google algorithms change

If you’re new to Google Algorithm then this article is for you. For people like you and me going in –depth into technical ‘skills’ can be quite intimidating but don’t fret, I am going to guide you through all the different algorithms penalties.

The main purpose of this article is to explain what each of these algorithms is meant to do. This article is supposed to be an easy guide to walk you through algorithm changes.

What is Google Algorithm?

Google algorithm is an immensely complex process and keeps on getting more complicated by the day. It keeps on getting more complicated because Google is trying to provide searchers with information they need.

Earlier, when search engines were created, search marketers were able to find an easy to trick search engines into thinking that one’s site should rank well. In some cases, using meta keywords tag would tell a search engine what a page was about.

With change in time, Google evolved. The engineers at Google who earlier merely focused on making the search engine results as pertinent to users as possible, continued to work on ways to stop people from being dishonest and  cheating thus searched for other ways to demonstrate the most significant or appropriate  pages at the top of their searches.

There are hundreds of different factors an algorithm looks at like the significance of a title. Earlier, the algorithm would change once every blue moon so if your site was ranking at no.1 it would remain so for a long time (or until the next update).

All this changed in 2010 with the launch of Caffeine. Since the launch of Caffeine, the results on search engines have been changing a couple of times per day.

According to an article, Google makes at least 600 changes to its algorithm every year.

Most of the major changes aren’t announced and when Google makes an immense change, they name it, typically making an announcement, and those who come from the SEO world go crazy trying to understand how the algorithm works and how they could be using these changes to their advantage.

Here are the three biggest changes in Google’s Algorithm

Panda Algorithm

This algorithm was launched on 23rd February 2011. This algorithm was a big deal and the main purpose of this algorithm was to show high quality sites higher in search results and higher and downgrade sites that may be of inferior quality.

This algorithm is meant to hinder sites with poor quality to make their way on top of Google’s search rankings. Panda Algorithm is refreshed on a timely basis and those sites that were previously hit or suffering from the penalty may escape only if they have made the right changes to their site.

Panda usually targets sites that offer:

  • Shallow content
  • Duplicate content
  • Grammatically incorrect content
  • Irrelevant information
  • Poor Quality
  • Unbiased content
  • Unclear content and many more factors

Then you’re prone to falling victim to Panda’s algorithm.

The reason you’re ranked based on these factors is because these elements will contribute how real-life users would rate your site’s quality.  The factors that Google uses to determine the quality of your site is still unknown. The main focus is ultimately to focus on creating a great site for your users.

How does one recover from a Panda hit?

The panda algorithm is refreshed approximately monthly by Google and earner they would always announce when an update was to be made but now only announcements are made if there are going to be major changes.

When the Panda algorithm is updated then Google ‘inspects’ each and every site on the web to determine if they’re quality sites or not.

If you were penalized by this algorithm before for using duplicate content or thin content but made changes when Google refreshes its panda algorithm then you get yourself out of the penalized list and things would improve for you.

On the other hand, for a number of sites it can take a number of Panda refreshes to see the full degree of the improvements. Why? Because it takes several months for Google to re-examine all of your pages and identify the change(s) you’ve made.

Sometimes, instead of refreshing the algorithm, Google updates it. When an update occurs Google changes the criterion used to decide what is and is not considered exemplary quality. On 20th May 2014, a major update was made which was called Panda 4.0. This caused a lot of sites to see noteworthy changes in regards to Panda:

Not all Panda recoveries are as remarkable as this one. But, if you have been affected by Panda and you work hard to make changes to your site, you really should see some improvement.

Penguin Algorithm

On 24th April, 2012 Penguin Algorithm was launched and the role of this algorithm was to catch sites that spam their search results with excessive use of links to improve their Google search rankings

The importance of links

A link is like a recommendation to your site. However you should keep in mind that when a small or no-name site links to your site then it has no value but if you can manage to get a number of small sites to link back to yours then it would add value to your site.

An additional important aspect is anchor text. Anchor text is text that is underlined in a link. For instance: best digital services in Delhi is the anchor text.

The factors that Penguin algorithm looks at are unknown but what we do know is that low quality and also self made links are detected by this kind of algorithm.

Some experts say the Penguin algorithm is like a trust factor to your link. Such an algorithm determines large no. of links that aren’t trustworthy and when it detects such elements on your site then your trust factor goes down and the whole site will see a reduction in its ranking.

How does one recover from a penguin hit?

Penguin is a filter. This means that the algorithms are re-run occasionally and websites that are re-run are also re-evaluated. You will need to identify unnatural links and remove them to be able to recover from a Penguin hit.

If you aren’t able to remove them you could recommend Google to not consider or count them by using disavow tool.

If you have done a good job at clearing out your unnatural links, you will once again recuperate trust in the eyes of Google.

If you are not certain how to identify which links to your site are unnatural, here are


Hummingbird Update

In September 2013 Hummingbird was introduced. Hummingbird is a fast and precise search platform that is designed to focus on meaning behind words.

What hummingbird does is pay attention to each word in a query. This ensures that the query, sentence, conversation or meanings are taken into account rather than only a particular word or words.

The objective is that pages identical to the meaning do better rather than pages corresponding to just a couple of words.

Google Hummingbird is projected to recount the meaning of technology to thousands of pages from across the web, in addition to Knowledge Graph facts, which may carry back better outcomes.

Pigeon Update

In July 2014, Pigeon Update was launched. This algorithm allows more relevant, useful, accurate and local searches that are tied to traditional web search ranking signals. The penguin update allows improvement of local ranking parameters.

Pirate Update

Introduced in August 2012, Google’s pirate update is a filter that is premeditated to put off sites with many patent violations reports from ranking well in Google’s listings. The filter is every so often updated. When this happens, sites earlier impacted may escape, if they have made the right changes. This filter may also catch new sites that have escaped being caught earlier. s

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3 thoughts on “How Google algorithms update work

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