Google routinely releases updates to its algorithms, fine-tuning its evaluation processes to continue to deliver the most relevant results to users in search. These Google updates tend to occur without warning, and they can cause major shakeups in rankings, backlinks, and traffic. They can also make the search landscape in general volatile for the short-term.
In many cases, Google will confirm its updates after the fact, sharing limited details about what the target of the update was and how long it took to release. Knowing when these Google updates occur can be critical to:
- Understanding site performance and why some SEO metrics may take some unexpectedly sharp swings or dives
- Pivoting and retooling SEO strategies to remain competitive
- Timing backlink buys and other off-site SEO efforts to reap the maximum possible ROIs
To that end, here’s a timeline of all Google search updates that have been rolled out since Jan. 2022 and that Google has confirmed. Please note that the backlink pros at Backlink Gorilla keep a close eye on Google updates, and we update this list whenever and as soon as we become aware that another update has been released.
2023 Google Updates
This year, Google could roll out several updates related to backlinks, helpful content, product reviews, and more. In fact, with AI-generated content and other tech-driven innovations becoming increasingly powerful, we could see some game-changing Google updates released in 2023, potentially shaking things up in SERPs. Here are the 2023 Google updates released and confirmed to date:
- February 21, 2023: This product reviews update was rolled out across 11 different languages, including English, Spanish, Italian, French, German, Portuguese, Vietnamese, Dutch, Indonesian, Polish, and Russian. Like many other Google updates, this one reportedly took about two weeks to be fully released.
2022 Google Updates
Several algorithmic updates were released by Google in 2022, targeting a variety of websites, ranking factors, and more, as detailed below.
- December 14, 2022: This link spam update, which took roughly a month to complete, affected all languages and had reportedly a global reach.
- December 5, 2022: This helpful content update, which took just over a month to roll out, was focused on removing AI-generated content and spammy content from search, and it was globally released, affecting sites across all languages.
- October 19, 2022: This spam update, which only took a few days to complete, was rolled out globally, affecting sites across all languages.
- September 20, 2022: Taking just under a week to complete, this product reviews update only affected English language product reviews.
- September 12, 2022: This Google Core Update was released over about two weeks.
- August 25, 2022: This helpful content update also took about two weeks to roll out.
- July 27, 2022: This product reviews update was limited to English only, and it took roughly a week to complete.
- May 25, 2022: This Google Core Update occurred over about two weeks
- March 23, 2022: This product reviews update was rolled out over about two weeks and was reportedly completed by April 6, 2022.
- February 22, 2022: This desktop page experience update took place over roughly two weeks and was reportedly wrapped up by March 3, 2022.
Why Google Updates Matter
As one of the main search engines out there, Google is a powerhouse when it comes to search, setting and refining many of the “rules” and factors associated with top rankings and online visibility.
While there’s not a lot you can do to predict these Google updates or totally insulate a website from being negatively impacted by these updates, you CAN build up a site’s backlink profile and authority with white hat, high-quality backlinks.
If you do — and if you’re getting new backlinks on a routine basis — you can set any website up for more success, better traction, and growing traffic in organic search.