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37 SEO Updates You Should Know From 2012

2013 is here and 2012 is gone, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t still feeling the effects of Google’s updates in 2012. From Panda refreshes to Penguin updates, many different changes happened last year. Read on to learn about the 37 updates you should know about from 2012.

Update 1: December 21, 2012. Panda #23: A “refresh,” as Google titled this update, where 1.3% of English queries are affected.Google Panda Update

Update 2: December 4th, 2012. Knowledge graph broadened: Google’s queries now include Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, Japanese, Russian, and Italian with elevated competence and understanding.

Update 3: November 21st, 2012. A data-only update affecting less than 1% of queries .

Update 4: November 5th, 2012. Panda #21: 1.1% of English queries felt the kick of this update.

Update 5: October 9th, 2012. Page layout adjusted to avoid unwanted ads by the user.

Update 6: October 5th, 2012. Third penguin update affecting 0.3% of English queries.

Update 7: October 4th, 2012. 65 updates for August/September which included how page quality is assessed to expansion of the knowledge graph and 7-result SERPs.

Update 8: September 27th, 2012. Update of Google’s Exact Match Domain  to rid of “low-quality” EMDs, affecting 0.6% of queries.

Update 9: September 27th, 2012. Panda update #20 where fairly major updates to the algorithm and data as well were made.

Update 10: September 18th, 2012. Panda update only affecting data and less than 0.7% of queries.

Update 11: August 20th, 2012. Minor Panda update where less than 1% of queries were affected.

Update 12: August 14th, 2012. Traditional 10 listings per page reduced to 7 while making it easier for a given domain to command the page.

Update 13: August 10th, 2012. Digital Millennium Copyright Act disciplines in place for sites repeatedly violating copyrights.

Update 14: August 10th, 2012. 86 Changes to search quality for the months of June/July including changes to data, algorithm, clustering, and credible sources.

Update 15: July 24th, 2012. A panda update where less than 1% of queries were affected

Update 16: July 19th, 2012. Google says to not worry about prior link warnings, as they will not cause serious harm.

Update 17: June 25th, 2012. Panda update only affecting data, the algorithm was left alone.

Update 18: June 8th, 2012. Panda update affecting less than 1% of queries, just another “refresh.

Update19: June 7th, 2012. May brings 39 updates of search highlights, from improving Penguin to improving Google News.

Update20: May 25th, 2012. Minor refresh to the Penguin algorithm, in turn affecting just one-tenth of a percent of queries.

Google Penguin Update

Update 21: May 16th, 2012. Smarter Search. Google’s Knowledge Graph allows the user to find what they are looking for in detail, not just a broad sense.

Update 22: May 4th, 2012. April showers bring in 52 updates, highlighting a larger “base” index and pagination improvement.

Update 23: April 27th, 2012. Minor Panda update hardly affecting any sites

Update 24: April 24th, 2012. Webspam dealt with, Google took action on keywords being packed into pages to help rid of over-optimization.

Update 25: April 19th, 2012. Standard Panda update with minor changes, causing hardly any impact.

Update 26: April 16th, 2012. Domain bug squashed, which was causing domains to be shuffled without legitimate cause.

Update 27: April 3rd, 2012. March madness reels in 50 changes, from anchor text to improving navigation and image search.

Update 28: March 23rd, 2012. Another Panda update, affecting about 1.6% of queries.

Update 29: March 12th, 2012. Improvement to Google Video, search quality tactics were implemented with this update.

Update 30: February 27th, 2012. Panda update making minor changes to how local search and evaluating links are done.

Update 31: February 27th, 2012. 40 changes to improve search quality, including a step up in the image search category and maintaining freshness on its site.

Update 32: February 27th, 2012. Venice. A local update aiming to make organic results localized and update local search data.

Update 33: February 3rd, 2012. 17 search quality improvements to upgrade efficiency and a more aggressive input of Panda.

Update 34: January 19th, 2012. Avoiding annoying ads, Google weakened sites containing too much ad space in opposition to credible content.

Update 35: January 18th, 2012. Minor Panda update that did not affect the algorithm.

Update 36: January 10th, 2012. A more personalized search, Google aimed to use social data to personalize the users search.

Update 37: January 5th, 2012. Google implemented 30 updates ranging from image search quality to relative query improvements.

Thanks to and for the data for this post!

About Garry Grant

Garry Grant is a veteran expert in search engine optimization and the digital marketing industry. With nearly 20 years of experience, Garry has successfully built a multi-service operation at SEO, Inc., developing proprietary technologies through complex strategic solutions. He has extensive experience in key initiatives and operational responsibilities grounded in information technology and performance management.

Garry’s expertise and esteemed reputation, coupled with SEO Inc.’s impressive client success record has earned him such accolades as Entrepreneur Magazine's 2005 Hot List for the Hottest Internet Property, Inc. 500 2007 Honorary award for Fastest Growing Private Company in America, an Inc. 500 top 50 Company in San Diego, and interviews with The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, WIRED, Entrepreneur and The Huffington Post.

Garry Grant began his online career in 1993 creating strategic Web and e-business solutions for, The Rush Limbaugh Show, Premiere Radio Networks, Clear Channel Communications, EarthLink and Artisan Motion Pictures. Today, Garry and SEO Inc.’s highly skilled digital strategists develop proprietary technology and strategic digital marketing direction for Fortune 500 companies including, SC Johnson, McAfee,, Inc Magazine, IGN, Tacorri, LPL Financial, National Kidney Foundation, G4 TV, Fuel TV and Sony, just to name a few.