As Google is the pioneer and the flag bearer of search marketing, keeping pace with the latest Google SEO and Algorithm updates is vital to enhance optimization of your website.
Below are some of the most important updates of Google SEO and Algorithms.
1. Google Hummingbird Update
This update which was launched in August 2013, plays a significant role in deciding the ranking of websites. The name Humming bird comes from its ability to be “precise and flat”. This update gives more attention to words in a query so that the whole meaning of a query is considered rather than mere words. This update consists of 200 plus factors that determine search results and ranking. Also, owing to the extensive use of mobile phones, this update was launched keeping an eye on mobile marketing.
SEO updates of Hummingbird
Recognition of keyword stuffing
Long tail keywords effectiveness
Usage of knowledge graphs
Application of meaning technology
2. Google Mobile Friendly Update
Witnessing the increasing use of mobile phones and mobile websites, Google launched this website to give a boost to mobile websites. It is designed to give a boost to mobile friendly pages in the search results.
Latest Google Mobile Friendly SEO Updates
Mobile friendly testing tool with API access
Google will show AMP URLs before App deep link URLs in mobile results
Google gives more importance to mobile page speed for mobile sites and search results
Importance to desktop over AMP page for mobile first index
3. Google Panda Update
This update was launched to refine sites on the basis of content. This is a search filter introduced in Feb 2011 to stop sites with poor quality content from acquiring top ranks in search results. Google brings changes to this update now and again. So when the changes occur, sites which were previously hit may escape if they have brought the right changes. Likewise, Panda update may also catch sites that escaped earlier. This update greatly affected the ranking of entire sites rather than individual pages.
SEO Updates of Google Panda
No same keyword in multiple pages
No scraped content
Many outbound links and keywords affect rankings
No pages with less than 2 paragraphs of text
4. Google Penguin Update
This update was launched in April 2012 to catch websites that were spamming search results. With this update, those sites which violate google webmaster guidelines and use black hat techniques to improve search rankings will lose their rankings. The primary aim of this update is to penalize those websites that use manipulative techniques like buying links from link networks or use the spammy content.
5. Google Pigeon Update
This was launched in July 2014 for US English search results to give more valuable and significant local search results. As per Google, this update enhances its local tracking parameters in a more result oriented manner. This update also affects search results shown in google maps as this update provides search results based on user location and listing at hand in the local directory.
SEO Updates of Google Pigeon
Over website optimization will harm your ranking
Strong domains matter
6. Google Payday Update
Launched in June 2013, this is a new search algorithm focused on cleaning items based on spammy queries such as pornographic content, payday loans, and other heavily spammed content. This update was particularly launched to penalize websites that use spammy techniques like black hat SEO or spamdexing.
7. Google Pirate Update
Launched in August 2012, the pirate update is a filter designed to prevent sites with many copyright infringement reports as filed through Google’s DMCA system, from ranking well in Google’s listings. This update is periodically updated. When this happens, the site who were caught may escape if they had made improvements. Likewise, it may catch many new websites too and also release “false positives” about who all were caught.
SEO Updates of Google Pirate
Penalizing websites with high copyright violation reports
Boon for artists, media people and others who create original work
Valid documentation required to get a page removed from the Index
8. Google EMD Update
The Exact Match Domain is a filter launched in September 2012 to prevent poor quality sites from appearing higher just because they had terms in their domain names that matched search terms. When EMD is updated, new sites with good content may get great rankings and those websites with poor content and who escaped earlier may get caught. Also, Google also releases “false positives”.
9. Google Top Heavy Update
This update prevents sites which are “top heavy” with ads from ranking well in search results. Top heavy is updated periodically and when this happens, those websites which removed excessive ads may regain lost rankings and new sites with top heavy ads may get caught.
SEO Updates of Google Top Heavy
Google updates its page layout algorithm to catch sites with top heavy ads
Pages with top heavy ads above the fold are now penalized by Google’s page layout algorithm
10. Google Page Layout Update
The page layout update focuses on punishing sites whose content is pushed below the fold by multiple ads. This update affects sites where there is only a small amount of visible content above the fold or the relevant content is persistently pushed down by large blocks of ads. This update is primarily focused on encouraging sites to deliver the best user experience.
11. Google Rank Brain Update
The goal behind this update is to deliver better search results based on relevance and machine learning. With the Rankbrain update, google can better decipher the meaning behind queries and serve better results. Along with relying on traditional SEO factors, Rankbrain also depends on other factors that are queried specifically. The identifies relevant features on the pages in the index and arranges results respectively in SERPs. This mainly focuses on eliminating sites that deliver poor user experience from appearing higher.
12. Google Fred Update
This update targets sites that use black hat tactics. This includes overload on ads, low-quality content, and more. This primarily affects those websites whose aim is only to drive revenue through excessive ads over solving a user’s problem. This update filters out websites whose content has ads or affiliate links throughout and the quality is also below industry specifics. Hence, it mainly focuses on targeting aggressive monetization.
13. Google Possum Update
The Possum update is the name of a number of recent changes in Google’s local ranking filter. Google gives search results depending on user’s location and phrasing of the query. With Possum, business outside the physical city area also got a boost. Although, businesses which share an address with another business of a similar kind may get de-ranked. Hence, the goal of Possum is to deliver better, more diverse results based on the searcher’s location and the business’ address.