Ever since inception, Google has always tried hard to deliver the best results to their users. To make this possible they developed certain algorithms that filter the webpages according to their authenticity and give the users accurate results. These algorithms then keep on updating periodically according to the global searches, webmaster updates and several other factors.
The year 2013 witnessed several such updates that made the Google search results more refined and precise. Let us take a quick look at what all updates took place in SEO in 2013.
Officially declared on Jan 22, 2013, Google confirmed a Panda refresh making it the 24th revision of the algorithm. The update had an impact on 1.2% of English queries.
A similar update was registered somewhere in March which Matt Cutts pre-announced and suggested to be the last update before Panda was supposed to be integrated into the core algorithm.
Google Page Rank Update
Google confirmed a new page rank update on February 4, 2013 that made it the first toolbar update of 2013.
Rolled out on May 22, 2013, Penguin 2.0 had been exclusively modeled to curb web spamming. This update largely decreased the rankings for sites that were believed to violate the Google’s quality guidelines. Soon after this update, about 2.3% of English queries were affected to the degree that a regular user might notice.
In a statement given by Matt Cutts he detailed that the Penguin 2.0 was specifically launched to target black hat spam.
Payday Loan Algorithm Update
Google announced a targeted algorithm update on June 11, 2013 that takes on niches with spam results like payday loans and porn. Which confirming, Matt Cutts specified that the update impacted on 0.3% of U.S. queries and 4.0% of the Turkish queries.
Panda Recovery Update
July 18, 2013, Google confirmed that there has been a Panda update going on. However, unlike other Panda updates that severely affected the rankings of almost all websites, this update was a soothing one. Many of the websites witnessed appraisals in rank as well as the number of visitors.
In-depth Articles Update
According to the stats, around 10% of daily searches involve learning about broad topic. Hence, Google rolled out an update to introduce new search results that help users in finding in-depth articles. These results are then ranked algorithmically based on many constraints like high quality in-depth content, authorship markup, paginated articles, etc. This update was rolled out on August 6, 2013.
Rolled out on August 20, 2013, Hummingbird algorithm mostly targets the conversational searches. A step towards voice searches, this algorithm sees to it that not mere words in a query are targeted to show the results. But this algorithm analyses the meaning behind it thus giving the best results to the user.
Penguin 2.1 Update
Rolled out on October 4, 2013, Penguin 2.1 was a mere data update and no major changes were made to the original Penguin algorithm. According to Matt Cutts, the update affected around 1% of searches to a noticeable degree.
Google PR Update
Last but not the least, an unexpected PR update took place on December 6, 2013. Usually Google updates the PageRank values in the Google toolbar every three months. However, the pattern wasn’t followed this year since the last PR update took place 8 months back in February.
The SEO field saw several strong updates in the year of 2013. The above mentioned updates are some of the major changes seen in prior year.
Do you think there were any other big updates that have not been mentioned in the above list?