A Visual History of Google Algorithm Changes [Infographic]

    by Erik Devaney


    February 11, 2014 at 8:00 AM

    visual_history_of_google_algorithm_updates_feature2In the beginning, Google's search engine really wasn't all that good. This was back in the late 90s/early 00s, when search engines were little more than keyword-matching and link-counting machines. Ranking high in search results could be accomplished by essentially using a simple, two-step procedure:

    • Step 1: Stuff your keyword phrase into your page/website as many times as possible.
    • Step 2: Get as many gosh-darn inbound links as you possibly could.

    For those early "SEO gurus" who gamed the system -- achieving high rankings while adding little value for actual searchers -- the fun wouldn't last. Every time Google found a weakness in its ability to deliver relevant, high-quality search results, it made fixes to address it. Starting in 2003 with "Boston," major changes to its algorithm are adorned with names and made regularly.

    To give you a snapshot of all of the algorithm changes that have been implemented over the years, we teamed up with Moz to create the infographic below.

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    Want to learn what all of these algorithm changes mean for modern SEO? Make sure to check out our new guide, 17 SEO Myths You Should Leave Behind in 2014, which features a foreword by Wizard of Moz, Rand Fishkin.



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    Written by Erik Devaney

    As a content strategist at HubSpot, Erik spends his days planning, writing, & designing resources for the modern marketer.

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