Changes: A Complete History

History of Google Algorithm Updates

Below we have compiled a full list of Google algorithm launches, updates, and refreshes that have rolled out over the years, as well as links to resources for SEO professionals who want to understand each of these changes.

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History of Google Algorithm Updates

What are Google Algorithms?

Google’s algorithms are a complex system used to retrieve data from its search index and instantly deliver the best possible results for a query. The search engine uses a combination of algorithms and numerous ranking factors to deliver webpages ranked by relevance on its search engine results pages (SERPs).

In its early years, Google only made a handful of updates to its algorithms. Now, Google makes thousands of changes every year.

Most of these updates are so slight that they go completely unnoticed. However, on occasion, the search engine rolls out major algorithmic updates that significantly impact the SERPs such as:

Below, we have compiled a comprehensive list of Google algorithm updates sorted by their release dates.

All 2003 Updates

Florida Update

Google’s Florida Update signaled a new era of SEO. Websites (including retailers who relied on affiliates to drive traffic) using spammy tactics of the previous decade (e.g., keyword stuffing, using multiple sites under the same brand, invisible text, and hidden links) to rank for high-commercial keywords saw their rankings wiped out right before the lucrative holiday season.


Google Florida: The First Major Algorithm Update