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Google Updates 2014 – Timeline, Expert Reviews [Infographic]

2014 has come and gone. However, the indelible marks will not be forgotten in a hurry; especially in the world of SEO. Google has remained the main character for many seasons and it was no different this time around with the release of updates, which still form major topics for discourse among webmasters, SEOs and observers even today.

Some of the updates were generally applauded, some generally criticized and others were overly controversial. Nevertheless, these algorithm changes did make their marks and alterations in the past year. For this reason, I have decided to present them in a clear, precise and succinct manner to not only help stakeholders reflect on the past year; but to also help in making a prediction of what lays ahead in 2015. Enjoy the read!

The timeline of the 2014 Google algorithm changes:

Embed Google Updates 2014 Infographic on Your Site: Simply Copy and Paste the Code Below:

<a href=””><img src=”” title=”Google Updates” alt=”Google algorithm changes in 2014″></a></p><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>An infographic by Elephate. View the source here: <a href=””>Google algorithm changes in 2014</a></p><br /><br /><br /><br />

What do Experts think about last year’s updates? I asked some SEOs which of the 2014 Google changes did they find the most important or the most interesting. Here are their thoughts:

Peter Meyers –

While it’s easy for traditional SEOs to dismiss local SEOupdates, I think the “Pigeon” update was probably the most  interesting change to Google this year. Pigeon didn’t just impact how and how often local packs are displayed – it  fundamentally changed how Google interprets location information and localizes queries. Adding on the new local  pack type  that was introduced later in the year (and replaced the local carousel), Google is making major efforts to  integrate organic and  local algorithms and upgrade how to use rich local data. Expect more changes in 2015 and pay  attention, even if local SEO  isn’t your focus.

Christoph Cemper –

The most interesting Google update was of course Penguin 3.0 in October.
 Everyone expected a huge blast and Google gave us a soft ever-penguin that will lead people to say “There are no Penguin  Updates anymore – so SEO is dead now finally”.
 However this ignites a new era where spammy links will hurt sooner, and recoveries from penalties will  be possible faster.
This will further stop “quick tricks” and getting exposure and great links requires a deep understanding of the target market and one’s competitors. Competitive domain analysis was never more important.

Matthew Barby –

2014 saw a number of major algorithm updates occur within Google, most of which didn’t have as much of an impact as we  initially expected. The Penguin 3.0 update was a perfect example of this. I saw very little changes to the SERPs after waiting a  long time for a major Penguin update. With that in mind, I think that the most significant update was the removal of  authorship data from the SERPs. This update really came out of the blue and had a significant impact upon searchers as the  snippets of most URLs had been impacted. I’m set to see a major negative impact in CTRs yet, but it’s undoubtedly given more power to webpages that implement other forms of Schema data within their snippets.

Samuel Scott –

To me, the most important Google update of the past year was the Penguin 3.0 refresh on October 17, 2014. Each Penguin  update pushes Google further and further towards its likely goal of penalizing — or at least not counting — any link that is not  completely earned. What this means is that digital marketers should act like, you know, marketers and generate publicity and  coverage that gets the best links naturally rather than continue to “build” links.

Dejan Petrovic –

I’d like to focus on big events that took place in 2014 which nobody paid any attention to for various reasons. For example, on  the 10th of January 2014 – We witnessed a profound change in Google’s internal workings which lasted until 4th of April.  Other major undocumented spikes: January: 17, 24, March: 25 (Note: The whole March was extremely weird.)

On the 6 of August 2014 (Masked as a HTTPS update) Google did something else that changes the results forever. This to me was the most interesting update of the year. From 7th until 15th of August we had a crazy movement in Google’s results too. Another major update for me was the “End of Authorship” on the 28th of August 2014

Penguin 3.0 in October was a truly major update but the fact they rolled it back and released it again afterwards is weird. I consider the whole update a pointless fiasco.


Just like I mentioned before, some of the algorithm updates were generally applauded, some generally criticized and others – like the Penguin 3.0 update, eagerly awaited. Moreover, each time a new change comes up; it is widely publicized and passionately commented on within the industry. Aren’t we sometimes focusing on the Google changes too much, rather than simply keeping up with the quality of work to be safe from these updates? Or is tracking and staying up-to-date with these updates a must these days? I will be happy to learn your opinions from the comments below.

  • 08 January 2015

See all articles by Wojtek Mazur

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