Google algorithm updates: the past, the present & the future

These days, it seems like Google releases a significant algorithm update every two minutes. The SERPs always change, SEO professionals are constantly scrambling to figure out what’s going on, and Google continues to wheel out the “just make better content” statement each time.

So, what is actually happening? Where do we go from here? And does each page need to be precisely 2,146 words with a 3% keyword density and 14 DA 50 or above links to rank?

In this blog, we’ll go through a selection of Google’s major algorithm updates over the years, break down the key trends and use that information to try to figure out what those mischievous devs up in Google Towers will do next.

Google’s early years

During Google’s early years, algorithm updates were a rare event rather than part of the constant cycle we have now. There would be one or two updates to the SERPs a year followed by months of silence. Between 2003 and 2010 we got just six updates:

  • Florida (2003)
  • Jagger (2005)
  • Big Daddy (2005)
  • Vince (2009)
  • Caffeine (2009)
  • MayDay (2010)

2003’s Florida was the first big Google update and the first sign of what was to come over the next few years. Tactics such as keyword stuffing, hidden text and hidden links were targeted, and we saw the state of the SERPs change dramatically overnight. 

This was followed over the next few years by a handful of updates designed to contribute continuous small improvements –

 » Read more about: Google algorithm updates: the past, the present & the future  »