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How Google Became Smarter Year By Year

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Update in 1996 - Backrub. Before being called Google, its founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin called it BackRub, because the search engine relied on backlinks to estimate the importance of sites.

Google Search Engine 1997

Black Hat Techniques reigns 1998 - Black hat SEO is a practice against search engine guidelines, to get a ranking higher in search results. These unethical tactics don't solve for the searcher and often end in a penalty from search engines. Black hat techniques include keyword stuffing, cloaking, and using private link networks.

Google 1st Big Update 2003 - Google’s Florida Update started a strategy called the “filter test”, renewed interest in the website Scroogle (now defunct), and generally caused SEO practitioners to scramble to find out what happened.

2010 Google Caffeine Update - The Caffeine Update was so massive that Google provided months of what they called a “Developer Preview”. That is to say, there was so much at stake Google actually gave SEO professionals and developers early access to it so we could report any issues we found. And on June 8 of 2010, it finally rolled out.

2011 Panda Update 1.0 - The stated purpose of the Google Panda algorithm update was to reward high-quality websites and diminish the presence of low-quality websites in Google's organic search engine results.

2012 Panda & Penguin Update - Penguin and Panda Update History. ... The Panda update is a filter that is designed to penalize “thin” or poor content from ranking well. Whereas Penguin is a filter that is designed to penalize websites that have bad link building techniques and keyword stuffing.

2013 Hummingbird Update - Hummingbird is the codename given to a significant algorithm change in Google Search in 2013. Its name was derived from the speed and accuracy of the hummingbird. The change was announced on September 26, 2013, having already been in use for a month.

2014 Pigeon Update - The update is aimed to increase the ranking of local listing in a search. The changes will also affect the search results shown in Google Maps along with the regular Google search results.

2015 Mobile-Friendly Update - On April 21, 2015, Google released a significant new mobile-friendly ranking algorithm that's designed to give a boost to mobile-friendly pages in Google's mobile search results. The change is so significant that the date it happened is being referred to by a variety of names.

2016 Rankbrain Update - RankBrain is a component of Google's core algorithm that uses machine learning (the ability of machines to teach themselves from data inputs) to determine the most relevant results to search engine queries. ... The machine learning aspect of RankBrain is what sets it apart from other updates.

2017 Fred Update - Fred isn’t really an algorithm. Fred isn’t even one set of processes.

“Fred” is a catchall name for any quality-related algorithm(s) update(s) related to site quality that Google does not otherwise identify.

2018 E-A-T Update - The Google E-A-T algorithm update is part of a long line of major changes to how Google ranks websites. While they introduce smaller changes several times a day, it’s the major updates that really impact the lives of website owners. This time is no exception.

2019 Bert Update - “Bert is a natural language processing pre-training approach that can be used on a large body of the text. It handles tasks such as entity recognition, part of speech tagging, and question-answering among other natural language processes. Bert helps Google understand natural language text from the Web.

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Digital Marketing Institute