Looking Back at Google’s 2014 Algorithm Updates

Google’s 2014 Algorithm UpdatesAs the ball dropped on New Year’s Eve and we made the leap into 2015, we took a moment to reflect on the past. After all, those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it, or so they say. So how did we get here? And where are we going?

Looking Back at Google’s 2014 Algorithm Updates

Google kept inbound marketers on their toes in 2014 with an ever-evolving algorithm, from Pirate to Penguin, to Panda, and Pigeon. And don’t forget Payday Loan. Sheesh! To make sure you’re fully up to date on the latest changes in the world of SEO, we are going to take a look back at the year that was 2014.

  • February 2014: Google refreshed its Page Layout algorithm, known as “Top Heavy,” which penalizes website that have too many ads above the fold.
  • May 2014: May was a big month for Google. The company unveiled Panda 4.0 and Payday Loan 2.0. Panda 4.0 was designed to help small businesses and websites that create great content, by giving them more authority in Google search results. Payday Loan 2.0 was designed to target “very spammy queries” in search results.
  • June 2014: Google updated their Payday Loan algorithm and ended Author Photos. Payday Loan 3.0 changed Google’s anti-spam algorithm. According to Moz, “official statements suggested that 2.0 targeted specific sites, while 3.0 targeted spammy queries.” The removal of Authorship Photos marked the beginning of the end for Google Authorship. Click Here to learn more.
  • July 2014: Perhaps the biggest change of 2014 was the introduction of Pigeon 1.0. Designed to aid local businesses, Pigeon was meant to help users find “more useful, relevant, and accurate local search results that are tied more closely to traditional web search ranking signals,” according to Search Engine Land.
  • August 2014: Google did the unthinkable and removed Google Authorship. Click Here to learn more. Google also decided to add HTTPS/SSL as one of its roughly 200 ranking signals when determining organic search page rankings.
  • September 2014: Google once again revamped Panda, this time introducing Panda 4.1, the 27th version of the algorithm. This change was designed to mage Panda more precise when identifying content quality.
  • October 2014: Google made more changes to Penguin and Pirate. Penguin 3.0 was just a refresh designed to boost search rankings for sites that made the necessary changes to their sites following Panda 4.0. Panda 3.0 affected less than 1% of English queries. Pirate 2.0, meanwhile, targeted a relatively small group of suspect websites with a lot of copyright infringement reports.

Now to take a page out of Marty McFly’s book and go…back to the future!

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