If you spend a lot of time on the internet, or if you make your living that way, you’ve seen a lot of changes on Google in the past year.  This is pretty fascinating, so let’s go through it step by step.

Content Attribution Update – 1/28/2011

A Google update designed to weed out content scrapers was released.  It used better content attribution to identify the content scrapers.  The infographic asks the question we’re all thinking right now – was that the birth of Panda?

“First” Panda Update – 2/23/2011

Also known as the “Farmer Update,” the Panda update swept through Google, impacting 12% of search results.  The algorithm update was designed to better seek out and devalue content farms and content scrapers, sites with thin or poor content, and sites with loads of (excessive) advertising.

Google +1 – 3/30/2011

Google went social with the +1 button, which allows users to “influence the results displayed to people that are members of their Google Plus circles.”

Panda Update – 4/11/2011

The update heard around the world, Panda 2.0 introduced signals into the algorithm that made it so websites that users blocked dropped in ranking.

Panda Update 2.1 – 5/9/2011

Not a big update, this introduced minor changes to the algorithm.  The impact was minimal, which was a relief after the 2.0 update.

Support Announced for Schema.org – 6/2/2011

Yahoo, Google, and Microsoft announced unified support for structured data through Schema.org, a project that allows webmasters to markup their pages so they are easier to find in search engines.

Panda Update 2.2 – 6/21/2011

Actually officially acknowledged by Google on June 21st, this update made changes to the algorithm, though they were minor.  According to talk around the web, the update happened anywhere between 6/16 and 6/20.

Panda Update 2.3 – 7/26/2011

Around July 23rd, another Panda update occurred, and was officially recognized by Google on the 26th.

Panda Global – Panda Update 2.4 – 8/12/2011

An international Panda roll-out, this update impacted not only English-language searches but also non-English searches.  Japanese, Korean, and Chinese language searches were excluded.

Expansion of Sitelinks – 8/16/2011

Google rolled out an expanded version of sitelinks, benefiting websites of bigger brands more than smaller websites.  6 sitelinks are the norm, but up to 12 per listing were seen at the time.

Google Introduces “Rel” Attributes – 9/15/2011

Google tackles the crawl and duplicate content by pagination issue by introducing rel=”next” and rel-“prev” attributes.

Panda Update 2.5 – 9/28/2011

Google reported this as a minor update, but website report it as a large, and potentially harmful one.  Large traffic losses occurred, notably to the website of The Today Show.

Matt Cutts tweets about Panda “Flux” – 10/5/2011

Internet guru and Googlemeister Matt Cuts tweeted about a flux that would occur in the coming weeks.  The fluxes that occured were on 10/9, 10/13, and 10/19 or 10/20.  The last one, Panda 2.5.3, had a huge impact on search results.

Search Privacy Announced – 10/18/2011

Google reveals that people who are searching Google while they’re logged into their Google account would be directed to the SSL version of Google so their search queries would be encrypted.  Good for user privacy, bad for internet marketers.

Google Freshness Update – 11/3/2011

This new algorithm change will pay closer attention to fresh content.  Basically, it will display more time sensitive results in appropriate queries.

Matt Cutts Announces Changes to Algorithm Updates – 11/14/2011

Google tries to be more direct and transparent, so Matt Cutts explains 10 recent algorithm changes.

Panda Update 3.1

3.1, compared to 2.5.3, was minor, leading people to believe that 2.5.3 should have been named 3.0.

Google Announces Another 10 Updates

Google blogged about 10 more updates to the algorithm.  Among other things, the updates will continue to weed out scraper sites and parked domains.


Design:  A

Easy to read, and a good way to present all the information

Information:  B+

If you don’t know anything about Panda, the Google algorithm, and that kind of stuff, you might be in the dark.  A little more explanation would have been nice.

Source:  Top Google Algorithm Changes of 2011 by HigherVisability