Google Search Algorithm Updates & Changes Explained

Are you worried about the Google search algorithm updates?

Will it impact your SEO and ranking?

You are surely going to answer a lot of frustrated clients at your end.

Some, around 35%, are not aware that there are around 500 or 600 updates in a year with 25% indicating that there was a big impact.

Google Search Algorithm Updates

This is due to the fact that either there is communication gaps between Google and firms or SEO’s are not up to date. Due to this, many SEO agencies have lost clients.

What is Google Algorithm?

For generating results for a query, algorithms come to play a major role and Google search engines uses them to retrieve data.

These Google search algorithms are combined to deliver results based on ranking. It actually sorts through many webpages using a specific combination of searches to bring the best results instantly.

But these ‘updates’ are conducted around a thousand times a year.

These updates are too minute to be noticed. But major google search algorithm updates that have taken place are Google Panda, Google Penguin, Google Hummingbird, and Google Rank Brain.

How to Tackle Google Seacrh Algorithm Updates?

1. Communicate:

If you need to identify the changes in your site, talk to your QA team, tech team and content team to verify about the updates.

2. Know your data:

In case you need to know about updates, check the search console and all organic traffic data, know which pages had traffic drops and note the competitor’s rankings.

3. Use tools:

The site performance can be tracked by using appropriate tools, But it is noted that there are fluctuations observed that varied between mobile and desktops.

You would need to go beyond your site and see how others are performing.

4. Keep updating:

You would need to sort out which pages are least viewed or are of low quality and remove them.

As Google always looks out ways of providing up-to-date information to its users, their updates are always geared up for that.

5. Make it better:

As you know that Google always tends to make changes, it’s you who have to make it better by making necessary improvements by working out.

To keep up to them, learn to make changes by reading through blogs.

Major Google algorithms Updates:

1. Google Panda:

This was intended to assign a score to sites that had low-quality content and rank accordingly. Though it was applied as a filter in the initial stages, it got to officially be applied as search operations.

It helped to remove thin and duplicate contents, plagiarism, keyword stuffing, spam that was user-generated.

Combating measures:

Run audits:

It is to remove any duplicate content across your site. This can be done using appropriate SEO tools to make sure that there is no duplication.

The tool provides error status which will display a list of pages.

Plagiarism check:

Sometimes duplication can originate from out. Hence make use of Copyscape tool to verify for duplicated content.

If you have online stores, it’s better to put up your own images and have reviews from the user.

Measure word count:

It is to remove sites with less word count and is filled with affiliate links and ads. In such a case, it does not provide value.

Using a tool it is possible to sort out those with less word count and more outbound links. It is too often linked with the purpose of the page and keywords.

Hence, see that the word count exceeds 250 and less than 80 links.

Audit keywords:

It is observed that some sites use too much of the keywords in their content which is termed as ‘stuffing keywords’.

To know more about it, check out top ranking sites. There is a tool to check this out and make a comparison with competitors rankings.

Fix problem:

By using the necessary tools, you would be aware of the problems that arise and try to fix them.

The earlier, the better to prevent from next update

2. Google Penguin:

This was intended to rank sites that were linked with unnatural profiles and provided spam using tactics that were manipulated.

It is part of core algorithm update operating in real time penalizing making recovery difficult. It is often linked to spam irrelevant site, and paid links.

Combating measures:

1. Look out for profile:

Usually, link profiles get updated with new links that are acquired. It is wise to verify and monitor this sudden spike in growth to know if it is spam.

Using appropriate tools, you would be able to measure the number of links and the referring domains that are displayed as graphs.

2. Check at penalty risk value:

By verifying this value, it is possible to know whether it is above 50% or not.

This is done using a tool wherein the evaluation is done for every domain as a whole instead of each individual factor.

3. Remove spam links:

Try to contact the webmasters of linking sites to remove them.

In case they don’t respond, then using Google’s tools will be helpful in disowning those links such that, it will ignore them while scrutinizing your sites.

Besides, it will be converted to the right format so that it can be blacklisted.

3. Google Pirate:

It is designed to pick out those sites that have issues with copyright or pirated content.

Though there were many big name sites affected by it, still there are other newly emerging sites that are not able to be removed or prevented.

Combating measures:

The only measure is to avoid copying anyone’s content without their permission.

4. Google Hummingbird:

It is designed to detect longer sentences that match the exact keywords and their meaning.

It has also optimized the search using synonyms as well. The tools used for this search correlates to the themes providing the results to the query.

It helps to find keyword studding and matches with the exact keyword.

Combating measures:

1. Focus on keywords:

You need to be focused on terms that are related to keywords using synonyms and those that are frequently occurring.

The tools are mostly related to Google Hummingbird that picks up words related to your search.

This helps to identify those sites that have the same and map them accordingly.

2. Check for language:

By noting the language used by the audience, it helps to identify the intentions of the keywords.

There are tools to identify and explore the keywords related to it, especially in social media and the web.

3. Stop using unnatural phrasing:

Often sites are describing their intentions using unnatural phrases.

Hence, adopt means of using appropriate phrases that really describes the content honestly. But don’t leave out keywords as it is important for searches.

Instead, focus on including better words for titles and side headings to get higher rankings.

5. Google Pigeon:

It was to query the searches for pages that were not optimized properly, improperly setup Google Business page, inconsistency in NAP and no citation in local directories.

The tool helped to rank local and non-local using the same SEO factors wherein the location and distance played a key role in ranking.

It helped to connect the Google web search with Google map search.

Combating measures:

1. Optimize page:

As the SEO search criteria were the same as for Google search results, it is necessary for all sites to optimize their page.

The tools used for this purpose brings out the errors that help you to find out which of the aspects do you need to focus on.

You could take the help of information about top-ranking competitors

2. Include in the local index:

By making yourself included in the local index, you could be placed in the local listing by getting a pin number after verification.

It’s better to categorize your business appropriately so that you receive relevant queries. This can be done by using the local codes for phones and area.

The rankings are enhanced as the reviews have an influence on local searches.

3. Consistent NAP:

Ensure that the NAP is consistent with the local address that includes your name and phone numbers.

With proper consistency with other sites in other local directories, your rankings get enhanced.

4. Include in a quality directory:

As there are many local directories, getting your site to be included in the highly visited one would ensure more ranking.

Contact the related webmasters of those sites and get registered.

6. Mobile friendly Update:

It helps to identify those sites that are not linked with mobile searches and assign low ranks. This is not affecting any desktops.

Therefore, by assigning your site to be mobile friendly you are sure to enhance ranking.

It also helps to identify an improper configuration for viewpoint, any illegal content, and plugin use.

Combating measures:

1. Make it mobile friendly:

By making your site mobile friendly, you are sure to be viewed even on mobiles while there is a query.

Hence, update your site with the help of Google tools to make your site mobile friendly.

2. Check for mobile friendliness:

Using appropriate tools, it is possible for you to check for display of your pages on mobiles.

It helps to identify the target keywords after the audit and the list indicates what mobile friendly factors are.

By the list of errors displayed, you could make the necessary corrections to enhance the ranking.

7. RankBrain:

It helps to identify and decipher the meaning of all the queries to bring out the best matching results.

This tool helps to summarize about the page evaluating the search results thus depicting what needs to be done.

Though it is SEO specific, it also relates to the query done and relates to relevant features on the pages arranging the results accordingly.

Combating measures

Engaging the reader- Through proper use of tools, analytics indicate that there is a link between the query and the bounce rates.

By assessing the minimum time a reader spends on each page, you could note what improvements are needed to be done.

If the reader does not spend more time on your page, then you could include videos or images to engage the reader to enhance your ranking.
Analyze traits- Identify features which tend to bring more ranking for the site through the use of this tool.

By identifying those pages you get to know which top listed contents are more engaging and interactive and bring those changes to your site.

8. Possum:

This is intended to identify those which are located close to the searcher which results in bringing better ranking.

That means even if your business was not close to the city, you would still be identified while query resulting in good ranks.

In other words, it helps to identify those having their address close to similar business

Combating measures:

1. Check for rank tracking:

In case you have not done it, use this tool to check for positions based on the rankings.

You could use the code or the street name also.

2. Use local keywords:

The query could expand using local keywords along with its location to list out.

9. Fred:

It is the latest updates that violate Google webmaster guidelines.

But it mostly targeted those sites that were low in content or were linked to generate affiliate revenue.

Combating measures:

1. Review guidelines:

To keep your site safe, it is best to review all the details of the Google search algorithm updates and guidelines and abide by them.

2. Audit for content:

No matter what ads are displayed, care must be taken to ensure that content is relevant, of good quality and that word count is above 300 -400.

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