Not long after Google released a broad core algorithm update on March 12, some in the industry began calling it the “Florida 2 update.” But the moniker has created a bit of confusion among SEOs who wonder if this week’s release is related to the Florida update in November 2003. It’s not. Here’s what you need to know.
Who named it Florida 2? The name came from Brett Tabke, the owner of WebmasterWorld forum and PubCon conference. He updated the WebmasterWorld discussion thread giving the name to the update “Florida 2.” In the early days of SEO, Tabke and WebmasterWorld often named some of the Google updates, so it was nice to see his name take root again.
Why name it Florida 2? The original Florida update from November 2003 was named the Florida update because Brett ran a PubCon conference in Florida. So they named the update the Florida update. This March 12th update happened a week after another PubCon conference in Florida. So Brett named this update the Florida 2 update as a nod to the original Florida update from over a decade ago and also to highlight PubCon.
This is important: Florida 1 and Florida 2 are different. How Google updated its search ranking algorithm in 2003 differs tremendously from how they do updates today. They are totally different beasts, totally different algorithms and act differently. Both the 2003 Florida update and the March 12 core update would be categorized as big, but really should not compare the characteristics of what happened in November 2003 to what happened in March 2019.
What was the 3/12 update? That is a good question – we know this was a big update. Google does several large core updates per year and Google confirmed this was one of those major broad core updates.
We would relate this more to the updates we saw on August 1 and the other core search algorithm updates that Google confirmed. At this point, we all need to see more data to understand what has changed. I am seeing all sorts of theories around this update from the YMYL and EAT chatter to this being more related to Penguin. At this point, it is too early to say what this update was exactly about, but we will continue to track and will update you all when we know more. Right now, just stop comparing it to Florida 1.