10 Things That Make You Love And Hate Google Algorithm Updates

11 Sep

SEO used to be a practice of different black-hat techniques that were used in order to cheat the search engines into believing that your site is more relevant than the others. Everything from spamming links to keyword stuffing used to improve your ratings, but that is no longer so. Over the years, Google has changed its algorithms so much that today’s SEO is nothing like it used to be. Since the Big G’s algorithm updates have shaken the world of SEO every time they’ve rolled out, we’ll cover some of the biggest changes they’ve done over the years.

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Panda Hates Keyword Stuffing

Originally a filter for spammy, low quality, and thin content, Google Panda moved to become a part of Google’s core algorithm in 2016. It heavily punishes internal duplicate content, content plagiarism, keyword stuffing and thin-content. That’s why you need to check your content for plagiarism through a tool like Copyscape Plagiarism Checker, as well as make sure you’re not stuffing keywords or posting low-quality content just for the sake of it. Thin content pages are also a problem, they represent low word-count pages with plenty of ads and/or affiliate links.

The End of Spammy Link Tactics

With the release of Google Penguin in 2012, many websites lost their organic search visibility due to the usage of too many links coming from low-quality websites. Google won’t punish you for having a couple of bad links, but if there’s a spike in the influx of such links you’re going down. Way down. If you’ve got too many harmful links, you’ll either need to request the removal of those links by contacting the webmasters of such sites or disavow them through Google’s Disavow Tool.

No One Likes Auto-Play Videos

Google released a silent update nicknamed Phantom aimed at punishing low-quality user experience, as well as rewarding websites which worked hard to enhance the user experience. Aggressive advertising has quickly become a thing you must worry about and auto-play videos are a big part of it. Users want to land on a page and have some sense of control on it – if they want to watch the video they want to play it themselves. Auto-playing it, on the other hand, leads to bad user experience and your users quickly leaving the page, which Google’s algorithm will recognize and punish you accordingly.

Links From Your Website to Bad Sources

Google is not only assessing links that are leading to your website, but also the pages that your site is linking to. By creating a follow link to another website you are practically vouching for that website with your own credibility. Having too many of these links leading to low-quality pages will signal Google that you’re not good at judging quality content and thus lower your site’s authority, which will further lead to a lower ranking in SERPs.

Google Pirate VS Copyright Infringement

Pirated content has become a huge deal over the past decade, and in 2012 Google has decided to fight it. Making movies, music, or software available to website users for free is something that Google couldn’t afford to support, so they’ve designed an algorithm to prevent any websites that receive many copyright infringement reports from ranking well. The update mostly targeted torrent sites, but could never handle thousands of new sites with illegal content that emerged on daily basis.

Hummingbird Values Meaning

When it was released in 2013, many struggled to figure out what Hummingbird changed and why the search rankings changed. This was a big algorithm update that tried to understand search queries better in order to match the results to searcher’s intent, instead of basing them on individual keywords that were typed in. It has become increasingly important to focus on synonyms and related searches, rather than on exact keywords. Google Related searches can be a huge help if you want to be on the good terms with Hummingbird.

Pigeon Made Location a Key Factor

Released in 2014, Google Pigeon changed the results for any queries where the searcher’s location plays an important role. This also meant that the same SEO factors would now be used to rank both local and non-local search results. Being included in the Google’s local index has become a must for local businesses, and the first step for that is to have a Google My Business page. It’s also useful to know that local directories like TripAdvisor saw a major ranking boost due to Pigeon, so being featured in them will likely benefit your rankings.

Mobilegeddon

At some point in 2015, Google realized that most of the searches are initially done through mobile devices. Mobilegeddon was rolled out to affect the SERPs for mobile devices so that the pages that are optimized for mobile devices rank at the top of the mobile search. This is why today you should always go for the responsive web design and do everything you can to make your site easy to use for mobile users. You can check how your website stands when it comes to mobile devices with Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test.

Bad Content

Aforementioned Google Hummingbird is said to be capable of judging the intent of the webpage’s content. This basically means that this algorithm is capable of recognizing a nonsense content from a well-written one, which gives it the power to punish the former and reward the latter. If you’re unsure about your rankings, SEO services Sydney offer their own Rank Checker Chrome Extensions, through which you can check your ranking for different keywords and adjust your content accordingly.

Shocking News Inside! Google Hates Clickbait?

Clickbait articles are low-quality articles that offer little to no value to visitors after they’ve landed on the page. Once they realize that there was nothing shocking or amazing about the news, as the headline suggested, they’ll quickly leave the page. Google has thus realized that the amount of time spent on the page is actually more significant than the actual number of clicks that the page received, which led to penalties for any such articles that Google recognizes as clickbait.

Conclusion

SEO has changed significantly over the years and Google is even changing the way they are updating their algorithms today. They are now trying to constantly apply smaller updates, at different times, so it’s no longer a matter of huge updates that everyone will talk about. This makes it even more important to stay in touch with Google’s trends if you’re looking to rank well. There are some things that are unlikely to ever see a huge change, like user experience as a ranking factor, or having high-quality content. One thing’s for sure, Google updates can be a real pain for some, but also a huge reward for those who aren’t looking to cheat the system.

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