Although no one truly knows how often Google performs updates, most experts think smaller search algorithm changes occur somewhere between 500 and 600 times a year — a couple of times each day, on average.
Google’s major core updates are less frequent, but they typically still occur once every two or three months.
You can keep up with Google’s update schedule by following along on their website, as they’re in the habit of posting detailed rundowns of each of their named core updates.
The most recent broad core update was the May 2022 Core Update, which began on May 22nd and concluded on June 9th of 2022. Other notable core updates that have occurred in the past include Penguin, Panda, Hummingbird, Fred, and Possum.
How Does a Google Core Update Impact Your SEO Efforts
A Google core update is a huge deal to most website owners, as it often drastically affects their previous SEO efforts.
SEO is generally a long game, so it can take phonelist weeks or months to achieve top search engine rankings for key web pages. But Google core updates represent major adjustments to the algorithm.
That can change everything when it comes to a website’s SEO gains. For example, a particular ranking signal that previously gave your site a huge boost may be rendered irrelevant by a core update rollout.
Some particularly famous core updates
Prior to Panda, it was possible to get a website to rank well with minimal content. The content that was there didn’t even need to be particularly meaty.
However, the Panda rollout applied an HN Lists automatic penalty to websites with this approach to content.
Ultimately, Panda made the web a better place to be and Google a significantly more efficient search engine. But it also really challenged content creators and web admins everywhere to rethink their approach to common SEO challenges and do better.