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2012 Google Algorithm Updates

Panda Update  4.3 – Third Week of December 2012

Just right before the New Years holidays, Google rolled out another Panda update. They officially called it a “refresh”, which they state changed 1.3% of English queries.


Google Knowledge Graph Update – First Week of December 2012

For this Algorithm change Google added Knowledge Graph functionality to non-English queries, Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, Japanese, Russian, and Italian.


Panda Update 4.2 – Third Week Of November 2012

Google confirmed the 22nd Panda update. This came on the heels of a larger, but unnamed update which Google never named on November 19th.  Google stated that this effect around .08% of queries.


Panda Update 4.1  –  First Week of November 2012

This was Google’s 21st Panda attempt to perfect the Panda Algorithm change.   This officially effected 1.1% of English queries. Several reporting companies are calling this Panda update 2.1 and changing the numbering system.


Page Layout #2 – Second Week of October 2012

Google announced an update to its original page layout algorithm change which occurred in January of 2012.  This targeted pages with too many ads “above the fold”. If you have too many ads on your page your website page is docked ranking points.  Google isn’t stupid.  They want you to advertise on Google not on your own website or someone else’s.


Penguin Update 3.0 – First Week of October 2012

After suggesting the next Penguin update would be a major update, Google actually released a minor Penguin data update which only effected about “0.3% of all queries”.


August and September 2012 Updates (65 of them)

This was a huge month where we either detected or Google announced more than 65 updates.  Google also tested many pages where only 7 organic results displayed instead of the normal 10.   There was also Knowledge Graph expansion changes, updates to how “page quality” is calculated, several that changed the way Google local and local results are determined and displayed,  a very minor update for Panda the third week of August, and also a penalty for websites accused of digital piracy.

Also Google announced a change in the way it is ranking exact-match domains (EMDs). This led to large-scale devaluation.  Google stated this effected about 0.6% of queries.  Later we saw a reversal of this effect in Google’s results over time.

The last week of September was the Penguin 2.0 and another Panda update which was one of the largest algorithm changes and really shook things up.   This officially effected 2.4% of all queries.


June and July 2012 Updates (86 of them)

After a slow May, Google made up for it in June and July.  Many of the updates effected Panda in updates 3.5,  Panda 3.6, Panda 3.7, Panda 3.8, Panda 3.9, ranking fresh content better, a ranking increase for what Google termed “trusted sources”,


May 2012  Updates (39 Updates)

In May Google started rolling out “Knowledge Graph”.  This is a SERP-integrated display providing supplemental objects in the results related to certain people, places, and things. The output in the graphs are officially called “knowledge panels”.

This was one of Googles slowest months for updates in quite some time.  Also Google released its Penguin Update 1.1, updated link-scheme detection, and an update to TITLE tag requirements. Officially Google admitted to 39 changes this month.


April 2012 Updates (Another 50+)

Google actually published details of 52 different updates in April.  This comes after a change that included a mistake in Google’s algorithms that target many good websites as being parked domains.  This month updates included a new “Penguin” update.  This month’s updates changes Google’s index by over 15%.   This is the largest in over a year.  The changes to their index targeted improved pagination handling, document ranking, an “Over-optimization penalty”, a “Webspam Update” which was somewhat tied to the new Penguin Update, a rewards for good quality websites,  and a Panda 3.5 update. And Google started to send updates on bad links in Webmaster Tools.


March 2012 Updates (50+)

During this month Google made around 50 significant changes to Google’s algorithms that ran throughout the month.  These changes included a major revision of Panda officially called Panda 3.4, changes to the anchor-text “scoring” method, changes to Navigational Search, several new  updates to image search, and changes to how queries for local search are interpreted.


February 2012 Update (35+)

This was a slow month for Google updates when they made only a little over 35 significant changes to their algorithms.  Many of the changes related to increasing search speed, image search changes, providing websites with newer content, and but one major and the release of the Panda 3.3 update.

In a release, Google mentioned a new update with the code-name “Venice”. This update appeared to make changes to the local search results and how local search was tied to the persons IP address.


January 2012 Updates (40+)

Google Panda 3.2 Update Confirmed (SEL)

During this month we detected around 40 different algorithm changes and  Google confirmed in an announcement 30 of them over the month with several receiving code names. These changes included image search landing-page quality detection, more relevant site-links, changes to rich snippets, “Top Heavy” ad placement,  “Megasitelinks”, aggressively pushed Google+, Search+ Your World, Panda update 3.2, and  search query improvements.


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