1. Jan. 28: Attribution Update – Designed to help reduce spam levels on SERPs. This specifically targeted sites with unoriginal content; a way to make sure these pages are not ranked higher than where the content was originally published.
2. Feb. 23: First Panda Update (Farmer Update) – Aimed at finding sites that write irrelevant content and then optimize it for rankings; often referred to as “content farms.” The launch initially impacted 12% of U.S. queries according to Search Engine Land.
3. April 11: Panda update 2.0 – This incorporated Google searcher blocking data. If a user blocked a site during a search, Google would then take this into consideration when determining the worth of a website.
4. May 9: Panda Update 2.1 – This update was very minor and many people did not notice a change. For this reason, the exact changes that occurred during the update were not discussed by Google.
5. June 21: Panda update 2.2 – Once again, Google focuses on what experts now call “scraper detection.” The update focuses on content that is duplicated without your permission, or scraped (diversion and then republishing).
6. July 22: Panda update 2.3 – This was another minor update that was pushed out manually. Google claims the update “incorporates new signals.” Quality score is determined now by a blend of unique content and link score for that content.
7. Aug. 12: Panda update 2.4 – This update stated that all algorithmic search improvements will be rolled out to other languages. According to Google, the change impacted 6-9% of queries. Oddly enough, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean languages were omitted.
8. Sep. 28: Panda update 2.5 – This was supposed to be a minor update according to Google. However, many small businesses lost visibility and traffic while many larger businesses, such as FoxNews.com, benefitted from the change. This caused an uproar from small businesses who saw it as a way to keep the “big names” on top.
9. Nov. 18: Panda Update 3.1 – This update was named “3.1” because many felt that some of the minor updates after 2.5 (labeled 2.51, 2.5.2, and 2.5.3) should have been labeled “3.0.” This update was considered a minor algorithm date refresh and didn’t get much attention.
10. Dec. 1: Ten More Updates Announced – Although the updates are over for 2011, ten more updates were announced for 2012. This will affect businesses in the coming weeks, so many spend their time now, in 2011, trying to get ready. The new updates are said to focus on keyword density, keyword relevancy, and broken links.