January 30-Pack — January 5
Google announced 30
changes, including image search landing-page quality detection, more relevant site-links, more rich
snippets, and related-query improvements.
Search + Your World — January
A radical shift in personalization - aggressively pushing Google+ social data
and user profiles into SERPs.
Ads Above The Fold — January
Google updated their page layout algorithms to devalue sites with too much
ad-space above the "fold".
February 17-Pack — February
Rolled out 17 updates, many related to speed, freshness, and spell-checking and
integration of Panda into the main search index.
February 40-Pack (2) —
Google rolled out 40 changes in February. Notable changes included
multiple image-search updates, multiple freshness updates and a Panda update.
Venice — February 27
Google mentioned code-name "Venice".
This local update appeared to more aggressively localize organic results and more tightly integrate
local search data.
Parked Domain Bug — April 16
After a number
of webmasters reported ranking shuffles, Google confirmed that a data error had caused some domains
to be mistakenly treated as parked domains.
Penguin — April
Penguin adjusted a number of spam factors, including keyword stuffing, and
impacted an estimated 3.1% of English queries.
April 52-Pack — May
Google published details of 52 updates in April, including changes that were
tied to the "Penguin" update. Other highlights included a 15% larger "base"
index, improved pagination handling, and a number of updates to sitelinks.
Knowledge Graph — May 16
Google started rolling out "Knowledge
Graph", a SERP-integrated display providing supplemental object about certain people, places,
May 39-Pack — June 7
Major changes included Penguin
improvements, better link-scheme detection, changes to title/snippet rewriting, and updates to
Link Warnings — July 19
In a repeat of
March/April, Google sent out a large number of unnatural link warnings via Google Webmaster
DMCA Penalty ("Pirate") — August 10
announced that they would start penalizing sites with repeat copyright violations, probably via DMCA
June/July 86-Pack — August 10
included Panda data and algorithm refreshes, an improved rank-ordering function, a ranking boost for
Exact-Match Domain (EMD) Update — September
Google announced a change in the way it was handling exact-match domains
(EMDs). This led to large-scale devaluation, reducing the presence of EMDs in the MozCast data set
by over 10%.
Panda #20 — September 27
Overlapping the EMD update,
a fairly major Panda update rolled out, officially affecting 2.4% of
August/September 65-Pack — October 4
The 65 updates
included 7-result SERPs, Knowledge Graph expansion, updates to how "page quality" is
calculated, and changes to how local results are determined.
Page Layout #2 —
Google announced an update to its original page layout algorithm change
back in January, which targeted pages with too many ads above the fold.
Graph Expansion — December 4
Google added Knowledge Graph functionality to
non-English queries, including Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, Japanese, Russian, and Italian.