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History of Google Algorithm Updates & SERP Changes


Published on 05/24/2024 – Last Updated on 05/24/2024 by OTC

Two and half decades have passed, and today’s Google looks very different from the Google of 1998.

We’ve seen countless Google updates over the years. From the knowledge graph, to featured snippets, to pandas, penguins, and hummingbirds—oh my! With so many Google algorithm updates and SERP changes, we’re reviewing a complete Google history to get you up to speed.

Google’s algorithms are a complex system used to retrieve data from its search index and instantly deliver the best possible results for a query. The search engine uses a combination of algorithms and numerous ranking factors to deliver webpages ranked by relevance on its search engine results pages (SERPs). In its early years, Google only made a handful of updates to its algorithms. Now, Google makes thousands of changes every year. Most of these updates are so slight that they go completely unnoticed. However, on occasion, the search engine rolls out major algorithmic updates that significantly impact the SERPs.

Take a scroll down memory lane and learn about some of the biggest Google algorithm updates and notable SERP changes by Google over the years. It all kicks off in the 90s.

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2024: AI, Reputation & Core Update

  • May 14, 2024 – AI Overviews
    Google introduces AI-generated summaries (previously known as SGE) to U.S. search results, utilizing the new Gemini model designed specifically for search.
  • May 6, 2024
    Site Reputation Abuse – Google’s SearchLiaison confirmed that Google’s site reputation abuse update started on Monday May 6th with manual actions to be followed as some point in the future with algorithmic ones.
  • March 5, 2024 – Core Update
    Google’s March 2024 Core Update addresses low-quality content and introduces new policies on spam to combat manipulative practices.

It began on March 5 and was completed on April 19, taking 45 days to roll out. The completion of the update wasn’t announced until April 26.


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