Allegra Update

Between February 2nd and 8th of 2005, Google introduced a change in its search algorithm with the “Allegra Update.” In addition to the Panda and Penguin updates, this update was probably the most talked about adjustment to page indexing. Just like many other Google measures, the Allegra update also addressed minimizing spam pages in the Google index. In particular, websites with duplicate content were affected.


After Google had expanded and refined its cleanup of the SERP from spam sites with the Florida, Austin, and Brandy updates in 2003-2004, it was only a matter of time before the next update would shake up the SEO scene.

The Allegra update of February 2005 was probably mainly addressing Google’s fight against spam websites. This fact can be derived from the result of the update because after the implementation of the algorithm change, many spam sites were no longer listed on the SERPs. However, there is still no valid statement on the part of Google concerning the rollout of the Allegra update, nor is there any agreement within the SEO scene in terms of what aspects were exactly affected by the update.[1].

The following areas are assumed to have been affected by the algorithm adaptation:

  • Duplicate content
  • Suspicious links: It is believed that the Allegra update was the prelude to Google’s recognition of suspicious links.
  • Latent semantic indexing: Some SEOs believe that latent semantic indexing was used for the first time with the Allegra update.

Consequences for SEO[edit]

After the rollout of the Allegra update, webmasters and SEOs worldwide noticed enormous placement shifts on the SERPs. Big websites were also largely affected. It was apparent that many smaller websites had risen in the rankings after the Allegra update. It was widely believed that many websites were released from the so-called Google Sandbox with this the update and were now improved on the listing with regard to some keywords.

Although there was no direct comment concerning the implementation or purpose of this update by Google, it caused a stir in the SEO scene shortly after its implementation, as it had about the same amount of impact as the Florida update. However, Google did not do any adjustments this time with a “patch update” as was the case after the Austin update. Many websites suffered huge losses in terms of page impressions. For dubious SEO services, this update meant the end of SEO Black Hat techniques such as website spam. Moreover, unique content and a clean webpage structure gained in importance in website optimization.

In this respect, the Allegra update can indeed be considered a crucial step. Because this time both content and backlinks were evidently affected by just one adjustment, in other words, on-page and off-page factors. In subsequent years, this optimization resulted in Google continuing to develop and release more efficient updates, such as Panda and Penguin.


  1. Google Feb 2005 Update Accessed on 04/04/2014