SEO Tips You Can Pick up From Google’s Past Algorithm Updates

Computer literacy is at an all-time high, which means that a larger pool of people is applying pressure to this statement:

When it comes to search engines as big as this one is, the Google algorithm can make or break your marketing plan.

Check out Google’s algorithm rules.

The operative state of Google’s updates always seems to be tentative. For example, keyword stuffing was considered a reasonable strategy and could drive viewers to your site. Now, you and your website can be penalized for it. 

It’s difficult to keep track of what’s working and what isn’t. One new tweak to the algorithm can kill your traffic. How can anyone plan?

For the wise, by tracking previous updates and making predictions.

What Have We Learned From Previous Updates to the Google Algorithm?

Tracking and observing past updates to the algorithm could have remarkable effects in preparing you and your team for the upcoming changes. These are three of the biggest updates:

The Panda Update (2011)

This update reordered high-quality content as high priority, while also penalizing surface-level content that showed evidence of keyword stuffing. 

Before this, many companies used to engage in what is informally known as “content farming,” in which a promoter would post irrelevant and unhelpful content with a deceptive twist: stuffing keywords into the first few paragraphs in order to trick the Google algorithm. Google soon caught on and began issuing penalties.

From this, SEO marketers learned that quality did matter. Strategies similar to keyword stuffing, like duplicated content, were no longer a viable option. The norm became high-quality content and helpful advice, all with little to no keyword stuffing. 

The Penguin Update (2012)

Penguin came a year later and was targeted at penalizing spammy links

Before this, link-building was a phenomenal way to increase ranking on Google’s result pages. To cash in on such a ripe advantage, marketers started using spammy backlinks of very low quality. Quality of the search results went down, and Google got involved again. 

After this, marketers dropped these tacky, artificial growth techniques and began focusing on tracking their backlinks. 

The Hummingbird Update (2013)

This update pertained more to showing results of similar keywords to searchers in the hopes that it would provide a path to more relevant/helpful results. 

For example, searching “small business” would direct you to websites offering business loans, networking opportunities, and other somewhat relevant topics. 

The results are not always a perfect match, but they’re related enough to be considered relevant. Thus, they are placed at the front with the other top results.

This particular change to the algorithm taught markets to start optimizing content for both main search terms and relevant search terms. This is considered a blanket approach. 

The focus of modern-day marketers became that of creating high-quality content with authoritative links that could be used to rank higher. Digital marketers began optimizing their websites for mobile viewership.

If A Google Algorithm Update Happened, Find Out When and Why It Affected Your Site

If you’re worried about an overnight Google algorithm update ruining your SEO plan,

keep these tips in mind to help you spot an update as soon as it happens. 

1. Don’t Wait for Google to Announce Its Updates

Many algorithm updates happen suddenly, and the changes are discussed later (if at all). Even if Google announces a portion of the changes taking place, sometimes it isn’t fully transparent about its updates. Don’t rely on official announcements to track your site’s metrics. 

2. Monitor Your Website Metrics Frequently 

One of the biggest indicators of a Google algorithm update is a change in website metrics. Did your views drop suddenly? Are you seeing massive organic traffic out of nowhere? This can happen because the algorithm decided to reward or penalize your website based on its new rules. 

3. Use External Google Algorithm Update Trackers

If you’re having trouble tracking the latest updates in the algorithm, try using external resources like blogs and websites that track such changes. Here are a few that may help:

• Neil Patel Blog: I frequently discuss the latest updates

in the Google algorithm, so feel free to check back

in any time you suspect a recent update has happened. 

• Moz Update History: Moz maintains a quick, up-to-date list

of Google algorithm updates to help you look back and predict trends. 

 • Semrush Sensor: This tool measures volatility in

search results to track potential updates.

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