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10 Google Algorithm Updates You Can’t Ignore

Almost each and every day Google changes its search algorithm. Webmaster Trends Analyst John Mueller also quoted many times “we make changes almost every day.”So it is almost impossible to cope up with Google with so many changes happening all the time.

In this post, I will discuss 10 such major Google Algorithm Updates which you should not ignore!

Google Search Algorithm Updates

10. Fred

Date Introduced: March 8, 2017

Purpose: The purpose of this Fred algorithm is to make websites clean from those aggressive monetization techniques. Fred targets those websites especially blogs which uses ad heavy content and adds almost no value to the user. These sites are created only for affiliate marketing and revenue generation. Barry Schwartz,  one of the leading SEO experts has reported the websites he observed suffered almost 80-90% traffic loss due to Fred

What you should do:

• Review Google’s Search Quality Guidelines

• Rewrite your Meta descriptions to reflect about your real content. (Don’t try to fool Google anyway)

• Review your ads and ads placement(Are they quality enough?)

• Remove or Rewrite your old content to provide some real value to the user.

• Provide clean UX design.

9. RankBrain

Date Introduced: October 26, 2015

Purpose: One of the most important Google search algorithms ranking factor used today. The main purpose of theRankbrain is to apply the machine learning techniques to the search algorithms.

Rankbrain tries to understand the search intent of the query rather than only the search terms present on the page. This results in more relevant results to the user.

What you should do:

To adjust with Rankbrain the only way is to diversify your content in the way that it can explain the topic as a whole. In-depth content with relevant information is the best possible way to adjust with Rankbrain. You can also use LSI terms to make your content more relevant and user specific.

8.  Mobilegeddon

Date Introduced: April 21, 2015

Purpose: The world is on Mobile. So the much awaited Mobilegeddon ensures that you should also have a mobile- optimized version of your website. Google will reward your website and help you to grab those higher rankings in SERP if you are mobile friendly. If you are not mobile friendly then you are loosing a significant of traffic.

What you should do:

First of all check your website if it is mobile friendly or not. Use the Google Mobile friendly Tool test. If your website doesn’t pass the test then it is high time to make it so. My suggestion is to go for responsive design rather than building the whole new mobile version of the website. It will cost you less overhead and easy to maintain.

The second step is to make your website AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages )  to make it more useful in terms of users and Google. Because AMP pages load much faster and also have the 2X increase in time spent on page.  So adopting the AMP strategy will really help you to gain the SEO momentum you want to achieve.

7. HTTPS Upadate

Date Introduced: October 2017

Purpose: The HTTPS update which was introduced by Google is solely made for the purpose of security. Security is very important for everyone. With the release of Chrome 68, Chrome will mark all not HTTPS sites as ‘not secure’.Google is also pushing the webmasters to migrate to https long since 2014. They also declare a long ago that site adopting to https will enjoy some mild ranking benefit.

What you should do:

If you are running a blog or any website it is almost mandatory to migrate to HTTPS. Some hosting companies are also offering it free for their customers. So there is no excuse not to have HTTPS for your website. If your website is not offering it free you can obtain the HTTPS certificate for free online from many trusted sources like COMODO, SSL For Free etc.

So migrate it now to have a more secure web.

6. Intrusive Mobile Interstitial Penalty Update

Date Introduced: January 10, 2017

Purpose: This is quite similar to Fred but has some fundamental difference. In case of mobile search,if a user clicks on your mobile SERP result and lands on a page which shows an annoying Mobile Interstitial then Google treats as negative and may penalize you from the search.

The purpose is to show users the most important part of your website i.e the content itself, not any flashy ads that create obstacles for them. So the idea is terrific and logical too. It is not a domain-wide penalty but only for the particular page which users land from the Google mobile search.

What you should do:

My tip is to avoid any Intrusive ads or banners on the website which can create an obstacle for the users. If you can’t avoid Interstitials then you can use it in a creative way for example in the side-bar or on the top of your website.

Google also confirmed the following Interstitial as Non-Intrusive:
• Legal obligation(exp: cookie usage) banners
• Login dialogs on sites where content is not publicly indexable,
• Banners that use a reasonable amount of screen space and are easily dismissible

5. Pigeon

Date Introduced: July 24, 2014 (US); December 22, 2014 (UK, Canada, Australia)

Purpose: Pigeon was introduced to focus more on local search results on Google.

What you should do:

So it is important now to re-think the local SEO strategy with more diverse local keywords and page designed specifically for the local search intent. This also requires proper On-page modifications, relevant local business listings including GMB(Google My Business) and all those local directories out there.

4. Hummingbird

Date Introduced: August 22, 2013

Purpose: Google introduced Hummingbird in attempt to counter keyword stuffing and low-quality content. Prior to Hummingbird, there are countless pages popping up just for ranking keywords with no real value. Hummingbird resolves this to match the searcher intent even if the query is not present in the user’s search query. This is achieved by Rankbrain and the use of NLP.

What you should do:

Apply semantic indexing, co-occurring terms and synonyms in your keyword strategy. Use LSI and Google Autocomplete suggestions.

3. Panda

Date Introduced: February 24, 2011

Purpose: Panda is one of the most powerful Google algorithm updates Google has ever introduced. It simply checks the website content quality, keyword stuffing, duplicate content issue and ranks the content accordingly. Panda gives priority to original and fresh content. Panda is more aggressive and impacts at the host level.
So low-quality content suffers heavily with Panda.

What you should do:

Regular content audit and duplication check. Also, it is useful to implement the canonical tag more often.

2. Penguin

Date Introduced: April 24, 2012

Purpose: Another top-level Google search algorithm which aims at spammy links, link schemes, paid links etc. The main aim is to counter the aggressive link manipulation techniques to alter the Google search results. Links are one the most top-level ranking factor for ranking in Google.

So Google must have to do something like Penguin to deliver the quality results for the users. A timely and very well executed Google Algorithm update. While Penguin also collects page level data but it penalizes the website in terms of a particular page, not at the domain level.

What you should do:

Regular link audit is a must for Penguin. Also, it is best to refrain from any manipulative link building techniques including paid link schemes.Use the disavow link feature using Google search console if required.

1. Google Medic Update

Date Introduced: Aug 1, 2018

Purpose: Google Medic Update is a fancy name proposed by Search Engine Round Table and many other SEO experts as they observed there are some huge ranking fluctuations related to medical and health websites. But later on, Google confirmed it is a broad core algorithm update and the change is not only confined to health and medical websites but it is meant for all niches in general.

What you should do:

Not many details is available. But Google confirmed in general for building great content only.

Useful Tool For Checking Google Algorithm Updates:

Though there is no perfect tool for checking these Google Algorithm updates you can estimate the impact by using this great tool called ‘Panguin Tool’  to see if there is any such impact in your existing traffic using Google Analytics.

panguin tool

Conclusion: Hope the above major Google Algorithms help you to understand Google better. Google is always changing and it is hard to follow each end every Google Algorithm Updates. But Google is always constant in terms of delivering the optimum experience for their users. So if you can build a clean UX and great content you will be fine no matter what happens!

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10 Google Algorithm Updates You Can’t Ignore


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