Learn About Googles Algorithm Update: Jagger

Google is no stranger when releasing a list of Google algorithm updates.

In 2005, Google released an algorithm update called the Jagger Update.

Hilariously named after Rolling Stones singer Mick Jagger, this update has nothing to do with the Stones. Rather, this update affects your search engine performance regarding the linking strategy your content uses.

The Jagger Update affected search engine optimization for two main reasons:

  1. This was one of the first Google updates since 2003, and
  2. It prevented websites from linking to content in unnatural and spam-related ways.

Because of this update, many websites lost temporary SEO power.

Does the Jagger Update want to be your man? Is the Jagger Update mother’s little helper? Here’s everything you need to know about the Jagger Google algorithm update.

How the Jagger Update Came to Be

We mentioned Google introduced the Jagger Update in 2005. But how did Google notice the backlinking trends, which pointed to spamming and other bad linking strategies?

It’s unclear whose idea it was or how Google decided ill-performing links should result in decreased SEO performance. But many websites were hit badly in the latter part of 2005.

Jagger rolled out in three stages. The first stage came in September of 2005. The second stage came in October of 2005. The third stage came in November of 2005.

Websites started to lose SEO performance in October, and some experienced bad SEO performance for months.

The Jagger Update caused many websites to re-think their linking strategies. To improve their SEO performance, they crawled their SERP pages, removed any bad web pages, duplicate pages, and spam links.

How Jagger Impacted Websites

The Jagger Update obviously impacted websites. But Jagger impacted websites by more than their linking strategies. Here’s why the Jagger algorithm changed the way we look at SEO today.


Before the Jagger Update, content creators didn’t have the strict standards like they do today. You could publish duplicate forms of content and engage in spamming marketing strategies.

But the Jagger Update changed all of this. Any websites with duplicate pages or blogs started performing badly on search engine results.

The Jagger Update was also the first algorithm change to identify bad content.

Before, content creators could use good keyword strategies with badly written content, and the page would still rank well. After the Jagger Update, marketers zoomed in on content creation.

Backlinking Spam

If your blog runs a backlinking campaign, you know how to place an outbound link without the link and anchor text looking like spam. If Google suspects you’re using any spam-linking practices, your SEO performance will falter.

But this wasn’t the case before Jagger. Websites used black hat SEO and other spam-linking strategies to promote affiliate websites and their clients on search engine results pages (SERP).

Google identified this trend and gave these websites the boot. How did Google do this? They identified every linking aspect: the anchor text, the links themselves, how they correlate with the content, and the number of outbound links used.

Link farms were also given the boot. “Link farms” is another term for web pages that websites use for their linking campaigns. These links have no other purpose than to provide a URL for these websites.

Stopped Hidden Text, Redirects, and Cloaking

Back in the day, savvy internet marketing professionals used some slick tricks. These include redirects, cloaking, and even hidden text. They were able to get away with these — until Google outsmarted them.

All internet users back in the day probably remember redirects. This was a trick to make more than one webpage under the same URL. When you clicked a link on Google, numerous pages would open up.

One of the famous sketchy marketing maneuvers was cloaking. This was a tactic used to make a webpage seem like something on a search engine, but the page was completely different when you actually opened it.

Hidden text was a more technical but equally sketchy move.

Developers would hide text with certain CSS skills. What words were hidden? Keywords mainly — they were hidden to reduce the effect of keyword stuffing (at the time, more keywords ranked well in Google).

How the Jagger Update Affects Us Today

As you can see, the Jagger Update was one of the most influential Google algorithm updates in the decade. Many of the SEO tactics we use today came from this update.

Domain Authority, or DA, wasn’t formed with Googles Jagger Update. But Google uses a site’s DA to gauge their effectiveness on search engine results.

What’s a DA? It’s a website’s or web page’s metric that encompasses all aspects to rank high in Google. The closer your DA is to 100, the better the search results you receive.

But a website needs hundreds, even thousands, of backlinks to achieve a high DA score. This is why, without harmful and spamming linking practices, it takes years to receive a high DA.

What Can We Learn From the Jagger Update?

The Jagger Update changed the way we use SEO today. This update teaches us that spamming and harmful SEO practices never win.

Spamming practices such as link stuffing and badly written content never win in Google. And no savvy web developer can hide from Google. This is why hidden text, URL redirects, and cloaking can’t get away from Google’s watchful eye.

Now You Know All About the Google Algorithm Update Jagger

Back in 2005, digital marketers could get no satisfaction from the Jagger Update. This Google algorithm, as well as the list of Google updates, changed the way we use SEO today.

Rather than painting it black with black hat SEO techniques and link spamming, websites had to practice better linking strategies. Websites also had to ditch the technical and harmful SEO practices and produce better content.

Do you need an SEO agency who uses the right SEO practices? Take a look at our services.