Google Search, offered by Google, is the most widely used search engine on the World Wide Web as of 2023, with over eight billion searches a day. This page covers key events in the history of Google's search service.
For a history of Google the company, including all of Google's products, acquisitions, and corporate changes, see the history of Google page.
|1996–1997||Development of basic technology, launch of search engine, attachments like gmail and classroom come later.|
|2000||Internationalization: search is launched in 13 new languages.|
|2001–2004||Google launches many new search categories, such as Google News, Google Books, and Google Scholar.|
|2002 onward||The beginning of explicitly announced search algorithm updates.|
|2008–2010||Faster search experience for user: Google Suggest (experimental launch 2004, integrated into main search engine 2008), Google Instant (2010), and Google Instant Previews.|
|2005, 2009, 2012||Google starts using web histories to help in searches (2005), experimentally launches social search (2009), and launches Search Plus Your World (2012).|
|2009–2010||Caffeine update for faster indexing of the web and fresher and on-topic search results.|
|2011–2014||Google Panda (an update to some parts of Google's search algorithm) is released in 2011, with announced updates continuing till September 2014 (Panda 4.1). Stated goals include cracking down on spam, content farms, scrapers, and websites with a high ad-to-content ratio.|
|2012–2014||Google Penguin (an update to some parts of Google's search algorithm) is released in 2012, with the goal of concentrating on webspam. The last named update is in October 2014. Starting December 2014, Penguin moves to continuous updates (Penguin Everflux).|
|2012 onward||Google integrates Google Knowledge Graph into its search results.|
|2013||Google releases Google Hummingbird, an update that may enable semantic search in the future and integrate better with the Knowledge Graph.|
|2014 onward||Google makes a major update to its algorithm for local search. The update gets the name Google Pigeon.|
|2015 onward||Google alerts webmasters to mobile usability issues in January, and announces a major update to its search algorithm, to be rolled out starting April 21, 2015, that will heavily demote mobile-unfriendly sites for web searches on mobile devices.|
|2019 April||In early April 2019, a large de-indexing bug was reported to be dropping pages out of the index. Google wrote on April 11, 2019, "The indexing issue has now been fully resolved. We apologize for the inconvenience. We appreciate your patience as we restored normal operation."|
|Year||Month and date (if available)||Event type||Event|
|1996||August||Prelude||Larry Page and Sergey Brin, graduate students in computer science at Stanford University, begin working on BackRub, the precursor to Google Search. Page begins work alone initially, supported by a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship, and Brin joins him shortly thereafter. The project is an outgrowth of their work on the Stanford Digital Library Project. Scott Hassan is the project's lead programmer, writing much of the code for the original Google Search engine. Web crawling begins in March.|
|1997||September 15||Domain||The domain Google.com is registered.|
|2000||May 9||Internationalization||Google adds ten new languages: French, German, Italian, Swedish, Finnish, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Norwegian and Danish.|
|2000||September 12||Internationalization||Google launches search services in Japanese, Chinese, and Korean.|
|2000||October||Advertising||Google AdWords launches with 350 customers.|
|2000||December||User experience||Google Toolbar is released, allowing people to search without visiting the Google homepage, and also offering them more information about the webpages they visit. Some commentators have argued that this marks the beginning of search engine optimization and the Google Dance.|
|2001||July||Search category||Google launches Google Image Search with over 250 million images in its search database.|
|2001||December||Review||Google releases its first annual Google Zeitgeist.|
|2002||September||Search category||Google launches Google News.|
|2002||September||Search algorithm update||Google makes the first publicly announced update to its search algorithm. A number of Internet commentators view this as the death of PageRank (the name for Google's system for ranking pages) and a significant decline in the quality of Google's search results.|
|2003||February||Search algorithm update||Google announces the Boston update at SES Boston. The update saw major algorithmic changes and the promise of frequent index updates.|
|2003||April||Search algorithm update||Google announces the Cassandra update. The update claims to crack down on link spam, including mutual links between co-owned websites, as well as hidden text and hidden links.|
|2003||May||Search algorithm update||Google announces the Dominic update. Commentators believed that the update affected the way backlinks were counted, and many webmasters reported new bots from Google that bounced.|
|2003||June||Search algorithm update||Google announces what will later turn out to have been the last of its regular monthly updates. This update is called the Esmeralda update.|
|2003||July||Search algorithm update||Google announces the Fritz update, and also a change to its update policy, as it moves towards continuous rather than batch processing of updates.|
|2003||September||Search algorithm update||Google announces a "supplemental index" in order to be able to index some parts of the web more rapidly. The supplemental index would eventually be scrapped.|
|2003||November||Search algorithm update||Google announces the Florida update, which commentators consider game-changing in that it completely destroyed the value of 1990s SEO tactics and ushered in a new era of search engine optimization.|
|2003||December||Search category||Google launches Google Print, that would later become Google Books.|
|2004||January||Search algorithm update||Google announces the Austin update, to continue with the work of combating SEO tactics that Florida had made good progress on.|
|2004||February 17–20||Search algorithm update||Google announces the Brandy update, a massive index expansion, Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI), increased attention to anchor text relevance, and the concept of link "neighborhoods."|
|2004||October||Search category||Google launches Google Scholar, its search service for academic publications.|
|2004||December||User experience||Google Suggest is introduced as a Google Labs feature.|
|2005||January||Search algorithm update||To combat link spam, Google, Yahoo! and Microsoft collectively introduce the nofollow attribute.|
|2005||February 2||Search algorithm update||Google announces the Allegra update, whose effects are unclear.|
|2005||May||Search algorithm update||Google announces the Bourbon update.|
|2005||June||Webmaster tools||Google allows webmasters to submit XML sitemaps via Webmaster Tools, bypassing the need for HTML sitemaps.|
|2005||June||User experience||Google launches personalized search that automatically taps into users' web histories.|
|2005||June||User experience||Google launches Google Mobile Web Search.|
|2005||September||Search algorithm update||Although Google denies running an update, Matt Cutts clarifies that PageRank was refreshed for some pages recently (with a three-month refresh cycle) causing changes to many site ranks. Observers call this the Gilligan update.|
|2005||September–November||Search algorithm update||Google announces and rolls out the Jagger update in three stages, one in September, one in October, one in November.|
|2005||December (rollout continues till March 2006)||Search algorithm update||Google begins rolling out the Big Daddy update, continuing for the next few months until March 2006. The update changes URL canonization, site redirects, and related items.|
|2006||May||Review||Google releases Google Trends to make it easy to visualize the popularity of searches over time.|
|2007||May 16||Search algorithm update + user experience||Google launches Universal Search, integrating traditional search results with results from Google News, Google Image Search, Google Video Search, and other verticals. This is believed to be a major milestone in the user experience.|
|2007||June||Search algorithm update||The Buffy update happens. It is not considered a deliberate update, but rather an accumulation of many smaller changes.|
|2008||March/April||Search algorithm update||The Dewey update seems to lead to a large-scale shuffling of results. Some observers believe that Google is pushing its own properties, such as Google Books, but evidence of this is limited.|
|2008||August 25||User experience||Google Suggest (later called Autocomplete), originally launched as a Labs feature in December 2004, now becomes part of Google's main site.|
|2009||February||Search algorithm update||The Vince update happens. Matt Cutts calls it a minor change, but some SEO commentators consider it major.|
|2009||February||Webmaster tools||Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo! announce joint support for tags that help bots identify canonical versions of webpages without affecting human visitors.|
|2009||August 10 (announced), rollout completed and made live June 8, 2010||Search algorithm update||Named Caffeine , this update is announced on August 10, 2009. It promises faster crawling, expansion of the index, and a near-real-time integration of indexing and ranking. The rollout is made live on June 8, 2010.|
|2009||October 26||Search category||Google introduces Social Search as a Google Labs feature. The feature is expanded further in late January 2010.|
|2009||December 7||Search category||Google launches real-time search for real-time Twitter feeds, Google News, and other freshly indexed content.|
|2010||Late April, early May||Search algorithm update||The update, named May Day, is an algorithm change affecting the long tail. Foreshadowing Google Panda, the update penalizes sites with large amounts of thin content.|
|2010||September 8||User experience||Google launches Google Instant, described as a search-before-you-type feature: as users are typing, Google predicts the user's whole search query (using the same technology as in Google Suggest, later called the autocomplete feature) and instantaneously shows results for the top prediction. Google claims that this is estimated to save 2–5 seconds per search query. SEO commentators initially believe that this will have a major effect on search engine optimization, but soon revise downward their estimate of the impact.|
|2010||November 9||User experience||Google launches Instant Previews, a feature where users can view previews of the ranked pages by hovering over the links in the search engine results page.|
|2010||December 1||Search algorithm update||Google updated its algorithm to penalize websites that provided a bad experience to users. The update is prompted by a November 26 New York Times story about a fraudulent company called DecorMyEyes that used the publicity generated by negative customer reviews to rise in the search engine rankings.|
|2010||December||Search algorithm update (announcement/confirmation)||Both Google and Microsoft's Bing indicate that they use social signals, including signals from Twitter and Facebook, to rank search results.|
|2011||January–February||Search algorithm update||Foreshadowing Google Panda, Google penalizes Overstock.com and JCPenney for the use of SEO tactics.|
|2011||January 28||Search algorithm update||Google launches its Attribution algorithm change to better sieve out websites that scrape content. Matt Cutts claims that slightly over 2% of search queries are affected, but less than 0.5% of results change noticeably.|
|2011||February 23–24||Search algorithm update||Google launches Google Panda, a major update affecting 12% of search queries. The update continues with the earlier work of cracking down on spam, content farms, scrapers, and websites with a high ad-to-content ratio. The rollout is gradual over several months, and Panda will see many further updates.|
|2011||March 30||User experience, incorporation of user feedback||Google launches the +1 button so that users can offer feedback on search results. Commentators liken this to the like button seen on Facebook.|
|2011||April 11||Search algorithm update||Google rolls out Panda to all English queries worldwide (not limited to English-speaking countries) and integrates new signals into its ranking algorithm.|
|2011||May 9||Search algorithm update||Google rolls out further minor updates to Panda but does not discuss them in detail, saying they are more like Panda 2.1 than Panda 3.0.|
|2011||June 2||Webmaster tools||Google, Yahoo!, and Microsoft announce Schema.org, a joint initiative that supports a richer range of tags that websites can use to convey better information.|
|2011||June 21||Search algorithm update||Google rolls out Panda 2.2.|
|2011||July 23||Search algorithm update||Google rolls out Panda 2.3.|
|2011||August 12||Search algorithm update||Google rolls out Panda 2.4, making Panda available in all languages around the world, except Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.|
|2011||August 16||User experience||Google rolls out expanded sitelinks, starting with 12-pack links (but later reducing to 6-pack).|
|2011||September 15||Webmaster tools||Google rolls out pagination elements for websites to communicate to Google that various webpages are different pages of the same article.|
|2011||September 30||Search algorithm update||Google rolls out Panda 2.5. Although the specifics of the update are unclear, a few sites gain significantly and a few others lose significantly. Other minor flux updates occur on October 3, October 5 and October 13, and some commentators call these Panda 3.0 and 3.1.|
|2011||October 18||User experience, SEO data||Google announces that they will start encrypting all search queries for security purposes. This disrupts organic keyword referral data for many websites, making search engine optimization harder.|
|2011||November 3||Search algorithm update||Google announces a Freshness update that would give priority to fresher, more recent search results, and claims this could affect 35% of search queries. The algorithm largely affects time-sensitive queries. A number of sites gain and many others lose as a result of the update.|
|2011||November 14||Search algorithm update||Google announces a 10-pack of updates, and says that this begins a series of monthly announcements of packs of updates.|
|2011||November 18||Search algorithm update||Google releases an allegedly minor Panda update, which SEO commentators label as Panda 3.1, despite the lack of a generally agreed upon update named Panda 3.0.|
|2012||December 2011-January 2012 (announced January 5)||Search algorithm update, user experience||A 30-change pack of updates, including landing-page quality detection, more relevant site-links, more rich snippets, and related-query improvements.|
|2012||January 10||Search algorithm update, user experience||Google launches Search Plus Your World, a deep integration of one's social data into search. SEO commentators are critical of how the search results favor Google+ and push it to users, compared to more widely used social networks such as Facebook and Twitter.|
|2012||January 19||Search algorithm update||Google updates its algorithm to introduce a penalty for websites with too many ads "above the fold". The update has no name, but some SEOs use "Top Heavy" to describe the update.|
|2012||February 27||Search algorithm update||The update, codenamed Venice, is announced as part of Google's end-of-February 40-pack update. Venice seemed to give substantially increased weightage to local results (location inferred from the user's IP and other signals) for many search queries, such as those looking for businesses of various types in the vicinity. On the same date, Google rolls out Panda 3.3, which it bills as a data refresh rather than an algorithm change.|
|2012||March 23, April 19, April 27||Search algorithm update||March 23: Google rolls out Panda 3.4, which is claimed to affect 1.6% of search queries. |
Google quietly rolls out Panda 3.5 (April 19) and Panda 3.6 (April 27), with minimal impact.
|2012||April 24||Search algorithm update||Google launches its "Webspam update" which would soon become known as Google Penguin.|
|2012||May 16||Search algorithm update||Google starts rolling out Knowledge Graph, used by Google internally to store semantic relationships between objects. Google now begins displaying supplemental information about objects related to search queries on the side.|
|2012||May 25||Search algorithm update||Google rolls out an update of Google Penguin, variously called Penguin 1.1 and Penguin 2.|
|2012||June–September||Search algorithm update||Google rolls out updates to Google Panda: 3.7 (June 8), 3.8 (June 25), 3.9 (July 24), 3.9.1 (August 20), and 3.9.2 (September 18).|
|2012||August 10||Search algorithm update||Google announces that it will start penalizing websites with repeat copyright infringements, possibly as measured by DMCA takedown requests. Some SEO commentators call this the Pirate update.|
|2012||September 27||Search algorithm update||Google rolls out a major update to Google Panda (the update is to the underlying algorithm, rather than merely being a data refresh), that would be dubbed Panda 4.0, but SEO commentators decide to simply call it Panda #20. The change is estimated to have affected 2.4% of search queries.|
|2012||September 27||Search algorithm update||Google announces changes in the way it handles Exact-Match Domains. The change is estimated to have affected 0.6% of search queries.|
|2012||October 5||Search algorithm update||Google releases minor tweaks to Penguin, affecting about 0.3% of search queries. SEO commentators call it Penguin #3, following the lead of Panda in ditching the use of 1.x notation in favor of labeling updates by number.|
|2012-13||November 2012-January 2013||Search algorithm update||Google releases updates to Google Panda: #21 (November 5, affecting 1.1% of queries), #22 (November 21, data refresh only), #23 (December 21, data refresh only, affecting 1.3% of queries), and #24 (January 22, affecting 1.2% of queries).|
|2012||December 4||Search algorithm update||Google adds Knowledge Graph to non-English queries, and says that the change goes beyond translation and also adds enhanced Knowledge Graph capabilities.|
|2013||March 13–14||Search algorithm update||Google rolls out Panda #25. Remarks by Matt Cutts at SMX West give people the impression that this is the last update to Panda as a distinct entity and it will thereafter be integrated into the core algorithm. On June 11, 2013, Cutts clarifies that Panda updates roll out over 10-day periods every month and are not continuous.|
|2013||May 22||Search algorithm update||Google rolls out a new version of Google Penguin that it calls Penguin 2.0, which SEO commentators call Penguin #4.|
|2013||August 6||User experience||Google adds a new feature called "in-depth articles" in its search results to feature long-form content of long-lasting value.|
|2013||August 21–22 (approximate date for rollout), September 26 (announcement)||Search algorithm update||Google releases Google Hummingbird, a core algorithm update that may enable more semantic search and more effective use of the Knowledge Graph in the future.|
|2013||October 4||Search algorithm update||Google announces what it calls Penguin 2.1, its fifth version of Penguin, claiming to affect 1% of searches. The effect seems minor.|
|2014||May 16||Search algorithm update||Payday Loans 2.0 algorithm change is purely low quality external link related and over-optimization. This specifically goes after high search, spammy queries such as “Payday Loans”. Google is trying to devalue sites that perform in link buying and other black hat methods to game the algorithm.|
|2014||May 20||Search algorithm update||Panda 4.0 is implemented to devalue sites that contained poor / low quality content. This has been an ongoing battle that Google has been chipping away at for years. Google has claimed that the algorithm change has impacted roughly 7.5% of all search queries.|
|2014||July 3||Team||Matt Cutts, a Distinguished Engineer at Google who has been heading the web spam team since 2004, goes on leave till October. He later extends his leave through 2015.|
|2014||July 24||Search algorithm update||Google announces the rollout of Google Pigeon, a major update to its search algorithm for "local" searches such as searches related to events or businesses near one. The Pigeon update gives more weight to various search signals to deliver more relevant local results.|
|2014||August 6||Search algorithm update||Google announces search results will give preference to sites using HTTP Secure and SSL encryption. This added ranking signal would be a "lightweight" ranking boost.|
|2014||August 28||User experience||Google Authorship is removed completely from search results, as already in December 2013 it reduced number of images showing in SERP's. Now it's totally gone to extinction due to lower adaptation rate by authors, to reduce mobile bandwidth and to improve user experience.|
|2014||September 23 (rollout begins), September 25 (announcement)||Search algorithm update||Google announces that a significant update to Google Panda is rolling out over the next few weeks. The update is dubbed Panda 4.1. An analysis reveals that the update was heavy on attacking affiliate marketing, keyword stuffing, security warnings, and deception.|
|2014||October 17||Search algorithm update||Penguin 3.0 is implemented as a refresh to re-evaluate sites demoted in the last update due to webspam tactics and demote sites using black hat SEO tactics. This refresh is rolled out globally over several weeks impacting roughly 1% of English-language queries.|
|2014||October 21||Search algorithm update||Pirate 2.0 update dubbed by SEO commentators following the similar update in 2012 which penalized sites deemed as violators of copyright laws. This refresh targets a relatively small number of known sites causing dramatic drops in ranking. In tandem with this Google introduces a new Ad Format for queries where people may be searching for copyrighted media, requiring publishers to purchase ads to promote original content over the unauthorized copies.|
|2014||December 10||Search algorithm update||Google announces that Google Penguin will switch to continuous updates, also known as "Penguin Everflux".|
|2014||December 22||Search algorithm update||Google Pigeon, the local search algorithm update, is rolled out to the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia.|
|2015||February 4||Search algorithm update||Many independent sources report significant fluctuations in Google Search results, but Google does not officially confirm any changes.|
|2015||April 21 (pre-announced February 26)||User experience, search algorithm update (mobile usability)||On January 19, 2015, Google sends emails to webmasters about mobile usability issues on the websites, leading people to speculate that a major mobile usability update for search rankings is underway. On February 26, 2015, Google announces that demotion of mobile-unfriendly sites for searches on mobile devices will commence on April 21, 2015.|
|2015||May 3||Search algorithm update||Google says it has made a core algorithm change impacting "quality signals". Before the official announcement, commentators had dubbed the changes as "Phantom 2".|
|2015||July 17||Search algorithm update||Google announces an update to Google Panda, dubbed as Panda 4.2 by commentators. Google says that the change affects between 2% and 3% of search queries. Search engine commentators do not notice any sharp changes to search traffic, and expect the changes to be rolled in gradually. By September, it appears that many websites that had seen gains due to Panda 4.2 are seeing those gains reversed.|
|2015||October 26||Search algorithm update (announcement/confirmation)||Google announces that RankBrain, a machine learning-based engine (using neural networks), has been the third most influential factor in its search rankings for the last few months. The actual rollout date is not confirmed, but commentators pin the launch time to Spring 2015. It is most useful for new search queries, that account for about 15% of search queries.|
|2016||February 3||Team||Amit Singhal steps down from his position as Vice President of Search at Google after 15 years in that role. He is replaced by John Giannandrea who works in artificial intelligence at Alphabet, Google's parent company.|
|2016||February 18 and 23||Advertising||Google makes changes to Google AdWords, removing right-column ads and rolling out 4-ad top blocks on searches with commercial intent. The change has implications on organic search CTRs for such searches, since it pushes the organic search results further down the page, potentially reducing organic search CTRs. Up to three additional ads may be shown below the 10 organic search results, and additional ads may be shown on the second page.|
|2016||May 12 (announced March 16)||User experience, search algorithm update (mobile usability)||Google rolls out a ranking signal boost to benefit mobile-friendly websites on mobile devices. This is the second update of this sort, with the previous update in April 2015.|
|2016||September 27 |
(announced September 23)
|Penguin 4.0||After almost two years of waiting, Google finally announced a major Penguin update. They suggested the new Penguin is now real-time and baked into the "core" algorithm. The rollout of the new, "gentler" Penguin algorithm, which devalues bad links instead of penalizing sites.|
|2017||January 10||Intrusive Interstitial Penalty||Google started rolling out a penalty to punish aggressive interstitials and pop-ups that might damage the mobile user experience. Google also provided a rare warning of this update five months in advance.|
|2018||March 8||Core Update "Brackets"||Google Made a core update into their algorithm this updated was termed as "Brackets" by Glenn Gabe. This update effected the search ranks to improve it further.|
|2019||December 9||BERT - Update||In October Google updated its algorithm to support BERT - NLP model. This update helps google to improve the interpretation of natural languages. In December Google extended the BERT update internationally into 70 languages. They confirmed that this algorithm update was rolled out to 70 languages|
|2021||November 30 (rollout begins) - December 8||Vicinity Update||The Vicinity Update is the biggest update to local SERPs since 2017. This algorithm update made it so that smaller businesses that are closer to the searcher will show up as a search result, rather than only the dominant, larger businesses that are farther away.|
|2022||May 25 (rollout begins) - June 9||May 2022 Core Update||The May 2022 Core Update was shown to negatively affect the rankings for most news and media publishers, especially generalist news sites that cover a variety of topics. Reference sites like dictionaries, unofficial Wikis, lyric websites, and stock photo sites also saw a drop in rankings, while video site like YouTube, TikTok, Disney+, Hulu, and Twitch saw the largest gains in ranking.|
|2022||Aug 25||Helpful Content Update||The August 2022 Helpful Content update completed it's rollout on September 9. The target of the update was, “content that seems to have been primarily created for ranking well in search engines rather than to help or inform people."|
|2022||Sep 12||September 2022 Core Update||The update took 14 days. Volatility was lower than many prior similar updates.|
|2022||Dec 5||December 2022 Helpful Content Update||The update took 38 days to roll out. It reportedly improves Google's classifier, and works across all content and all languages.|
|2023||Mar 15||March 2023 Core Update||The March 2023 Core Update caused a larger spike in volatility that the September Update. According to Semrush, the largest impacted sectors were Shopping and A&E.|
|2023||Aug 22||August 2023 Core Update||The update took 16 days to roll out. The biggest gains seemed to be felt by UGC and Reddit, as well as gains from site showing evidence of experience in the subject.|
|2023||Sep 14||September 2023 Helpful Content Update||This update contained important changes to how sites are ranked including demoting third-party content hosted on sub-domains, and loosening the guidelines around AI-generated content being devalued.|
|2023||Oct 4||October 2023 Spam Update||Enhanced coverage for more languages and additional types of spam.|
|2023||Oct 5||October 2023 Core Update||The rollout took 14 days. There was high volatility reported by many of the SEO ranking tools.|
|2023||Nov 2||November 2023 Core Update||The second core update in as many months is a rare occurrence.|
Google Search is a search engine provided and operated by Google. Handling more than 3.5 billion searches per day, it has a 92% share of the global search engine market. It is the most-visited website in the world. Additionally, it is the most searched and used search engine in the entire world.
Meta elements are tags used in HTML and XHTML documents to provide structured metadata about a Web page. They are part of a web page's
head section. Multiple Meta elements with different attributes can be used on the same page. Meta elements can be used to specify page description, keywords and any other metadata not provided through the other
head elements and attributes.
Spamdexing is the deliberate manipulation of search engine indexes. It involves a number of methods, such as link building and repeating unrelated phrases, to manipulate the relevance or prominence of resources indexed in a manner inconsistent with the purpose of the indexing system.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the quality and quantity of website traffic to a website or a web page from search engines. SEO targets unpaid traffic rather than direct traffic or paid traffic. Unpaid traffic may originate from different kinds of searches, including image search, video search, academic search, news search, and industry-specific vertical search engines.
The anchor text, link label or link text is the visible, clickable text in an HTML hyperlink. The term "anchor" was used in older versions of the HTML specification for what is currently referred to as the a element, or
<a>. The HTML specification does not have a specific term for anchor text, but refers to it as "text that the a element wraps around". In XML terms, the anchor text is the content of the element, provided that the content is text.
Keyword stuffing is a search engine optimization (SEO) technique, considered webspam or spamdexing, in which keywords are loaded into a web page's meta tags, visible content, or backlink anchor text in an attempt to gain an unfair rank advantage in search engines. Keyword stuffing may lead to a website being temporarily or permanently banned or penalized on major search engines. The repetition of words in meta tags may explain why many search engines no longer use these tags. Nowadays, search engines focus more on the content that is unique, comprehensive, relevant, and helpful that overall makes the quality better which makes keyword stuffing useless, but it is still practiced by many webmasters.
The Sandbox effect is a name given to an observation of the way Google ranks web pages in its index. It is the subject of much debate—its existence has been written about since 2004, but not confirmed, with several statements to the contrary.
nofollow is a setting on a web page hyperlink that directs search engines not to use the link for page ranking calculations. It is specified in the page as a type of link relation; that is:
<a rel="nofollow" ...>. Because search engines often calculate a site's importance according to the number of hyperlinks from other sites, the
nofollow setting allows website authors to indicate that the presence of a link is not an endorsement of the target site's importance.
Danny Sullivan is an American technologist, journalist, and entrepreneur. He is the founder of Search Engine Watch in 1997, one of the earliest online publications about search engine marketing. He also launched Search Engine Strategies, one of the earliest search marketing trade shows. After selling both companies in 2006, he co-founded Search Engine Land, another search marketing publication. In 2017, he joined Google as an adviser at the search division of the company.
Barry Schwartz is a blogger who writes about search engines and search engine marketing. Schwartz is the founder and currently the editor of Search Engine Roundtable, an online news site covering the search engines and search engine marketing. He also is the CEO & President of RustyBrick, Inc., a New York–based web development company, and a news editor at Search Engine Land, a search engine news site founded by Danny Sullivan. Previously, Schwartz was a writer for Search Engine Watch. He also moderates online and offline panels at Search Engine Watch, Cre8asite Forums and WebmasterWorld's PubCon.
Mahalo.com was a web directory and Internet-based knowledge exchange launched in May 2007 by Jason Calacanis. It differentiated itself from algorithmic search engines like Google and Ask.com, as well as other directory sites like DMOZ and Yahoo! by tracking and building hand-crafted result sets for many of the currently popular search terms.
Amitabh Kumar "Amit" Singhal is a former senior vice president at Google Inc., having been a Google Fellow and the head of Google's Search team for 15 years.
PageRank (PR) is an algorithm used by Google Search to rank web pages in their search engine results. It is named after both the term "web page" and co-founder Larry Page. PageRank is a way of measuring the importance of website pages. According to Google:
PageRank works by counting the number and quality of links to a page to determine a rough estimate of how important the website is. The underlying assumption is that more important websites are likely to receive more links from other websites.
A content farm or content mill is a company that employs large numbers of freelance writers or uses automated tools to generate a large amount of textual web content which is specifically designed to satisfy algorithms for maximal retrieval by search engines, known as SEO. Their main goal is to generate advertising revenue through attracting reader page views, as first exposed in the context of social spam.
Google's Google Panda is a major change to the company's search results ranking algorithm that was first released in February 2011. The change aimed to lower the rank of "low-quality sites" or "thin sites", in particular "content farms", and return higher-quality sites near the top of the search results.
Google Penguin was a codename for a Google algorithm update that was first announced on April 24, 2012. The update was aimed at decreasing search engine rankings of websites that violate Google's Webmaster Guidelines by using now declared Grey Hat SEM techniques involved in increasing artificially the ranking of a webpage by manipulating the number of links pointing to the page. Such tactics are commonly described as link schemes. According to Google's John Mueller, as of 2013, Google announced all updates to the Penguin filter to the public.
The Google Knowledge Graph is a knowledge base from which Google serves relevant information in an infobox beside its search results. This allows the user to see the answer in a glance, as an instant answer. The data is generated automatically from a variety of sources, covering places, people, businesses, and more.
Hummingbird is the codename given to a significant algorithm change in Google Search in 2013. Its name was derived from the speed and accuracy of the hummingbird. The change was announced on September 26, 2013, having already been in use for a month. "Hummingbird" places greater emphasis on natural language queries, considering context and meaning over individual keywords. It also looks deeper at content on individual pages of a website, with improved ability to lead users directly to the most appropriate page rather than just a website's homepage.
This page provides a full timeline of web search engines, starting from the WHOis in 1982, the Archie search engine in 1990, and subsequent developments in the field. It is complementary to the history of web search engines page that provides more qualitative detail on the history.
Google Pigeon is the code name given to one of Google's local search algorithm updates. This update was released on July 24, 2014. It is aimed to increase the ranking of local listings in a search.