A good couple of things changed over the year and here are a few of those Google Algorithm changes.
Content Attribution Update
January 28th – Google releases an update that is designed to improve their ability to weed out content scrapers through better content atrribution. Was this the birth of Panda?
First Panda Update [AKA Farmer Update]
February 23rd – Google Releases the first Panda update which impacted up to 12% of search results according to Google. This algorithm update was to enhance their abilities to seek out and devalue content farms, thin content sites, sites with excessive advertising, and websites with poor quality content.
Google Launches +1 Button
March 30th – Google launches the +1 button to add a social element to search. The +1 button allows users to influence the results displayed to people that are emmers of their Google Plus circles.
Panda Update 2.0
April 11th – This update introduced signals into the algorithm such as websites that users blocked during their normal searches on Google and through the Chrome browser.
Panda Update 2.1
May 9th – More minor changes were introduced by Google, but not discussed due to their minimal impact. That is what it is dubbed 2.1.
Support Announced For Schema.org
June 02 – The major search providers Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft announced their support for structured data through the project of Schema.org.
Panda Update 2.2
June 21 – Google officially acknoledges the release another minor algorithm update. Chatter from around the web pegs this release anywhere from June 16th – June 20th.
Panda Update 2.3
July 26th – Google officially acknowledges the release of another minor Panda update that occured around July 23rd.
Panda Update 2.4 [Panda Global]
August 12th – This was a major international roll out of Panda. This impacted English language searches as well as non-English, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean language queries appear to have been excluded.
Expansion of Sitelinks
August 16th – Google rolls out an expanded version of sitelinks which benefited bigger brands more than most websites. Up to 12 sitelinks for a listing had been seen at the time. 6 sitelinks appear to be the norm.
Google Introduces New “rel” Attributes
September 15th – Google introduced rel=”next” and rel=”prev”attributes as potential solutions to crawl and duplicate content issues caused by pagination.
Panda Update 2.5
September 28th – Another minor Panda update according to Google, but numerous site reported large losses. The Today Show website was one of the biggest losers with this udpate.
Matt Cutts Tweets About Panda “Flux”
October 05 – Matt Cutts tweeted about a Panda related flux that was to occur within a few weeks. The flux dates appear to have been 10/9 (Panda 2.5.1), 10/13 (Panda 2.5.2), 10/19-20 (Panda 2.5.3), Panda 2.5.3 turned out to have a major impact on results.
Search Privacy Announced
October 18th – Google announced that people that are logged into their Google account were being directed to the Google SSl version of the search engine that would encrypt their search queries for privacy reasons. This could have a large impact on internet marketers down the road.
Google Freshness Update
November 03rd – Google indicates that they will pay closer attention to fresher content through the release of this algorithm change. This udpate focused primarily on displaying more time sensitive results in queries that warrented it.
Matt Cutts Announces 10 Algorithm Updates
November 14th – In an apparent attempt to be a little more transparent, Matt Cutts outlines 10 recent algorithm changes.
Google Announces Another 10 Updates
December 1st – In their blog Google announced another set of 10 updates to their algorithm. A couple of these updates reinforced Google’s attempt to weed out scraper sites as well as parked domains.
This infographic is by SEOMoz