quick history of google algorithms

Since it’s inception in 1995, Google has been constantly adapting to provide the best and most comprehensive web search for it’s users and has since transformed into the most influential company in the world.

As a business, it is vital to be aware of what products your customers are using, especially what products they are using to find you. For the most part, that product is Google. Since its inception in 1995, Google has been constantly adapting to provide the best and most comprehensive web search for its users while being transformed into the most influential company in the world.

Google’s most important changes for business owners to recognise are their changes in how pages are ranked in their web search. Over recent years, Google have created complex algorithms to provide the best results for each and every search that is performed.

Here, we’ll go through a brief history of the main algorithm updates Google has implemented and discuss how they affect you as a business.


google panda meaning
Panda was a change to Google’s ranking algorithm that was first implemented in February 2011. The purpose of the update was to lower the page rank of sites with low-quality content, and reward pages with higher-quality content with high ranking results.

How does this affect me?

Panda basically works as a filter which identifies low quality sites and stops them from ranking above high quality sites. The update essentially forces you to publish relevant, useful content in order to rank well. As Panda looks through the entire site, rather than just individual pages, if you have low quality or duplicate content on just a few pages, your whole site may suffer.

The key to ranking well with the Panda algorithm is having high quality content that is original and useful. Panda will demote duplicate or ‘thin’ content meaning if you are not adding anything new to an existing topic or only providing a small amount of content, you will rank poorly.

Keep it fresh and keep it relevant.



google penguin meaning

Penguin is an algorithm that Google implemented in 2012 which aims to decrease the ranking of sites which use unnatural amounts of back-links from low quality sources to their main site. Before this algorithm it was possible for businesses to manipulate the number of links which pointed to their site, making them seem trustworthy, which would then, boost their ranking.

With Penguin, Google sought out sites who used these tactics and demoted their ranking in favour for sites with organic back-links from quality sources. By identifying pages of high quality using Panda, Google were then able to assess whether your back-links were useful or not, allowing them to correctly rank your site.

How does this affect me?

Sharing a link to your site is the same as recommending your site to someone. The more recommendations you receive, the more credible your site will seem. If small, low-quality sites are recommending you then you will be associated with their quality in Google’s eyes.

To avoid being penalised by this algorithm, be sure that when you are getting back-links to your site that it is from high quality, reputable sites that you are happy to be attached to.

Penguin is often refreshed and updated, like Panda, so if you have been affected by your back-links, there is always room for improvement. If you have low quality sites pointing to your own, you may want to use the Google ‘disavow’ tool to make those links no longer count to your rank, leaving only high quality websites which are trusted by Google to define your rank.



google humming bird meaning

Hummingbird was introduced in 2013 to better understand user searches by dissecting their queries and finding more specific results.  The algorithm was designed to judge the context of a search and to specifically identify what the person was trying to find out.

This algorithm works well with voice enabled searches using devices such as smart watches and phones. For example, if you asked google, “Where is the best place to get a steak in Sydney?” instead of searching just for those words, it would deconstruct your query and find top rated restaurants in Sydney that serve steak. By understanding what you want rather than what you say, Hummingbird directly answers user’s questions, allowing for different information to be more easily found.

How does this affect me?

With the rise of voice controlled devices, people are searching for things differently. Applications such as Siri or Cortana are acting as a personal assistant to users and having conversations with Google rather than searching for specific keywords.

To rank higher for these queries, it’s important that your content is answering questions that users are asking. Just like Panda and Penguin, the main objective of this algorithm is to encourage the production of relevant and useful content for the user.



google pigeon meaningPigeon is the newest algorithm by Google, release earlier in 2015 to give users results that are more relevant to their location. The update is extremely useful for users seeking local business and for local businesses themselves, who may rank higher in their area due to the changes.

As more people are allowing Google access to their location, searches are becoming more unique depending on when and where they take place by connecting Google Maps and Web Search.

How does this affect me?

As a business, you may find that you rank better in your area, as your location is key to the algorithm. As the algorithm focuses on local businesses, directories such as Yelp, Urbanspoon and TripAdvisor are given more recognition in the results.

It’s important to have an updated entry in all local directories that are relevant to your business to ensure that you can take advantage of the new bump in their page rank.


By analysing the different algorithms used by Google, you can get an understanding of what Google is looking for when it ranks search results. As a business, it’s vital to take full advantage of a proven SEO strategy that will allow your business to rise to the top. If you think your business could be ranking better or are curious about the benefits of a high ranking website, head over to DFound. DFound is an Australian owned company that pushes businesses to reach their full online potential with cost effective SEO strategies. Get in touch and found online today.




Published by dlook

dLook are online advertising specialists at the forefront of the advertising on the Internet. Combined with their flagship business directory, dlook.com.au, dLook have been providing online advertising solutions to Australian businesses for the past seven years, from branding pages, to multimedia videos, social media strategies to customised websites. Talk to dLook for more.

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