- Google is constantly updating its search algorithm with updates, and tweaks
- Core updates occur roughly every 3 months
- Google focuses on uplifting content that’s helpful, relevant, and reader focused.
This page provides a rundown of the most recent relevant Google Search ranking updates. If you’re interested in learning more about the history of Google algorithm updates and how Google improves search, check our Guide to Google’s Major Algorithm Updates. We provide a deep dive into the largest updates that have shaken up the SERPs.
Additionally: Google maintains an index of all recent algorithm modifications here: Google Search ranking updates.
List of Google Algorithm Updates (Newest First)
March 15, 2023 – Core Update
On March 15th, Google announced a Core Update that will take two weeks to fully roll out. March 16th saw SERP volatility reach numbers comparable to the September 2022 core update.
Brands, businesses, and organizations need to be aware of Google algorithm updates since they can affect their site’s performance in search results, organic traffic, conversions, and revenue. Core updates are significant algorithm updates and can result in positive or negative changes in rankings. The latest update has been reported to be quite impactful compared to previous ones, and its effects will be analyzed further as the dust continues to settle.
If your site is hit by a core update, Google has offered a list of questions to consider while reassessing their content.
Update complete as of March 28, 2023.
February 21, 2023 – Product Review Update
This is now the sixth Product Review Update that Google has rolled out since April 2021.
Google’s goal with its product reviews system is to improve the recognition of high-quality reviews that offer insightful analysis and original research created by experts or enthusiasts who have first-hand knowledge of the products and topics.
This update had a significant effect on product review websites, and while the original updates only affected English websites, this update impacts Spanish, German, French, Italian, Vietnamese, Indonesian, Russian, Dutch, Portuguese, and Polish.
Update complete as of March 7, 2023.
December 14, 2022 – Link Spam Update
SpamBrain, an AI-based spam-prevention system, has been launched to fight link spam and neutralize the impact of unnatural links on search results.
The December 2022 link spam update will take two weeks to fully roll out and affect all languages, potentially causing changes in ranking. The goal is to nullify links obtained primarily for the artificial manipulation of search rankings.
Update complete as of January 12, 2023.
December 5, 2022 – Helpful Content Update
Google Search’s “helpful content” system sends out a signal that automated ranking systems use to make sure that search results show original, helpful content written by people for people. This Google resource tells you more about the helpful content update and what you can do to evaluate your content and make it better.
Update complete as of January 12, 2023.
October 19, 2022 – Spam Update
Google periodically updates its spam detection systems, including its AI-based SpamBrain, to better spot and prevent spam. If a website experiences a change after a spam update, it should review Google’s spam policies to ensure compliance. Non-compliant sites may see a drop in rankings or no appearance in results at all. Making changes may improve the site’s ranking over time if it complies with the policies. During a link spam update, removing spammy links may result in losing any ranking benefits they generate, which cannot be regained.
Update complete as of October 21, 2022.
September 20, 2022 – Product Reviews Update
Google periodically updates its automated ranking systems to prioritize high-quality product reviews over those with thin content. These updates, called product review updates, evaluate the content on a page-level basis. However, they may also consider a site’s overall content if it has a substantial amount of product reviews. While structured data may help identify product reviews, it’s not the only factor considered. It’s recommended to follow Google’s guidelines for writing high-quality product reviews. However, it’s important to note that the ranking of your content can also be affected by other factors.
Update complete as of September 26, 2022
September 12, 2022 – Core update
Core updates are big, system-wide changes that Google makes to its search algorithms and systems every few months. The goal of these updates is to shake up the rankings and help give users results that are helpful, relevant, and reliable. Google seeks to reward helpful, reliable, people-first content first and foremost.
Update complete as of September 26.
Did your site see a dip in traffic after a core algorithm update? Read our 4 Steps to Take After a Google Update Hits Your Rankings.
August 25, 2022 – Helpful Content Update
This was the first release of Google’s “Helpful Content Update,” which tilted the algorithm to prioritize pages that provide a “high level of user engagement and informative content.” The goal of this update is to provide users with the most helpful and relevant results for their searches, making it easier for them to find the information they need.
To ensure you’re creating content, Adhere to Google’s established guidelines for creating valuable and user-focused content.
July 27, 2022 – Product Reviews Update
Google’s “Product Reviews Update” evaluates the quality of product review content on a page-level basis. It prioritizes high-quality reviews that provide insightful analysis and original research written by experts or enthusiasts who are knowledgeable about the topic. Structured data can help identify product reviews, but it is not the sole determining factor.
To learn more about creating successful product review content, Google documented how to write high-quality product reviews.
May 25, 2022 – Core Update
Google’s core updates, named the May 2022 Core Update, aim to improve the quality of its search results by making changes to the algorithms that determine the relevance and ranking of pages. The aim is to provide searchers with the most helpful and pertinent information, ensuring the search engine remains current and effective.
Update complete as of June 9, 2022.
March 23, 2022 – Product Reviews Update
Google announced an update to product review rankings that will enable them to identify high-quality reviews. Learn more about the delicate balance to provide better product reviews on the Search Central Blog, and get Google’s advice on how to write them.
February 22, 2022 – Page Experience Update for Desktop
This update incorporated page experience into its desktop ranking system, dubbing this the “Page Experience Update.” The same page experience signals used in mobile ranking will be applied to desktop ranking, including Core Web Vitals metrics (LCP, FID, and CLS) and other elements such as HTTPS security and the absence of intrusive interstitials.
Additionally, Google Search Console will report performance metrics to help site owners understand the performance of their desktop pages regarding page experience.
December 1, 2021 – Product Reviews Update
They rolled out a new update to promote high-quality product reviews, including two new best practices: provide evidence of products being tested and links to multiple sellers.
Google added December’s updates to April’s to create unified guidelines for product reviews.
November 17, 2021 – Core Update
Google Search Central announced another broad core update. They referred webmasters to a core update guidelines document last updated in August 2019.
November 3, 2021 – Spam Update
Google released a spam update as part of its regular efforts to improve search results. Webmasters were advised to continue following Webmaster Guidelines.
July 28, 2021 – Link Spam Update
July’s algorithm update aimed at identifying and nullifying link spam began to roll out. The update impacted multiple languages and sponsored, guest, and affiliate content links. Learn more about qualifying links and how to deal with links that might have a commercial nature post link spam update.
July 1, 2021 – Core Update
Google released the July 2021 Core Update. As always, core updates are designed to ensure that Google Discover delivers relevant and authoritative content to searchers. They typically produce widely notable effects, such as drops or gains, on the SERPs.
June 28, 2021 – Spam Update
The second part of Google’s spam update began and was expected to be completed on the same day. Webmasters could also learn “How Google keeps you safe on Search.”
June 23, 2021 – Spam Update #1
As part of their attempts to improve results, Google announced a spam-fighting algorithm upgrade. Although they enhanced their detection capability by more than 50%, hacked spam was still prevalent in 2020 due to the enormous number of vulnerable websites.
This update was launched, with a second one to follow in a week.
June 15, 2021 – Page Experience Update
The long-awaited Page Experience update finally launched. This update incorporated page experience into its Mobile ranking system, weighing metrics like Core Web Vitals metrics (LCP, FID, and CLS) and other elements such as HTTPS security and the absence of intrusive interstitials.
April 8, 2021 – Product Reviews Update
The product review update was an algorithm update designed to better recognize product reviews that offer in-depth analysis and original research authored by knowledgeable experts or enthusiastic individuals.
December 3, 2020 – Core Update
Google released the December 2020 Core Update, the third core algorithm update of the year — with a noticeable gap between updates.