Change is the only constant thing in SEO. Even though it is still a relatively new industry, it is estimated that Google updates its algorithm on a daily basis, so the underlying rules change roughly 365 times each year. But rest assured as it is only the major updates that will impact us the most and that is what we will keep keeping tracking here as well. If you are interested in the full details, you can read more over at Rand Fishkin's Moz Site.

2016 Updates

Unknown Update  (John Doe Update)

Unnamed Update (aka John Doe update)  - 8 January 2016

Google introduced an update but details remain sketchy on what is it all about. They only confirmed it as a "Core Algorithms Update".  

 

2015 Updates

Rankbrain

RankBrain - 26 October 2015

Google introduced a new ranking signal called RankBrain, which uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to deliver better search results. This covers all languages and is mainly used for the 15% of everyday search queries which Google hasn't seen before.

 

Panda 4.2 UpdatePanda 4.2 Update - 17th July 2015

Another Panda Update was officially confirmed . The only difference this time was that it was a slow roll out, and took as long as a couple of months. Learn more about it here.

 

Mobile Friendly ChangesMobile Friendly Update - 21th April 2015

Google made an official update announcement on their Google Webmaster Blog.  This change affected mobile searches in all languages worldwide and also had a significant impact on mobile search results.

2014 Updates

Penguin 3.0 UpdatePenguin 3.0 - 17th October 2014

Google launched another Penguin refresh. This update appeared to be smaller than expected (<1% of US/English queries affected).

 

Panda 4.1 UpdatePanda 4.1 - 23th September 2014

Google announced another significant Panda update, which included an algorithmic component. It was estimated to affect around 3-5% of queries.

 

Pigeon UpdatePigeon - 24th July 2014

The Pigeon update focused on local SEO to dramatically alter some local results and modify how they handle and interpret location cues.

2013 Updates

Hummingbird UpdateHummingbird - 24th August 2013

The Hummingbird update was a major overhaul to the all-important concept of semantics, or meaning. It was rolled out to combat the increasing longer search queries key in searches. 

2012 Updates

Penguin UpdatePenguin - 24th April 2012

The Penguin update was a major algorithm that targeted sites spamming its search results, in particular those doing so by buying links or obtaining them through link networks designed primarily to boost Google rankings.

2011 Updates

Panda UpdatePanda - 23th February 2011

The Panda update was a major algorithm update which hit sites hard, affecting up to 12% of search results (a number that came directly from Google). Panda is mainly focused on low-quality (thin) content, sites with high ad-to-content ratios, and a number of other quality issues. 

2010 Updates

Caffeine UpdateCaffeine - June 2010

The Caffeine update was a refreshment to Google's infrastructure which not only boosted Google's raw speed, but integrated crawling and indexation much more tightly, resulting in (according to Google) a 50% fresher index.

2005 Updates

Big Daddy UpdateBig Daddy - December 2005

The Big Daddy update was an infrastructure update which changed the way Google handles URL canonicalization, redirects (301/302) and other technical issues.

2003 Updates

florida-updateFlorida - November 2003

The Florida update was the death of  low-value late-90s SEO tactics, such as keyword stuffing.