Google and its algorithm updates are the most important part of the SEO industry. Most of the updates were so minor that they went unnoticed and few updates were so major that shook the SEO world completely.
Today! We will brief you on the Major 3 Algorithm of Google and Major 3 updates by Google that shook the SEO world. The flow of the blog will be as follow:
- Google Algorithms
- 3 Major Updates by Google
[Starting with the major 3 algorithms, As we all know that Google has named its Algorithms differently such as Panda, Penguin, Humming Bird and so on..]
Panda Algorithm was first launched on February 23, 2011. The reason to launch the Panda algorithm was to make a difference in the quality of search results. It focuses on promoting high-quality content sites in search results and demotes the sites with lower-quality content comparatively.
When the Panda algorithm was introduced, the working of the SEO Researchers, Digital Marketers, and SEO Professionals was majorly affected as it was all about on-site quality. There were a few factors in regards to Panda:
- Thin Content – By “thin page” means a page that adds little or no value to the reader. The content shared on the sites in a frame of few words on a page does not have a major impact or solution to the queries of users. Hence, If you have a large number of pages on your site that contain just a few sentences and were indexed by Google, then the Panda algorithm may determine those as low quality or spam pages.
- Duplicate Content – Panda algorithm reviews the content on the site and has several ways to identify the duplicity of the content. The duplicate content was viewed as a low-quality site by Panda. Panda takes action when a large amount of content on your website or blog was copied from other sources, hence, the originality of the content was questioned.
- Low-Quality Content – Content could be of high quality and low quality at the same time depending on the reader’s query. The Panda determines whether the Content is of “Low-Quality” or “High-Quality” by users’ experience. When a user returns unsatisfied from your page and doesn’t return back and if this happens repetitively, then there were chances that Panda considers your site/page under Low-Quality content.
The Penguin Algorithm was rolled out on April 24, 2012. The focus of Penguin was to demote the unnatural backlinks and gain greater control over the authenticity and quality links.
Every time Penguin shares its updates, it has an impact on the search results. By Penguin Algorithm, google made it clear that only natural, authoritative and relevant links reward their website and manipulative, spammy links downsize it.
On September 23, 2016, the major news flashes that the Penguin became a part of the Core Algorithm, by this Penguin evaluates the websites and links in real-time. This implies that you can see the instant impacts of your link-building or remediation work.
Google announced its new algorithm named Humming Bird on September 26, 2013. The name was derived keeping in mind the features of the HummingBird i.e. speed and accuracy. In short, it aims to improve the search result depending on the needs of the query. The main purpose was to translate the semantic search into reality. This update is a path towards the betterment of the inevitable rise of voice search.
Additionally, the HummingBird has effects on the local SEO and local organic results as:
- Greater localization of the organic result to the queries.
- The substantial presence of a directory type results in the local organic results
3 Major Google Updates
Google Algorithm updates always had a major impact on the SEO world or should say they shook the SEO world to an extent. The updates are very important as they enhance the working of the industry. The major 3 updates that were noteworthy and have a major impact on the SEO world are:
RankBrain is a machine learning (AI) algorithm that Google introduced to sort the search results. It helped Google process and understand the search queries. RankBrain understands that these terms were the same thing and show nearly identical search results.
RankBrain process depends on the keywords, accordingly, it increases or decreases the importance of backlinks, content freshness, content length, domain authority, etc.
Back in the day, Google used to look at separate words within a query to figure out the search intent, which didn’t always work out. In April 2015, Google introduced RankBrain, the purpose of which was processing never-before-seen search queries and predicting the best results for them.
#How does RankBrain work?
RankBrain uses artificial intelligence to embed vast amounts of written language into mathematical entities — called vectors — that the computer can understand. If RankBrain sees a word or phrase it isn’t familiar with, the machine can guess as to what words or phrases might have a similar meaning and filter the result accordingly, making it more effective at handling never-before-seen search queries.
- Greg Corrado
A few years ago, Google had a problem that 15% of the keywords that people search in the Google search query were ‘never seen before.’ But as these keywords were brand new, Google had no clue what the searcher wanted to know. So they guessed but today RankBrain tries to figure out what the searcher meant and show the relevant search results.
RankBrain working is as follows:
- Keywords – Understanding search queries.
- User Satisfaction – Measuring how people interact with the results.
- Earlier Google used to figure out what the user search means.
- RankBrain tries to deliver the search results according to the user’s query.
- RankBrain helps the users by showing similar results of their search.
- RankBrain shows the user a set of search results that they think match your query.
- If a lot of people like one particular page in the search result, it will give that page a ranking boost, and, if they didn’t like it, RankBrain will drop that page and replace it with a different page.
# How RankBrain changed SEO?
RankBrain aims at connecting their searchers with the relevant search results, therefore, search intent had become a priority. That is why RankBrain boosts the rank of the pages that meet the user’s requirement. In the changing world, content optimization is impossible without understanding the search intent and carrying out intent specific keyword research.
Earlier, the majority of the SEOs used the ONE-KEYWORD-ONE-PAGE concept which is dead now. The change with the RankBrain is that it has shifted the focus from keywords to topics i.e. better content optimization.
#How to optimize for RankBrain?
We have learned and experienced a little more about the program since its launch, the most important aspects of SEO in general, or that RankBrain is amplifying the importance of quality content. Here are some suggestions to optimize for the RankBrain
- Natural Language – Since the search query was generated by humans, it was suggested to write content that sounds human. If one tries to write like a machine then RankBrain will get confused and probably pushes you back.
- Search Intent – RankBrain supplies the most relevant search results, therefore, it was important that your page matches the desired search intent as it entails high CTR. So, to optimize for the RankBrain, try to understand the search intent.
- Relevance and Comprehensiveness – As RankBrain is shifting focus from keywords to topics, one needs to make the content pages as comprehensive as possible by diversifying them with related terms and synonyms.
- Snippets – As we learned that CTR is among the things that RankBrain takes into consideration when estimating page relevance, therefore, it was important to make sure your snippets were optimized as they directly influence the CTR.
- Continuous efforts to monitor niche – The important factor to remember is that RankBrain can re-adjust SERPs if it thinks the search intent of your keywords has changed. Hence, it was highly recommended to keep an eye on the niche.
MobileGeddon’s name has arrived with the combination of two words i.e. Mobile and Armageddon. This Google update was way too simple than its name. When we talk about mobile phones in the present scenario no one will think of the keypad mobiles or any other model. It is a generation of Smart-phones, so Google also updated its algorithm to rank sites as a “mobile-friendly” label on mobile search results.
By this update, searchers could more easily find high-quality, and relevant results where the text was readable without tapping or zooming, tap targets were spaced appropriately, and the page avoids unplayable content or horizontal scrolling.
This update hit us on April 21, 2015, the major three working affected by this update are:
- Search rankings on mobile devices.
- Search results in all languages globally.
- Applies to individual pages, not entire websites.
This update isn’t only about organic search, it was more about adapting consumer’s behavior, who was getting more mobile-friendly. MobileGeddon is an important update but Google used a variety of signals to rank search results.
# Is MobileGeddon Update Greater than Panda or Penguin?
It was revealed at the SMX Munich that the MobileGeddon update had a greater impact on the SEO industry than Panda or Penguin algorithm. Experts commented that the update worked as it was intended, and, non-mobile friendly pages were negatively impacted in the 360-Degree Digital Marketing Services and the mobile search began to fall in the SERPs.
# Impact of MobileGeddon on the SEO Industry.
Apart from ranking, the other things which were affected by this update were:
- Website Undiscoverable – The update in the algorithm had made most website Undiscoverable as the first-page acquires more mobile-friendly websites as compared to the non-mobile friendly websites.
- Competitors Over-take – If you don’t get updated with the updates in the algorithm it means you gave the chance to your competitors to take the lead. This could lead to fewer clicks, fewer calls, and less business.
Google was pacing with the change in time. Accordingly, Google Fred was an algorithm designed to target Black-Hat tactics that were too connected with monetization. Google Fred specifically looks for low-value content, excessive ads, and websites that offer low benefits to the users.
Google rolled out its new update as in March 2017, named “Fred”. SEO professionals determined that it primarily affected low-quality, ad-heavy sites with thin content and bad backlinks, as Google was indefinite about the target of the algorithm.
Websites with these attributes were affected the most:
- Focused on over monetization.
- Misleading or Deceptive Ads.
- Ads that tricked the users to click them.
- Saturated with affiliate links, ads, and low-value content.
- Blogs with the sole purpose of SEO ranking.
- Barrier and Issues to Users Experience.
- Poor mobile-friendly.
#How to optimize your site for Google Fred?
Google Fred rewards websites that offer excellent user experience with relevant information and penalizes websites that focus on aggressive monetization. Here are some suggestions, mentioned in the update, that can help:
- Clear and Specific Content – The content/information available on your website should have a clear and specific purpose.
- Appropriate keywords and metadata – We suggest to use appropriate and relevant metadata, tags, keywords that clearly state the purpose of the content.
- Layout – Review the layout of your site from the user’s point.
- Ads– It was not bad to have Ads on your page, but you should limit the quantity and consider its placements.
- Search Quality Rater – You should follow the guidelines of Search Quality Rater for the self-evaluation of your website.
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