July 12th Day of Action for Net Neutrality
Payday Loan 3.0
This update targets spammy search queries such as payday loans, casinos, and prescription drugs.
Google Launching Payday Loan Algorithm 3.0 Targeting Spammy Queries This Week – Search Engine Land
Google’s Payday Loan Algorithm 3.0 Rolling Out Now – Search Engine Land
June 28, 2014
No More Authorship Photos
Google removed the once highly touted authorship photos from search results. This removed the visual benefit of using authorship to increase click through rates to authored content. (Google has since eliminated authorship entirely.)
July 24, 2014
Pigeon (not the official Google name)
The Pigeon update was a major Google algorithm update. The update re-balanced the hundreds of factors that influence Google search positioning. This update primarily affected local search terms and led to fewer clicks and referrals from local search for small local businesses. Large directories such as Yelp seem to have benefited most from this update.
August 6, 2014
SSL Certificate (HTTPS) Update
Google is now using the presence of an SSL certificate as a significant positive ranking factor for all websites. You can ream more about it in our Easy SEO Tips & Tricks post. All websites should have a security certificate on them. Give us a call if you need one!
HTTPS as a ranking signal – Google
August 28, 2014
No More Authorship
“Authorship markup is no longer supported in web search.” ~Google
It’s as simple as that. It’s gone. No more. Sianara. Adios. Goodbye, Authorship. Those of us that used it to greatly improve search rankings and click-through rates will miss you dearly. Everyone else will rejoice.
Authorship in web search – Google
September 10, 2014
Benchmarking Returns to Analytics
The new section in Google Analytics for benchmarking reports allows you to compare your business among 1600 industry categories, 1250 markets and 7 size buckets.
Google Analytics Benchmarking Returns! – Ironistic
September 23, 2014
This small update to the original Panda algorithm that evaluates the quality of on-page content. Panda evaluates the trustworthiness, expertise, and accuracy of the actual content of you site to determine search engine positioning. If you have quality content with accurate information that is well organized, you should not be negatively affected by this update.
October 1, 2014
“In The News” Box
Google no longer lists only “traditional” news site in the News search results. You will now see sites like Wikipedia and Reddit appearing more frequently in these results.
Google’s “In The News” Box Now Lists More Than Traditional News Sites – Search Engine Land
October 17, 2014
Like previous Penguin updates, the 3.0 update aims to reduce spam in search results. 1% of search queries were affected by Penguin 3.0.
Google Releases Penguin 3.0 — First Penguin Update In Over A Year – Search Engine Land
October 21, 2014
After taking some heat for not doing enough to combat online piracy, Google has updated the algorithm that filters out results on websites that have been accused of hosting or facilitating copyright infringement.
November 27, 2014 and December 2-6, 2014
Penguin 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, and 3.4
I’m lumping all of these updates together because they all did essentially the same thing and Google is changing how they release updates to a more continuous process. It may be difficult to keep track of additional Penguin updates in the future. The Penguin updates are additional modifications to Google’s search spam filters. If you’re not link or keyword spamming, you are likely unaffected by these updates.