8 important updates in Google algorithm


Google claims to update its search algorithm several thousand times a year. Many of these updates are aimed at improving the SEO of the sites and of course helping to improve the results.

In this post, we will review eight of the most important changes to the search algorithm that will come in handy.

But before we get started, let’s see if you’ve ever been affected by an algorithm update. All you have to do is launch Rank Tracker, sync it with your Google Analytics account and go to Organic Traffic.

1. Panda

Date: February 24, 2011

Dangers: Duplicate content, plagiarism or thin. User-generated spam; Fill in the keywords

How it works: Panda algorithm works on the quality of site content. This score is then used as a ranking factor. At first, Panda’s effects were mild, but in January 2016 it was permanently embedded in Google’s core algorithm. Since then, there have been more and more updates, so both Panda fines and recoveries happen faster.

How to set up: Do regular site reviews to duplicate content, thin content and fill in keywords. To do this, you need a site crawler such as SEO PowerSuite’s Website Auditor.

With the new WebSite Auditor content editor module, you can avoid possible penalties and create pages without the risk of accidentally filling in keywords. Content Editor analyzes the pages of your top competitors and provides SEO recommendations based on content that has previously been successful in Google search.

And if you want to check if your content is copied elsewhere on the web, use a plagiarism browser like Copyscape.

2. Penguin

Date: April 24, 2012

Hazards: Spammy or irrelevant links; links with over-optimized anchor text.

How it works: Google Penguin’s objective is to down-rank sites whose backlinks look unnatural. This update put an end to low-effort link building, like buying links from link farms and PBNs.

How to adjust: To stay safe from the effects of the Google Penguin update, monitor your link profile’s growth and run regular audits with a backlink checker like SEO SpyGlass. In the tool’s Summary dashboard, you’ll find a progress graph for your link profile’s growth. Look out for any unusual spikes: those might be the result of a negative SEO attack by your competitors.

The stats that we know Penguin takes into account are incorporated into SEO SpyGlass’s Penalty Risk formula. Navigate to the Penalty Risk tab and sort your backlink list from highest risk to lowest. Links with a risk above 50% should be investigated. If they turn out to be malicious, add them to the disavow file, download it, and submit it to Google’s Disavow Links Tool.

3. Hummingbird

Date: August 22, 2013

Hazards: Keyword stuffing; low-quality content.

How it works: The Hummingbird algorithm helps Google better interpret the queries and provide results that match the searcher’s purpose (as opposed to the individual terms in the search term).
While keywords are still important, the Hummingbird algorithm allows a page to rank for a query even if the page does not contain the exact words of the searcher.
This is achieved through natural language processing, which relies on latent semantic indexing of synonymous terms.

How to set it up: Expand your keyword research and focus on the concepts behind the keywords. Carefully analyze related searches, synonyms, and common terms. Important sources of these ideas are Google related search and Google related tools as well as Google autocomplete suggestions.

You can include them all in the Rank Tracker keyword research module. Use these insights to better understand your target language and diversify your content. By creating comprehensive content that meets the search engine goals, you will win both in terms of interaction and SEO.

4. Mobile

Date: April 21, 2015

Hazards: Lack of a mobile version of the page; poor mobile usability.

How it works: This, and subsequent mobile search updates (2018, 2020) have shifted the focus from a desktop to a mobile version of your website. Today, Google ranks all websites based on how fast and user-friendly their mobile versions are.

How to adjust: Optimize your pages for mobile search and focus on speed and usability. Google’s mobile-friendly and page speed tests will help you see which aspects of your page need to be improved. The tests are integrated into WebSite Auditor so you can check your pages’ mobile optimization as a part of your overall website audit. You’ll find it in Content Analysis > Page Audit:

5. RankBrain

Date: October 26, 2015

Hazards: Lack of query-specific relevance; shallow content; poor UX.

How it works: RankBrain is a part of Google’s Hummingbird algorithm. It is a machine learning system that helps Google understand the meaning behind queries and serve best-matching search results in response to those queries. Google calls RankBrain the third most important ranking factor.
While we don’t know the exact formula behind this major update, the consensus is that RankBrain is responsible for customizing a user’s Google search results. Basically, Google goes beyond a person’s search query and takes into account the larger context, like synonyms, implied words, and personal search history.

How to adjust: Optimize your pages for relevance and comprehensiveness with the help of competitive analysis. With the WebSite Auditor‘s TF-IDF tool, you can discover entire lists of relevant terms and concepts used by a large number of your top-ranking competitors. Find a way to add these terms to your content and you will see your search relevance increase dramatically.

In this article of magdigital, we have tried to acquaint you with five of the most important algorithms and Google updates. Ask any question about SEO or Google below this post, we will answer it at the earliest opportunity.

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