Are there multiple Page Layout algorithm updates?

No. There is a Google algorithm update under the name “Page Layout Algorithm Update (Ads Above The Fold)“, which is active for all search markets worldwide and for which there have been multiple data refreshes.

Example of a Visibility history for a domain in the USA search market, with an active event pin for this update:

Dramatic loss of Visibility is due to a suspected penalty by the Page Layout algorithm. The loss is illustrated using an active event pin in the SISTRIX Toolbox

The Page Layout algorithm update was first introduced worldwide on January 19th 2012 and only affects 1% of all worldwide search requests. On October 19th 2012, as well as on February 6th 2014, adapted and improved versions of the ranking algorithm went live.

There are now a total of three versions of the Page Layout algorithm:

  • Page Layout algorithms #1: January 19th 2012
  • Page Layout algorithms #2: October 9th 2012
  • Page Layout algorithms #3: February 6th 2014

According to a tweet by Matt Cutts, the newest version of the Page Layout algorithm went live on February 6th 2014. This update of the existing algorithm affects about 1% of all worldwide search requests, according to Google.

SEO folks: we recently launched a refresh of this algorithm: Visible to outside world on ~Feb. 6th.– Matt Cutts (@mattcutts) 10. Februar 2014

– Matt Cutts (@mattcutts) 10. Februar 2014