Latest Google Algorithm Update for SEO in 2020

Latest Google Algorithm Update for SEO in 2020

Without knowing the latest Google algorithm, how will your SEO efforts be optimal? 

SEO optimization step is very dependent on Google’s algorithm that is being used. That is, when the algorithm changes, your SEO strategy must also adjust. If this is not the case, your SEO strategy could be in danger of failing, and your website ranking could drop dramatically. 

Do not let this happen. Therefore, in this article, we will take you to see the latest Google algorithm updates. So, it can help you ensure the right SEO efforts.

Let’s read this guide to the end.

Overview of Google’s Algorithm

Google created a ranking system called the algorithm. The goal is to display search results that are most relevant to the keywords that users are using. 

However, this system is far from perfect. That is the reason Google’s algorithm update continues to be done. Changes made by Google are quite frequent. In fact, Google has done 3234 algorithm updates in just one year!

Website/blog that is not following the latest Google algorithm updates will suffer losses. Website ranking can go down, and visitors will be much reduced.

So, following every change that occurs in Google’s algorithm is the best recommendation. 

Keep in mind, the latest algorithm does not always replace the old algorithm. There are several updates to Google’s algorithm that are in effect strengthening other algorithms, both major updates and minor updates.

Latest Google Algorithm Update

We have summarized several Google algorithm updates based on the year of release. For your convenience, we put the latest updates at the top.

Google 2020 algorithm

Following are some of Google’s algorithm updates this year:

  • January 2020 Core Update (13 January 2020)

After its name, this Google algorithm update improves the main system of the algorithm performed. 

Latest Google Algorithm Update for SEO in 2020 1

There is no detailed information about this core update. However, it is certain to improve the quality of user experience and the relevance of search results. As long as your website is well optimized, there is no need to worry about this update.

  • Featured Snippet Decluttered (22 January 2020)

SEO experts call the featured snippet as position 0. No wonder. Because this website content snippet is indeed above position 1 in a special box in search results.

google algoithm jan 2020

With this update, websites with featured snippets only appear once on the search page, which is position 0 only. 

Some of you might have been surprised because before, your website can get featured snippets at once in positions 1 through 5. However, with this update, Google wants to display neater search results.

Update NameDate of UpdateExplanation
January 2020 Core UpdateJanuary 13, 2020Regular updates improve the quality of search results
Featured Snippet DeclutteredJanuary 22, 2020Websites with featured snippets only appear once on the main page. 

Google 2019 Algorithm

Here is a list of Google’s algorithm updates in 2019:

  • International BERT (10 October 2019)

International BERT is the latest Google algorithm update, which was released as an update from the previous BERT algorithm update in October 2019.

Latest Google Algorithm Update for SEO in 2020 2

BERT is an artificial intelligence algorithm created to better understand human language that is very context-bound in communication. 

For example, when you type “2019 Brazil traveler to the USA need a visa,”. Google will no longer refer to the website of the United States embassy in charge of visas. However, you will be given articles or news regarding how to get a visa as a condition of traveling to the United States. 

Latest Google Algorithm Update for SEO in 2020 3

Initially, the BERT algorithm only covered English-language content. With this BERT International update, its application has been expanded to 70 languages.

It is predicted that 10% of searches will be affected by this BERT update. So, websites/blogs that have articles following the context of search users have the opportunity to increase rankings. 

  • BERT Update (25 October, 2019)

This is the initial release of BERT (Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers) as an update to Google’s algorithm. No need to be confused with these long terms.

In essence, BERT is Google’s step to continue to improve search results to better understand the context of human communication. As a result, one in ten searches proved to get more relevant results.

Latest Google Algorithm Update for SEO in 2020 4

Google noted 15% of new searches related to the everyday language used (natural language). So, the search results are expected to be more relevant to the keywords used by applying this algorithm.

  • September 2019 Core Update (24 September, 2019)

Google issued a core update algorithm for them that focuses on quality content. In this update, Google checks the content in more detail

The impact of this update is a change in the ranking of some websites whose content is useful but has not yet been ranked well ( under-rewarded ).

  • Site Diversity Update (6 June 2019)

With Site Diversity Update, Google only displays a maximum of two pages from one website. So, users will get better results thanks to this update.

We tried checking with the keyword “cheap coffee.” And true, the results are more varied. No website appears twice, as shown below:

Latest Google Algorithm Update for SEO in 2020 5
  • June 2019 Core Update (3 June 2019)

Many people call this Google algorithm update as a Quality Core Update.

Google’s core algorithm update is, of course, still related to content. So, content that is considered a trusted source will get better rankings.

As long as your content is of high quality and there are few changes on your website in that period, there should be no impact on you.

  • Indexing Bug (26 May 2019)

Google’s algorithm is not perfect yet. At the end of May, some users reported that their new content was not indexed.

Latest Google Algorithm Update for SEO in 2020 6

Google released this bug indexing update due to constraints on the indexing queue system. These constraints trigger a backlog, which is then deleted automatically. As a result, the index failed.

Websites that are affected by this obstacle are the majority of news websites and blogs that are diligent in posting new content.

  • March 2019 Core Update (13 March, 2019)

Like other core updates, changes that occur in this update are general.

Google’s recommendation is that you don’t need to make any changes to your blog regarding this update. But, of course, there will be changes in website ranking on certain keywords.

Update NameDate of UpdateExplanation
International BERTDecember 10, 2019The BERT update reaches more than 70 languages ​​in the world including Indonesian. 
BERTOctober 25, 2019Efforts to provide relevant search results according to the user’s daily language. Especially, English. 
September 2019 Core UpdateSeptember 24, 2019Regular updates with an emphasis on quality content. 
Site Diversity UpdateJune 6, 2019Update Google algorithm for more varied results.
Indexing BugMay 26, 2019Improvements to Google’s indexing queue constraints. 
March 2019 Core UpdateMarch 13, 2019Regular updates improve the quality of search results. 

Google 2018 algorithm

Following are some of Google’s algorithm updates in 2018:

  • Medic Core Update (1 August, 2018)

This latest Google algorithm update is better known as the Medic Core Update. Why is that?

The most affected websites are health-related websites. In practice, this update targets all YMYL (Your Money Your Life) websites. YMYL website is a website with topics on health, safety, finance, and the like. 

Because it is related to the safety of one’s soul, the YMYL website must provide accurate information. If you don’t, then the website must be willing to fall in rank.

  • Chrome Security Warning (24 July 2018)

Your website still uses the HTTP protocol? You need to worry. Google issued an algorithmic security-related website update called Chrome Security Warning.

Latest Google Algorithm Update for SEO in 2020 7

This Google algorithm update will immediately label websites that use HTTP as ” Not Secure ” in the latest Chrome browser (version 68).

Latest Google Algorithm Update for SEO in 2020 8

What does it mean? You need to start using SSL encryption to ensure data transfer security. If you ignore this update, your ranking will go down because it does not get priority from Google.

Besides, the Not Secure sign will certainly make your visitors discourage making transactions on your website. Especially for online shop websites.

Also Check: What is Comodo SSL? Learn Types and Functions?

  • Mobile Speed ​​Update (9 July 2018)

As the name implies, Google’s algorithm update called Mobile Speed ​​Update will affect search results through mobile devices. 

What needs to be done to address this algorithm update? First, you must make your website mobile-friendly. Second, the website must be able to be accessed quickly from a mobile device. If not, competitors with better websites will replace you.

Latest Google Algorithm Update for SEO in 2020 9

As an initial effort, you can check the website using Google PageSpeed ​​Insights. Next, do the optimization as recommended.

Also Check: 8 Best CDN to Optimize Website Loading Speed

  • Video Carousel (14 June, 2018)

This Google algorithm update invites you to start using video in a piece of content. 

Having previously applied in mobile search, Google released a Video Carousel update for the desktop. Google moves video search results from the regular list to a special video carousel. For example, like this:

Latest Google Algorithm Update for SEO in 2020 10

That is, if you have video content on your website/blog, Google will display it on the desktop search page (SERP).

  • Snippet Length Drop (13 May 2018)

Change the snippet algorithm again. This Google algorithm update shortens the snippet of content or snippet that is displayed. You must adjust the snippet’s length, so it doesn’t get cut off in the search results, as in the following example. 

Latest Google Algorithm Update for SEO in 2020 11

If you previously could use up to 300 characters, now you have to limit it to 130-160 characters. No need to worry, you just know how to add meta description in WordPress and can start making changes.

Also Check: 10 Best WordPress Theme Frameworks in 2020

  • Mobile-First Index (March 26, 2018)

You must have guessed. Correct. Mobile-friendly websites are prioritized in search results. 

Thus, websites that are not optimized for mobile users must be prepared to experience a downgrade.

Latest Google Algorithm Update for SEO in 2020 12

Why is Google doing this update? The reason, internet traffic from mobile users, has outperformed the desktop by 51.2%. So, to better serve users, Google must adjust the index and ranking processes that they apply.

How, Google indexes the mobile version of a website, not the desktop version. So, ranking results are also based on this mobile version. 

Still, ignoring the importance of mobile-friendly websites? You better not. For the good of your website.

  • Zero Result SERP (March 14, 2018)

Google’s algorithm update called Zero Result SERP was released on March 14, 2018. The goal is to display instant information without the need to require users to open a site. 

Here’s an example when you type “Newyork weather”:

Latest Google Algorithm Update for SEO in 2020 13

This algorithm was declared no longer used. In fact, it is still active today. 

What does that mean to you? If your website has content with general information such as weather, time, size conversion, character names, etc., Google will bring it up at Zero Result.

Thus, users can get information without coming to your website/blog. So, think again if you want to create a website/blog like that.

Update NameDate of UpdateExplanation
Medic Core UpdateAugust 1, 2018Updates to improve the accuracy of information about health and safety articles.
Chrome Security WarningJuly 24, 2018Improved security where websites without SSL encryption will be considered Not Secure by Google Chrome. 
Mobile Speed ​​UpdateJuly 9, 2018Websites that are slow to access on mobile devices are not prioritized by Google. 
Carousel videoJune 14, 2018Update to display carousel videos on desktop.
Snippet Length DropMay 13, 2018Update to decrease the number of characters in the snippet. 
Mobile First IndexMarch 26, 2018Mobile friendly websites will be prioritized.
Zero Result SERPMarch 14, 2018Updates to display instant information on Zero Result.

Google 2017 algorithm

Here are some Google algorithm updates in 2017:

  • Snippet Length Increase (30 November 2017)

Snippet Length Increase is a Google algorithm update that allows you to write snippets longer than before. The aim is to make information clips more useful and descriptive.

Snippets that initially only 150 characters can be maximized up to 300 characters. So, more opportunities to provide descriptions that attract users to make a click.

  • Featured Snippet Drop (27 October 2017)

Google issued an update related to the use of snippets. This time, the snippet was completely removed for certain keywords. 

In fact, some snippets completely disappeared after this update. Some others changed to Knowledge Panel. As shown below, when typing the keyword “VGA”:

Latest Google Algorithm Update for SEO in 2020 14

Of course, this update is not affected on all websites. Only those who use certain keywords or who are struggling to get featured snippets at that time. 

  • Chrome Security Warning (October 17, 2017)

Before actually issuing a “Not Secure” notification, Google issued a Chrome Security Warning algorithm specifically for forms. Precisely in the Chrome browser version 62. 

This update will show a “Not Secure” sign in the form field that requires filling in a password or credit card. This happens if the connection used for data transfer still uses HTTP, not HTTPS.

Latest Google Algorithm Update for SEO in 2020 15
  • Google Jobs (June 20, 2017)

As the name implies, this Google algorithm update is related to job search through search engines. This update aims to help job seekers get a list of vacancies more easily

Job seekers can type the desired keywords, and Google directly provides a list. In the latest check, we tried with the keyword “vacancies around New York”, and here’s the result:

Latest Google Algorithm Update for SEO in 2020 16

This algorithm will certainly provide great benefits for both job seekers and websites that provide job listings.  

  • Intrusive Interstitial Penalty (January 10, 2017)

Do not display advertisements that interfere with the convenience of mobile users. If you still display ads like that, Google will give you a penalty in the downgrade.

This Google algorithm update was released because of the large number of advertisements reported blocking content, especially if accessed from a mobile device.

If you don’t want to receive a penalty from Google, stay away from the use of annoying popups on your mobile website’s look.

Update NameDate of UpdateExplanation
Snippet Increase LengthNovember 30, 2017Update to extend snippet characters to 300 characters. 
Featured Snippet DropOctober 27, 2017Updates that remove featured snippets for certain keywords.
Chrome Security WarningOctober 17, 2017Not Secure labeling for credit card top-up forms that use HTTP unsecured connections.
Google JobsJune 20, 2017Updates that make it easier for job seekers to get the latest vacancies.
Intrusive Interstitial PenaltyJanuary 10, 2017Penalties on websites that use pop annoy mobile users. 

Google 2016 algorithm

Following are some of Google’s algorithm updates in 2016:

  • Penguin 4.0 ( September 23, 2016) 

One of Google’s algorithm updates in 2016 is Penguin 4.0. With this update, Penguin has officially entered Google’s core algorithm and is running in realtime. This update itself occurred in several phases during September 2016.

Latest Google Algorithm Update for SEO in 2020 17

Penguin is an algorithm that captures websites that send spam to Google’s search system and provides penalties. This algorithm was created to support Google’s main filtering system. 

So, if you have a website with lots of bad or spammy links, don’t be surprised if you don’t get a place in Google’s search results. 

  • Mobile-Friendly 2 (May 2, 2016)

Google released an update to improve the convenience of mobile users called Mobile Friendly 2. This Google algorithm update was released a year after the first mobile algorithm was run.

Latest Google Algorithm Update for SEO in 2020 18

This update is an emphasis that mobile-friendly websites are easier to be on the top of search engines. Websites that do not yet use mobile-friendly designs will find it difficult to compete on search pages (SERP).

  • AdWords (February 23, 2016)

Ads on Google are no longer placed on the right side of the screen. With this Google algorithm update, as many as 4 ads will enter the list of search results in the top position

This update is certainly encouraging advertisers. Because being in the top position, the possibility of being clicked and visited by visitors is certainly greater. 

Update NameDate of UpdateExplanation
Penguin 4.0September 23, 2016Updates that will reduce the ranking of websites that have a lot of problematic links.
Mobile Friendly 2May 2, 2016Update to emphasize the importance of having a mobile friendly website. 
AdwordsFebruary 23, 2016Changes to the previous ad placement on the right hand side are in the top position of the SERP. 

Google 2015 algorithm

2015 marked several major updates from Google’s algorithm as follows:

  • RankBrain (October 26, 2015)

One of Google’s most famous algorithm updates is the introduction of RankBrain. Google claims to have used machine learning in their main algorithm system when releasing this update.

With RankBrain, Google can do the ranking process more quickly and accurately. 

Basically, RankBrain is part of a larger Google algorithm called Hummingbird. RankBrain determines which websites will appear on the search page along with their ranking. 

RankBrain is also smarter in understanding context. He can distinguish between “Apple” as an electronics manufacturer and “apple” as a fruit. 

Latest Google Algorithm Update for SEO in 2020 19
  • Panda 4.2 (July 17, 2015)

Like Penguin, Panda also firmly punish websites that do not comply with Google’s provisions. The difference, the Panda algorithm is more related to the quality of content. 

Your website/blog is not yet large, your content may appear in search results as long as the quality is good.

On the other hand, websites that use a lot of thin content will get a penalty from Google. Thin content is too short, so that it does not provide useful information to the reader. Usually, thin content only focuses on the placement of keywords that do not pay attention to the contents of the article. 

  • Quality Signal Update (May 3, 2015)

This Google algorithm update comes earlier than Panda. Google itself does not give a special name. So, the name Quality Signal was given by SEO experts because this update is related to improving the quality of the content.

Many speculations about the type of website that is being targeted by this update. However, as long as the website maintains its quality according to this guide, it will not experience a downgrade. 

  • Mobile-Friendly Update (April 22, 2015)

Some people call this Google algorithm update as Mobilegeddon. Why is that? Websites that are not mobile-friendly will experience a drastic decline. Google has officially incorporated mobile-friendliness into ranking factors. 

If all websites support mobile-friend, Google’s indexing will be based on the website’s mobile version. As a result, search ranking will be dominated by mobile-friendly websites only, as required by users today.

Update NameDate of UpdateExplanation
Brain RankOctober 26, 2015Update on using machine learning on Google’s core system.
Panda 4.2July 17, 2015Updates about quality content that will punish websites that have thin content and more. 
Quality SignalMay 3, 2015Update to prioritize websites with the best quality.
Mobile UpdateApril 22, 2015Update to support the number of websites that are mobile-friendly according to the number of traffic from mobile devices.

Google 2014 algorithm

Following are some of the updates released in 2014

  • Pigeon Expand (December 22, 2014)

This Google algorithm update is an improvement of the algorithm released in July 2014. Pigeon is an algorithm to support local search.

Pigeon Expand includes local search updates for the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia. With this algorithm, local search can get more accurate and relevant results. 

  • Pirate 2.0

As the name implies, this Google algorithm update is used to fight piracy and copyright abuse. Pirate 2.0 was released as a development of its anti-piracy algorithm in 2012. 

This update is done because there are still many websites or blogs that have pirated content, whether in the form of software, films, and others. Although thousands of reports have been processed after the DMCA regulations were set, Google still found many websites that violated them. 

Pirate 2.0 is what was made to strengthen efforts against piracy that occurred. 

  • Penguin 3.0 (October 17, 2014)

 Penguin 3.0 is an update to Google’s algorithm related to spam.

Still the same as the Penguin algorithm in general, this update will penalize (demote) websites with bad link profiles or those who tend to send spam signals to Google. 

Not only that, Penguin 3.0 as well as improving the ranking of websites that have fixed their link profiles if previously included those who received punishment from Google. 

  • In the News Box (October 1, 2014)

Google released an algorithm update called In The News Box to provide complete search results by displaying the latest content (fresh) like news. 

This Google algorithm update is one of the controversial updates that many website/blog blog protests. The results of Google’s results are the latest content from various sources such as RedditTwitter, and YouTube

This is different from the results of previous news display, which only comes from sites that have registered on Google News.

  • Panda 4.1 (September 23, 2014)

The Panda algorithm has again gotten an update with version 4.1. This Google algorithm update focuses on the quality of website content. So, if found a website/blog has a lot of thin content, Google is not reluctant to give a penalty.

Several studies have explained that many websites affected by this update are:

  • affiliate website
  • websites that have broken pages
  • websites with content that contains keyword stuffing
  • websites that have annoying popups
  • websites that force visitors to download 

If it is not included in the list, there should be no need to worry about going downgraded. 

  • Authorship Removed (August 28, 2014)

The Google algorithm update called Authorship Removed was an experiment that was stopped. 

The essence of this update is Google is stopping the use of Authorship in their ranking system. Previously, content owners could claim authority with the script rel = “author.” Then, Google will use it to prioritize content with the best authority. 

With this update, everything related to the authorship algorithm becomes invalid.

  • HTTPS / SSL Update (6 August 2014)

Google released a security algorithm update again. HTTPS / SSL updates ensure that HTTPS is one of the signals in getting the best ratings.

Latest Google Algorithm Update for SEO in 2020 20

This update

Your website still doesn’t use SSL encryption? Use it immediately to get Google’s priority.

  • Pigeon (24 July 2014)

This is one of Google’s most updated algorithm updates. The presence of Pigeon makes the local search more relevant

At the time of this Pigeon release, the application of local search was implemented in the United States. At that time, no information would be extended to other countries. However, there is the fact that Pigeon continues to get updates throughout the world gradually. 

  • Authorship Photo Drop (June 28, 2014)

This Google algorithm update is the forerunner to the Authorship Removed algorithm. Before, in full removal, Google had released an algorithm called  Authorship Photo Drop

With this update, you will no longer find author photos in search results as before. 

  • Page Layout 3 (February 3, 2014)

This Google algorithm update is a series of improvements to the Page Layout algorithm that began in 2012.

Latest Google Algorithm Update for SEO in 2020 21

Page Layout is an algorithm that is related to user convenience. All websites that display annoying advertisements or called “Top Heavy” will get a penalty from Google. 

This update is Google’s response to the many complaints from users that many websites use advertisements that cover the content they want to read. 

Update NameDate of UpdateExplanation
Pigeon ExpandDecember 22, 2014Update on local search algorithms that support several countries such as the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia. 
Pirate 2.0October 21, 2014An anti-piracy algorithm that will penalize websites that have copyright infringing content. 
Penguin 3.0October 17, 2014Updates related to the quality of the website that will give penalties to websites that have bad link profiles. 
In the News BoxOctober 1, 2014Updates to provide the latest content such as news from various websites. 
Panda 4.1September 23, 2014Panda algorithm update related to penalties for content that is not quality. 
Authorship RemovedAugust 28, 2014Google’s algorithm update that removes photo author in search results.
HTTPS / SSL UpdateAugust 6, 2014Security updates that prioritize websites with the HTTPS protocol
PigeonJuly 24, 2014Google’s efforts to further improve local search results are more accurate.
Authorship Photo DropJune 28, 2014Update to eliminate photo author in search results.
Page Layout 3February 3, 2014Update to give penalties to websites that display annoying advertisements.

2012 Google algorithm

Here are some of the Google algorithm updates released from 2012 to 2013:

  • Hummingbird (August 20, 2013)

Hummingbird is a major update. This algorithm changes all Google search systems to get faster and more relevant results. 

Hummingbird will rank a website, including:

  • How important is the website
  • How good is the content created
  • Use the right keywords
  • And several other factors

One of the improvements that can be found after Hummingbird is more relevant conversational search results. 

Realizing that users began to use everyday language in search, Google began to adapt to these habits. In addition to focusing keywords, Google’s system began to learn to understand the search context. 

  • Domain Crowding (May 21, 2013)

It can be said that this Google algorithm update is the forerunner to Domain Diversity. Google hears a lot of user complaints because it finds many of the same websites in the search results. 

Latest Google Algorithm Update for SEO in 2020 22

With the Domain Crowding algorithm, on the first three pages, users will only get one website to appear for a keyword. 

  • EMD Update (September 27, 2012)

EMD stands for the Exact Match Domain. That is, websites that have domains such as topics written will get priority in search engines. For example, if your blog’s topic is about SEO, the name will get Google’s attention more. 

Unfortunately, this has been misused. Some websites/blogs only rely on domain names alone without providing them with quality content. 

Therefore, this EMD update does not hesitate to reduce the ranking of websites/blogs that have thin content even though the domain is relevant to the search. 

  • Knowledge Graph (May 16, 2012)

Google released the latest algorithm update called Knowledge Graph, which aims to provide more complete and instant results on keywords used

Latest Google Algorithm Update for SEO in 2020 23

For example, users type the keyword “Elon Musk.” Google will bring up a knowledge graph box on the right side of the search results. With this condition, users do not need to enter one of the websites in the search results if they have enough information. Faster, right?

Update NameDate of UpdateExplanation
HummingbirdAugust 20, 2013One of Google’s major algorithm updates is to improve the speed and accuracy of search results. 
Crowding DomainMay 21, 2013Update to avoid having multiple results from one website on SERP.
EMD UpdateSeptember 27, 2012An algorithm that will penalize websites with thin content even if the domain name is relevant to the search. 
Knowledge GraphMay 16, 2012An update that displays an information box on the right side of search results. 


Wow, it turns out that there really are a lot of Google algorithm updates? Almost all the weaknesses of their search results system are corrected in a fast and structured update. 

Do you need to worry about all these changes? Of course not. Remember, Google is very concerned with quality. So, if your website/blog has quality content, the updates will actually make you rank even higher. 

Hopefully, the information we provide in this guide is useful. You become more excited to continue improving the performance and quality of your website/blog content. Continued success!

Also Check: 5 Easy Ways To Fix Error 429 Too Many Requests on WordPress

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