Google updates its search algorithm nearly 400-600 times per year to get over the spammers, and black hat SEO techniques. It is found that most of the updates are “minor” one and the search engine king Google releases the “major” algorithmic update for every few months, which impacts the search results in large ways.
And for every Internet marketers and webmasters it is important to know about the Google algorithm update names and dates to find the solution for changes in rankings and organic website traffic that leads to the growth of the business. I have listed out some of the major Google algorithm updates for 2012 below, which can help you with search engine optimization.
1. January 5, 2012- January 30-Pack :
Google announced 30 changes including more relevant sitelinks, image search landing page quality signals, more rich snippets, more accurate country – restricted searches, soft 404 detection, tweak to +1 button on results page, improvements to image size signal, faster mobile browsing, more accurate byline dates, better spam detection image search and more.
2. January 10, 2012 – Search + Your World:
Google introduced an enormous change in personalization – It incorporates Google+ social data and user profiles in SERPs. You can also turn off personalization using toggle button if you don’t need it
3. January 18, 2012 – Panda 3.2:
Panda 3.2 update is nothing but the “data refresh update” in other words it is the additional penalizing for poor content.
4. January 19, 2012 – Ads Above The Fold:
The page layout is much more important now because this update affects the websites with too many ads above the fold and there is no official name for this update.
5. February 3, 2012 – February 17-Pack:
Google posted 17 Search quality highlights, February 17-Pack includes freshness, spell checking, content quality in search index, faster autocomplete, Cross-language refinements, more relevant related searches, image search quality, blending of news results and more.
6. February 27, 2012 –Venice:
After 40 search quality changes Google’s plan to make local search results more relevant, so it rolled out the update called “Venice”.
7. February 27, 2012 – February 40-Pack (2):
Google announced second set of “40 search quality highlights” and it includes more coverage for related searches, less duplication in expanded sitelinks, fresher images, spam update, local results, link evaluation, Google panda update and many more.
8. February 27, 2012 – Panda 3.3:
This is an upgrade version of the panda update putting much more focus on high quality content. And it’s very similar to “Panda 3.2 update” or “data refresh update”
9. March 12, 2012 – Search Quality Video:
This was not an algorithm. Matt Cutts, Google’s head of web spam team has published a video about search quality raters and he explains about overall Google search quality process in that video
10. March 23, 2012 – Panda 3.4:
Google publicly announced about this update via Twitter, also they stated that Panda 3.4 impacted about 1.6% search results.
11. April 3, 2012 – March 50-Pack:
Google announced “50 search quality highlights” which includes sitelinks data refresh, better indexing of profile pages, auto complete with math symbols, navigational queries, more relevant image search results and many more.
12. April 16, 2012 – Parked Domain Bug:
Google confirmed that this was not an algorithm change, also mentioned that it is a data error had triggered some domains to be wrongly treated as a parked domains
13. April 19, 2012 – Panda 3.5:
Google rolled out a small panda refresh, version panda 3.5 to target websites having low quality content.
14. April 24, 2012 – Penguin:
After Panda, Google released its new algorithmic update called “Penguin update”, this is an official name given by Google for the webspam algorithm, which mainly focuses on spam factors including keyword stuffing, over-optimization, cloaking, and other black hat SEO techniques that violates Google guidelines
15. April 27, 2012 – Panda 3.6:
Google confirmed they refreshed a Panda 3.6 after Google Penguin update, and it was a limited update, so the impact was relatively small.
16. May 4, 2012 – April 52-Pack:
Google published “52 search quality highlights” of April which includes anchors bug fix, more language-relevant navigational results, country identification for webpages, spell correction for long queries, keyword stuffing classifier improvement, more authoritative results and more.