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Google Algorithm Change History

Google algorithm updates and data refreshes

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Google Algorithm Updates of 2004

Complete list of Google algorithm updates for 2004.

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# Date Update Update type Noticeable effect
2 Feb, 2004 Brandy Ranking signals No estimate given
1 Jan 23, 2004 Austin Ranking signals No estimate given

Brandy: Feb, 2004

Change in Ranking Signals

The Brandy Update greatly expanded the size of Google's index, and more importantly, incorporated Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) to the algorithm. Other signals purported to have been altered with the Brandy update were:

  • Anchor text relevance
  • The concept of link "neighborhoods"
  • Backlinks to various pages throughout a site, as opposed to home page only
  • Diminished importance of easy to manipulate elements of on-page SEO such as the use of title, h1, h2, bold, and italics tags
  • Outbound links to authority sites

Some felt that the Brandy Update also reversed some of the effects from the Florida Update of 2003, as some of the data centers taken offline during that period were now brought back, along with rankings of many previously demoted sites.

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Austin: Jan 23, 2004

Change in Ranking Signals

Google's Austin Update continued where the Florida Update of November 2003 left off. As with Florida, Google was targeting link farms and on-page spam tactics such as invisible text and META-tag stuffing.

Many previously high-ranking spared from the Florida Update had now disappeared from search results, with penalties and bans from obvious spammy behaviour.

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See More Google Algorithm Updates by Year

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