Google Search Algorithm Updates During 2014


06 Feb 2014: Page Layout 3.0
Affected Sites: Sites with too many ads above-the-fold.
Action Plan for Affected Sites: Reduce the amount of ads on your site above-the-fold. Ideally, decrease the total number of heavy, rich ads on your site, or reposition them further down the page elsewhere.

16 May 2014: Payday Loan 2.0
Affected Sites: Spammy sites, especially in the financial niche.
Action Plan for Affected Sites: There is very little you can do apart from eliminating the reason why your site got penalized in the first place. This basically means reducing the overall ‘spamminess’ of your site. This may include all on-page and off-page trickeries you might have played to get your site ranked better for competitive niches.

19 May 2014: Panda 4.0
Affected Sites: Low quality sites with very low quality or duplicate content and poor user experience.
Action Plan for Affected Sites: Remove all duplicate pages/content from your site, otherwise add a ‘noindex’ meta tag to all affected pages. In addition, try to improve the user experience of your site if you observe poor (>80%) average bounce rate by improving the page load times, design and content to ensure that the users find your site more valuable than before.

12 Jun 2014: Payday Loan 3.0
Affected Sites: Spammy sites, especially in the financial niche.
Action Plan for Affected Sites: There is little you can do apart from eliminating the reason why your site got penalized in the first place. This basically mean reducing the overall ‘spamminess’ of your site. This may include all on-page and off-page trickeries you might have played to get your site ranked better for competitive niches.

28 Jun 2014: Authorship Photo Drop
Affected Sites: All site saw Authorship photos disappear from their SERP listings.
Action Plan for Affected sites: There is nothing you can do about it.

24 Jul 2014: Pigeon
Affected Sites: Sites with generally poor local-SEO strategy, often with countering NAP information across various directories.
Action Plan for Affected Sites: Ensure consistency of NAP (Name-Adress-Phone Number) details across all the directories that you’ve submitted your site to. Use location details as specific as possible to show up higher for searches made around that area.

06 Aug 2014: SSL Update
Affected Sites: Google said they’ll give a “lightweight” preference yo sites using HTTPS.
Action Plan for Affected Sites: You don’t really need to implement SSL if better SEO is your ONLY motivation behind it. It’s just a good idea for the general security of the interwebs, nothing more than that. Various studies showed, confirming Google’s claims that the SEO benefit to using SSL for your site is too low to show prove any impact.

28 Aug 2014: Authorship Removal
Affected Sites: All sites saw Authorship completely disappear from their SERP listings.
Action Plan for Affected Sites: There is nothing you can do about it.

19 May 2014: Panda 4.1
Affected Sites: Low quality sites with poor content and user experience. Significant update to Panda 4.0.
Action Plan for Affected Sites: Remove all duplicate pages/content from your site, otherwise add a ‘noindex’ meta tag to all affected pages. In addition, try to improve the user experience of your site if you observe poor (>80%) average bounce rate by improving the page load times, the design and the content of your site to ensure that the users find your site to ensure that the users find your site more valuable than before.

17 Oct 2014: Penguin 3.0
Affected Sites: A major update to last year’s Penguin 2.1, affected sites with anchor-rich backlinks from spammy sources.
Action Plan for Affected Sites: Identify bad backlinks to your site using a link checking tool that maintains a fresh index. Get rid of the links that can be removed. Disavow the rest, preferably at a domain-level, after exporting all the links.

21 Oct 2014: Pirate 2.0
Affected Sites: A small group of targeted sites involved in promoting digital piracy were targeted.
Action Plan for Affected Sites: There is nothing you can do about it. It’s also highly unlikely that this update targeted your site unless you’re the founder of a site that promotes digital piracy.

Source: Infographic: Timeline of Google’s 2014 Algorithm Updates