Over the span of last couple of years, Google has released some updates to its search algorithm. Internet marketers all over the globe witnessed how these updates influence their search rankings. Google has been following the singular mindset of delivering the highest possible user experience to its billions of users since the day one and these updates are part of the evolving process.
However, as a business owner you must understand the mechanism behind these updates so you can improve your search rankings. Google Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird are the codenames of three updates Google has made in the last decade. Let’s discuss them one by one.
With Google Panda, the company introduced a new and revolutionary factor that influences the search ranking of websites drastically; this particular update was all about considering the quality of a website’s contents when ranking. Millions of the websites on the internet with low quality contents suffered after Google Panda update and all of the websites with higher quality contents found themselves among the top results.
Interestingly, before the release of Google Panda keyword stuffing was a common practice. Of course the search engine was smarter back then too but it is the Google Panda that revolutionized it. Contrary to popular belief, Google Panda does not specifically target user generated contents but instead it is the enemy of spammy contents whether they are comments, guest posts or other form of web contents. In other words, websites with high quality user-generated contents (like Stack Overflow) benefited from Google Panda.
Google Penguin was all about poor links; websites that bought poor links from directories and acquired low quality links from other sources suffered from this update. Unlike Google Panda, Google Penguin didn’t influence the majority of the websites because most of the webmasters and online marketers were already aware of the consequences of utilizing poor quality links. However, it affected websites who were practicing black hat SEO techniques.
Unfortunately, there is no way to find out the real culprit. For example, if you are the website owner and you have hired an Singapore SEO firm that uses sketchy SEO methods (and you are unaware of that) then you are still responsible for the suffering of your website because of Google Penguin. Also, guest blogging is not as effective nowadays like it was earlier and you should choose the links carefully.
Google Hummingbird is considered the biggest algorithm update since 2001. Actually this was a direct update to the main Google search algorithm. Surprisingly, even though it was a major update, Google Hummingbird didn’t affect the search rankings much. Also, Google Hummingbird made Google search smarter than ever.
This update was all about making Google smart enough to understand users’ queries. This update positively affected websites that were using long-tail keywords. As Google Hummingbird is the latest update and currently in use, as a website owner you need to target long-tail keywords to achieve higher ranking in search results.