Timeline of Google SEO Updates 2017-2022

Timeline of Google SEO Updates 2017-2022

What are Google SEO Updates?

Google SEO update involves an intricate algorithmic pattern that uses data retrieval techniques to achieve the closest matching results for a searched keyword. The search engines are designed in such a way that they have web crawlers incorporated into them, browsing the search indices for a particular set of data corresponding to a certain search query.

Google uses a combination of complex algorithms and several ranking signals to determine the page relevance and content quality concerning the search keyword. To improve ranking on search engine results pages or SERPs, website owners try to crack these algorithms and find out Google’s latest update for SEO. This article discusses a timeline of Google algorithm updates including the Google SEO Update 2022.

Previously, Google used to update its algorithm rarely. However, now even within a year, it makes thousands of annual updates. Mostly, the changes are subtle and go unnoticed by the users. But sometimes these updates are quite significant in shaping the workings of search engines and their ranking mechanism for web pages.

These updates have a huge impact on search engine results pages and SEO management of a site. Webmasters try to keep track of changes made by the search engine giant and incorporate SEO tools and algorithm trackers to monitor the major or minor volatility in the ranking mechanism. Google SEO update 2022 list has all the details regarding changes made over the years. We have tried covering them over here as well. Some algorithms concerning Google SEO updates are listed below:

  • Fred
  • Florida
  • Jagger
  • Vince
  • Caffeine
  • Panda
  • Big Daddy
  • Freshness Algorithm
  • Page Layout Algorithm
  • Penguin
  • Venice Update
  • Hummingbird
  • Pigeon
  • Mobilegeddon
  • Quality Updates
  • Payday
  • EMD (Exact Match Domain)
  • RankBrain

This blog discusses the chronological Google SEO update timeline detailing algorithm changes, fresh updates, latest Google SEO tool launches, etc. since its beginning.

We have also provided links for further information about Google’s latest update for SEO and other relevant resources for reference.

A Chronological Collection of Google SEO Updates in 2022

May 22, 2022

May 2022 Core Update

On May 22nd, 2022, Google’s latest update for SEO was announced via Twitter. The update was named May 2022 Core update. As Google releases several updates throughout the year to improve the SEO workings at the search engines backend, this update was also part of the usual changes in the ranking process. The core Google SEO update change phase started on May 22, 2022, and wrapped up on June 9, 2022.

March 23, 2022

March 2022 Product Algorithm Update

Upon getting introduced to the Google SEO update 2022 via Search Central Blog, developers came to know about the product review ranking update and the enhanced quality of reviews it aimed to achieve.

The update worked to identify reviews of higher quality so that website owners have increased visibility on SERP due to high-quality, relevant content. The update release lasted a couple of weeks. To learn more about quality review writing to achieve better search outcomes and understand how to write high-performing reviews, you can visit this link.

February 22, 2022

Page Experience Update

The page experience update was completed by March 2022 and offered desktop search guidance. Google announced the change via Twitter. On Google Search Central, information about the page experience update is listed for the developers. More details about the update can be reviewed here.

December 1, 2021

December 2021 Product Review Update

The Google Search Central account on Twitter by Google often releases product launches and news about Google’s latest update for SEO. It announced in December 2021 a product review update for English affiliate sites. The announcement indicated that the update would take more than a couple of weeks to completely roll out. For more product information review updates refer to this blog post.

November 30, 2021

November 2021 Local Search Update

On 30th November 2021, Google introduced a local search update that was announced via Twitter. This local search update rolled out from 30th November to 8th December. Google recommended business owners and web developers refer to their guiding instructions about how to improve local SERP Ranking.

November 17, 2021

Broad Core Update

A Google SEO update called Broad Core was released via an announcement made on Twitter by Google Search Central. Google last updated its core updates related to documentation in August 2019. As Google’s latest update for SEO releases, Google instructs webmasters to refer to this documentation to keep themselves updated about the algorithm changes details.

November 3, 2021

Google Spam Update

According to the need for more SEO enhancement, Google announced via Google Search Liaison that a spam update in November 2021. The update is linked to their strategy for improving SERP Ranking.

Google’s SEO update strategy brings forward effective changes to the workings of search algorithms. Google directs webmasters to refer back to their guidelines for further understanding.

July 26, 2021

Google Link Spam Algorithm Update

To limit the link spam tactics practiced by some of the website developers, Google released a link spam algorithm update to counter these practices. Google update for SEO aims at improving the ranking mechanism and boosting quality content toward the top of the SERP listings.

This algorithm started noticing and nullifying the link spam. The impact of the update caused changes in ranking related to sites of multiple languages, their guest, and sponsored content as well. Further details about the update can be reviewed here.

July 12, 2021

July 2021 Core Update Completed

About the core update completion, Google provided a statement via its Twitter handle Google Search Liaison that the rollout should be finished on 12th July 2021. No further information was given on the subject.

July 1, 2021

July 2021 Core Update

On July 1st, 2021, the announcement about the core update was made via Twitter. Google Search Liaison stated that it will take a couple of weeks to completely roll out. Google directed the audience to refer to the core update page found on their Search Central blog.

June 28, 2021

Spam Update Part 2

Google Search Liaison released news about the second half of their spam update via Twitter. The roll-out began on June 28th and was completed that same day. Originally, the announcement was made via Search Central blog by Google. The post was about Google’s SEO update for anti-search spamming and the precautionary measures taken against it in 2020, it was updated in April 2021.

June 23, 2021

June 2021 Spam Update

Google’s Search Liaison, Danny Sullivan announced an algorithm update focusing on spam tactics. The target update was directed toward fighting spam to improve search results.

An indication was given about a second part that got released in the following week. No further details about the second part were revealed specifically.

June 15, 2021

Page Experience Update

There was long-awaited anticipation regarding Google update for SEO targeting page experience. It initiated the rolling out phase after Google made the confirmation in June 2021. However, the update rollout was gradual and Google affirmed that there would be no drastic changes resulting from this update. The rolling out was to be completed by August 2021. The sudden ups and downs in the search algorithm were covered due to the gradual update rollout.

June 10, 2021

Known Victims Protection

On the 10th of June, The Vice President of Google Search published a post about online harassment and sites using “predatory practices”. The post discussed Google’s attempt at improving its search algorithm to identify and demote these sites. Pandu Nayak shared the reporting link for recording public complaints about online harassment.

June 2, 2021

Broad Core Algorithm Update

In June 2021, a broad core update was rolled out as a tentative, initial change. Sullivan from Google Search Liaison indicated that due to some improvement requirements still pending, the other parts of the update will be released later. The other parts were scheduled to be rolled out in July 2021.

April 8, 2021

Product Reviews Update

Google does not just try to nullify low-quality content but also rewards research-based content focusing on quality and originality. This update was part of its ranking improvement plan for review sites that list down in-depth content with researched information rather than thin summaries outlining brief details. In their post, Google also imparted ways to create and publish good product reviews and basic questions to address while writing them.

February 10, 2021

Passage Ranking

Google’s Public Liaison, Sullivan stated that for English sites in the U.S., passage ranking update is rolling out. The English queries will find properly indexed passages within the entire web pages ranked in the SERPs so that relevant outcomes can be achieved.

The passages won’t be independent of the pages but they would be an additional ranking signal for improving SERPs. Know more about passage ranking here.

December 3, 2020

December 2020 Core Update

After confirmation of the core algorithm update, the December 2020 core update was introduced. It was the third core update this year. This Google update for SEO was released a little later than what a normal schedule for core updates is.

May 4, 2020

May 2020 Core Update

After announcing via Twitter about another broad core update, Sullivan later posted that the algorithm update was in the pipeline and it would require a couple of weeks for the entire rollout.

January 22, 2020

Featured Snippet Deduplication

The news concerning the featured snippet deduplication update claimed that snippet position redundancy would be avoided for page 1 SERPs organic listings. This way web pages will be affected worldwide and the impact of this update will be massive on websites with featured snippets.

January 13, 2020

January 2020 Core Update

Danny Sullivan, Search Liaison from Google’s team tweeted that the core algorithm update will roll out soon. Google repeated the mentioned guidelines for webmasters regarding the core algorithm update.

December 9, 2019

BERT (Worldwide)

The BERT is a Google SEO update targeting worldwide impact. Sullivan from Google tweeted that BERT’s rollout included the following global and regional languages.

Google’s Danny Sullivan tweeted that BERT was beginning its worldwide rollout, and included the following languages:

Afrikaans, Albanian, Amharic, Arabic, Armenian, Azeri, Basque, Belarusian, Bulgarian, Catalan, Chinese (Simplified & Taiwan), Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, Farsi, Finnish, French, Galician, Georgian, German, Greek, Gujarati, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Icelandic, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Javanese, Kannada, Kazakh, Khmer, Korean, Kurdish, Kyrgyz, Lao, Latvian, Lithuanian, Macedonian Malay (Brunei Darussalam & Malaysia), Malayalam, Maltese, Marathi, Mongolian, Nepali, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Sinhalese, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish, Swahili, Swedish, Tagalog, Tajik, Tamil, Telugu, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, Urdu, Uzbek, and Vietnamese.

October 25, 2019

BERT Update

BERT Stands for Bidirectional Encoder Representation from Transformers. It is a machine learning technique developed by Google for language processing. This BERT update was announced by Google in 2019 and was claimed to be the most massive change in the past 5 years.

The BERT algorithm helps improve the understanding of search queries in a better way. The update impacted not only featured snippets but also the overall web ranking and was used on the 10th portion of the English language-based searches in the U.S.

September 24, 2019

Broad Core Algorithm Update

Another broad core update announcement was made by Sullivan as he tweeted that the broad core algorithm update would have a complete rollout within a week. Google again published instructions and guidelines similar to the details concerning other core updates.

August 1, 2019

Featured Snippets Update

Current information and content relevance are very important for addressing search queries. Each Google latest update for SEO focuses on these factors when ranking sites. The announcement for the featured snippets update was made in August 2019.

This update targeted fresh snippets featured on sites with current, useful content. The update allowed search engines to find the most relevant information for the user queries.

June 2, 2019

June 2019 Core Update

In June 2019, another tweet was made by Google’s Sullivan to announce the release of a new core broad algorithm update. The tweet was followed by the launch of the update running live from various data centers.

A broad core algorithm update by Google, similar to its other counterparts, focuses on the up-gradation of a broad range of elements within the search engine framework and is not specifically limited to just a category change.

March 12, 2019

March 2019 Core Update (or Florida 2)

An announcement by Sullivan, Google’s Search Liaison, confirmed the launch of a broad core algorithm update on a global level.

According to SEJ analytics, this core update is said to be the most effective, game-changing algorithm by Google in recent years and is a very important update of the search engine’s fundamental framework. Danny Sullivan recommended referring back to the guidelines given out for the March 2018 update.

February 13, 2019

Valentine’s Day Update

Industry chatter and the SEO ranking tools tracked the algorithm changes, though unconfirmed, which took place in Feb 2019. However, the search critics noticed positive changes overall in the SERPs and reported improved performance in the rankings. The evidence details can be found here.

October 31, 2018

Unconfirmed Halloween Update

According to some of the members of the webmaster community, reported volatility in the ranking factors was first noted around the Halloween season. The speculations indicated that this was the sign of an unconfirmed update release.

However, little evidence supported this theory. The chatter was based on the earlier broad core algorithm release in August by Google and the news regarding Google’s exploration of neural matching within the SEO working mechanism.

September 27, 2018

A “Small” Update

Google’s birth date falls on September 27 and in 2018 it was Google’s 20th birthday. Several noticeable spikes in web traffic indicated testing of a potential update. Some sites that were hit hard by the August core update recovered in this update phase reportedly. According to the announcement tweet made by Google on the 29th of September, the update was focused on smaller changes and wasn’t a part of the broad core algorithm.

August 1, 2018

Broad Core Algorithm Update

The third consecutive announcement in 2018 indicated the release of a new broad core update via Twitter. Google’s search team specialist Danny Sullivan, endorsed the guidance post by Google following the update launch.

Although it didn’t focus singularly on the medical niched sites it was still referred to as the “Medic“. The cyberspace professionals called it a general ranking algorithm for Google SEO updates as confirmed by Google later.

April 16, 2018

Broad Core Algorithm Update

Similar to the workings of the March 9, 2018 core update, Google again announced another broad core algorithm update via Twitter. According to Google guidelines, both of these updates focused on content relevance.

March 9, 2018

Broad Core Algorithm Update

In 2018, Google announced the rollout of a recent update in the previous week via Twitter.

While few details were revealed about the update, the main highlights of the announcement focused on the benefit of the update for “unrewarded pages” that were unnoticed previously. Google encouraged the users to “continue building great content”.

December 12, 2017

Maccabees Update

Analysis by the search industry claims that websites faced a major update impact in mid of December 2017. Later Google confirmed these subtle changes during that period. However, they intentionally downplayed the impact of the reported update.

September 8, 2017

Fall Flux

Through the grapevine and word of mouth along with some SEO ranking tools’ monitoring, it was noticed that Google may have released another update. President of GSQi, Glenn Gabe, detected major changes affecting site visibility and search traffic followed by fluctuations in ranking and other volatilities between September to October 2017. It was named Fall flux as these fluctuations were noticed in the fall season of the calendar year.

August 19, 2017

Quality Update

Although not confirmed, webmasters detected some signs of changes in the ranking mechanism of web pages. These changes indicated another subtle update release without proper confirmation from Google’s side.

The speculated update again targeted the low-quality pages, sites with heavy advertising and promotional copy, sales language, and negative user experiences. These elements led to the de-ranking of sites due to the quality algorithm update testing. The testing may have begun on the 9th of August as the website owners analyzed the sites that faced ranking issues and were further affected on the 19th of August.

July 9, 2017

Quality Update

Even though no confirmed announcement was made regarding this quality update, SEO ranking tools tracked minor changes on July 9th and speculated that another potential update was likely to be rolled out.

June 25, 2017

June 25 Update

Due to this update, various fluctuations were noted in the ranking positions of the web pages, especially those ranking in the 6-10 positions. Reportedly, this Google SEO update caused SEO tracking tools to detect a major impact on multiple niche sites such as food and beverage category sites.

However, the significant observations regarding the shifts in SEO caused speculative analysis about the update on this date otherwise no confirmed announcement was made by the Search Giant itself.

May 17, 2017

Quality Update

Lasting for a week and introduced on May 17, this quality update was introduced in the year 2017. The site owners experienced some changes in the Google search algorithm. They reported drastic advertising changes and UX fixes including low-quality content issues while tracking their SEO goals.

Their SEO tools also noted an impact on the website’s SERP volatility. Although the impact was not very extensive as compared to other Google SEO updates, the websites went through a change in the ranking mechanism.

March 7, 2017


Jokingly referred to as “Fred” by Google’s Gary IlIyes, the name stayed on. On a serious note though, this major Google SEO update was very impactful in targeting the low-value content. The update was officially confirmed on March 24 by Google’s team, however, no further details regarding the algorithm were told. The public’s confusion and queries about the Fred update can be answered by reviewing Google’s webmaster quality guidelines.

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