Every digital marketer now knows that Google has become smarter than his smartest peer! That is because the Google wants to control what is being displayed in front of an audience. It does not want to be manipulated by webmasters to rank on its first page. Giving users exactly what they want is the goal of Google.
Google gradually brought many updates in its search algorithms to fulfill this goal. There were basically two reasons to bring these updates.
- The first was to stop the actions of spammers who created invaluable stuff and used black hat methods to rank.
- The second was it wanted to provide its users what they were exactly searching for without any disorientation.
Let’s glance at the important Google updates that changed website ranking
Panda: 24 February 2011.
Panda was launched to pull down websites which had duplicate and plagiarized content. It also showed the effect of low-quality content, user-generated spam and keyword stuffing to get higher rankings. Content is the what users consume on websites. Increased number of spammy websites which had copied, low-quality content and keywords stuffing were targeted by Panda. Panda assigns the quality score to web pages that are used as a ranking factor.
Penguin: 24 April 2012.
Penguin was launched as a part of the core Google ranking algorithm and it downranks sites whose links appear manipulative according to set Google standards. It affects the sites which have irrelevant links only built to fool the search engine and rank websites. Penguin works in real time and recovering from it is tough.
Hummingbird: 22 August 2013.
Hummingbird enables Google to interpret search queries that match the searcher intent. This is necessary for Google because it needs to differentiate between the search queries and the individual terms that make up the query. Hummingbird ranks pages even if they do not exactly match a corresponding query. This is done by processing the common language usage with the help of latent semantic indexing, co-occurring terms and synonyms.
Mobile (aka Mobilegeddon) April 21,2015.
Have you heard that it’s important to build mobile optimized websites? Yes. That is the Mobile update. This update demanded compliance of website accessibility from mobile phones. Since increasing number of users had started using internet on mobile phones, having websites mobile optimized was a necessity. Mobile update ranks mobile-friendly websites in SERPs and filers out the not optimized websites. In worst cases, it seriously downranks websites which perform very poorly on mobile phones.
RankBrain: 26 October 2015.
RankBrain appears to be a part of Google’s Hummingbird algorithm. It targets and downranks websites which have lack of query-specific relevance; shallow content and poor user interface experience. Since Google wants to present the most relevant result to the specific query of the users it needs to understand the meaning behind the search queries. RankBrain helps Google interpret the queries and their relevance so that it can keep quality content and filter out irrelevant search results. According to Google, it is the third most important ranking factor.
Possum: 1 September 2016.
This update is the reason your local results appear at the top corresponding to your search query. It ensures that the closer you are to a business’s address the more likely you see it in your search result. Possum produces varied results in the search results for similar queries like “holiday packages” and “holiday packages.com.” Possum has increased the visibility of local and outside city businesses.
Latest: 8 September 2017.
This was the Google’s latest update that affected thin, affiliate heavy and ad-centered content. It majorly downranks sites which are filled with low quality content that is built around a large number of ads on the web pages. The sites that are built with the sole purpose of generating ad revenue are monitored by Fred.
These are the major Google updates that have affected websites that did not provide value to users. Google is getting more and more efficient in down tracking websites that do not have any user value or usefulness and only sustain to generate revenue. Make sure you learn about each and every update before you begin with any new idea!