Google algorithm updates shape the complete process of search engine optimisation. And, don’t we know it.
How often have you heard digital marketers mention the latest Google algorithm updates? How many times have you read an article that freaks you out about Google algorithm updates, and how many times have you had to refine your strategy to save your business? We hear you, it’s infuriating.
Annually, the mega-search engine Google rolls out updates to its algorithm around 500-600 times. What makes SEO so fun? No one knows exactly when the updates will hit. Sure, we can make an educated guess based on news from big G. But, can we really trust everything we are told? Sometimes, they simply change the aesthetics of search results pages. Other times, it’s barely noticeable, responsible for a fraction of websites moving up and down the search results.
It’s important to pay attention to trends in Google algorithm updates, as they often represent new ranking opportunities, or introduce new criteria for marketers looking to give their clients a significant boost in rankings. In the SEO community, there is no such thing as a “break,” “pause” or “stop” from research. We are forever searching for industry updates that will position our clients ahead of the competition.
The reality is, despite Google’s frequent updates, SEO can be incredibly successful if you’re prepared to do a little digging. Following are some of the most significant, humorously named, Google updates that changed SEO forever:
Google Panda Update:
Ah, the pasky panda. This one caused quite stir in the world of SEO. The update, introduced in February 2011, was designed to prevent “low quality” content making its way into the search engine results pages. You have to appreciate that Google is trying to give readers the assurance they will only see the most relevant content. This eliminated spam content and spun content that cheats the system.
How this affects your SEO:
It goes without saying, you don’t publish content simply for “more traffic.” This is one of the main reasons Google released the update – a lot of people were publishing content to simply drive search engines to their site and give them increased authority, trust and clicks.
Always remember that people want to see real, engaging and clear content that is relatable to them. Don’t make articles just to suck up to search engines and become first page famous. If you are a business focusing on wedding photography, perhaps look into what keywords are most popular and optimise for those to capture the attention of your readers.
Google Penguin Update:
Quick off the heels of Panda, the Penguin update reaffirmed the need for quality content marketing in April 2012. Google started to reward high-quality websites and issued penalties for those engaging in keyword stuffing and black hat SEO. So, that means no underhanded techniques that earn you a place at position one – Google is watching you!
How this affects your SEO:
By better understanding SEO, webmasters were able to see an uplift in ranking following the process of natural, authoritative and relevant link building. If you believe your site has been negatively impacted by Penguin, then you need to run a SEO audit and disavow any low quality and spam links found.
Link building is a great way to recover from the Penguin update, with the formation of a natural backlink profile free from spammy links. We know exactly what that looks like. Link building is our core SEO service as it continues to bring our clients success. Despite all the changes to Google’s algorithm over the years, quality links remain a number one priority for Google. Get that right and you’re onto a winner.
Google Hummingbird Update:
Since September 2013, the hummingbird update has been leaving behind its imprint on billions of search queries, leaving us with more personalised, intimate search results. This was a huge step towards longer tail keywords showing up in search results. Ranking for these searches is now essential to finding customers who are genuinely interested in what you have to offer.
How this affects your SEO:
In retrospect, when Google released the Hummingbird algorithm update, it was making way for the rise in voice search. In 2013, when Hummingbird was released, Google was already making changes for “conversational” search. Fast-forward just a few years and voice search optimisation had taken over with search terms, such as “Where are the best SEO companies near me?” to take a front seat.
In summery, technology is shaping the way we search online like never before. It’s totally changed SEO. Developments like the semantic search and Hummingbird updates are forcing Google to operate in a world of natural language.
Google algorithm changes in 2018:
If you have been following our recent updates, and have read our blog post on Mobile-first Indexing, then you will be well on the way to preparing for the next update. The term ‘Mobile-first indexing’ has been floating around the internet for quite some time. It’s all about optimising your content for mobiles, as your primary traffic source. The popularity of online search on mobile is growing by the day. In fact, 60% of all searchers are now performed on a mobile device. So, it’s more important than ever to have a responsive website that operates the same on all devices.
So, that’s what Google algorithm updates are, in a round about way. Still can’t get your head around it? Bigfoot Digital are only a phone call away. We understand the ins and outs of the latest Google algorithm updates, and can help you get up to speed. Call: 01226 720 755.