8 Major Google Algorithm Updates & Changes Explained
For the last few years, Google has been updating its algorithm policy quite frequently adding to the pain of SEO executives and Digital Marketers. Some of its changes are ignorable but some of them are so effective that they can almost shake your site’s SERP rankings to such a level that might make you feel distressed. To avoid being missed out on these crucial algorithm changes, one must always keep himself/herself updated. Therefore, today we are charting out a list of important Google algorithm updates where you can learn about them in detail.
Release date: February 24, 2011
Risks: plagiarized or thin content, Duplicate; keyword stuffing, user-generated spam;
How it functions: Panda doles out an alleged “quality score” to pages; this score is then utilized as a ranking element. At first, Panda was only a filter unlike a portion of Google’s ranking factor, however in January 2016, it was authoritatively consolidated into the center algorithm. Panda rollouts have turned out to be more incessant, so both damages and recoveries have become speedier.
How to check: Run consistent site checks for content duplication, short content, and keyword stuffing. To do that, you’ll require a webpage crawler, such as SEO PowerSuite’s Website Auditor.
To cross-check of any outer content plagiarism, a plagiarism checker like Copyscape can be used.
Release date: April 24, 2012
Risks: links with over-optimized anchor text, Spammy or irrelevant links.
How it functions: Google Penguin’s goal is to down-rank pages whose connections it regards manipulative. Since late 2016, Penguin has been a piece of Google’s center algorithm; dissimilar to Panda, it works continuously.
How to check: Monitor your connection profile’s development and run frequent audits with a backlink checker like SEO SpyGlass. In the software’s Summary dashboard, you’ll discover an advance chart for your link profile’s development. Pay special mind to any abnormal spikes: those are reason enough to investigate the backlinks you’ve hardly expected.
The details that we know Penguin considers are consolidated into SEO SpyGlass’ Penalty Risk formula. To overcome penalty risks, login to the Linking Domains dashboard, explore to the Link Penalty Risks bar and after the selection of your links, just click on Update Penalty Risk.
Release date: August 22, 2013
Risks: low-quality content, Keyword stuffing;
How it functions: Hummingbird enables Google to translate search terms in a better way and give results that match the searcher’s exact keywords (rather than the individual terms inside the inquiry). While keywords keep on becoming vital, Hummingbird makes it feasible for a page to rank for a search term regardless of not containing the correct words the searcher entered. This is accomplished with the assistance of default language processing that depends on latent semantic indexing, co-existing terms, and equivalent words.
How to check: Broaden your keyword research and keep a spotlight on ideas, not keywords. Deliberately look into related queries, equivalent words, and co-existing terms. Incredible sources of such thoughts are Google Related Searches and Google Autocomplete. You’ll discover every one of them fused into Rank Tracker’s Keyword Research module.
Release date: July 24, 2014 (US); December 22, 2014 (UK, Canada, Australia)
Risks: Poor on- and off-page SEO
How it functions: Pigeon is effective on the searches where the user’s location is either directly or indirectly related. This update has brought ties even closer between local and the core algorithm. Traditional SEO factors are now utilized to rank local results.
How to check: put some effort into both ON and OFF Page SEO. A great start would be to run an ON page analysis with WebSite Auditor. Its dashboard consisting of content analysis will give you a fair concept of what prospect you need to focus on in your On-Page optimization.
Listing your sites with good business directories would be a great beginning. Apart from generating some valuable backlinks for your site, they will also help in improving your rankings, as they themselves rank high on Google. There are tons of good directory listing sites on the web.
Release date: April 21, 2015
Risks: Poor mobile usability, lack of a mobile version of the page;
How it functions: Google’s most important update for mobile known as Mobilegeddon has been laid out especially for mobile-friendly sites to rank on the top mobile searches. Therefore, pages not optimized for mobile are either filtered from the search engine or degrade in the ranking.
How to check: Optimize your pages for its speed and usability on mobile. A mobile-friendly test by Google will help you analyze which portion of your pages’ mobile version needs to be optimized or fixed.
Release date: October 26, 2015
Risks: Shallow content; manipulative UX; lack of search-specific relevance features
How it functions: RankBrain is a piece of Google’s Hummingbird algorithm. It is a machine learning framework that enables Google to comprehend the significance behind keywords and serve best-coordinating search results in return for those inquiries. Google considers RankBrain the third most vital ranking element. While we don’t have a clue about the intricate details of RankBrain, the general conclusion is that it recognizes important specifications for website page ranking for a given inquiry, and most of them search specific ranking factors.
How to check: Optimize content for importance and breadth with the help of competitor analysis. With the assistance of WebSite Auditor’s TF-IDF software, you can find important terms and ideas utilized by an extensive number of your top-ranking rivals.
Release date: September 1, 2016
Risks: Stiff competition in your target location
How it functions: The Possum update by Google guaranteed that local results deviate more relying upon the searcher’s area: the closer you are to a place of work, the more probable you are to see it among local outcomes. Interestingly, Possum encourages organizations situated outside the physical city zone.
How to check: Broaden your keyword list and do area-specific rank tracking. Local organizations currently should target a higher number of keywords that they used to, because of the instability Possum brought into the nearby SERPs. As you go through your rankings, ensure you’re doing this from your target area.
Release date: March 8, 2017
Risks: Thin, ad-centered, or affiliate-heavy content
How it functions: One of the latest updates that Google has rolled out, it generally penalizes websites that violate Google’s webmaster rules. Most affected sites are the blogs that comprise low-quality posts created with a focus on generating ad revenue.
How to check: Audit Google Search Quality Guidelines and take care of low quality or misleading content. If you display ads, ensure the pages they are existed on are of great quality that offers rich and relevant information. This is fundamentally it: Don’t attempt to trap Google into contemplating something when it truly is a portal page brimming with affiliate links. Most distributors profit off ads and that is absolutely genuine as long as you are not bamboozling.