When you enter a query on Google search, you will find many relevant results displayed on the screen within seconds. To perform such a feat of discovering the suitable answer by sorting through the billions of web pages of the Google search index is not possible without the help of Google ranking systems.
The Google ranking systems are made up of a series of algorithms. These search algorithms consider various factors such as the words used in the query, relevance, and intent behind the question, past search history, sources’ expertise, location, and settings to give the most accurate and valuable results.
To ensure high quality and relevant search results, Google makes thousands of updates every year. Some minor changes are made daily, which go unnoticed, and some are significant, which are the major algorithm updates that assuredly impact the search engine results pages.
In this post, we will run down on the 8 major Google algorithm updates made in recent years. These core updates certainly influence your page performance, and it is necessary to check for them every year. But before that, we would like to share a few page-ranking factors from a broader spectrum.
- Content: High-quality, informative, valuable, and relevant content is the slogan of the present-day algorithm updates. Of course, you should avoid keyword stuffing instead use relevant keywords.
- Page Speed: If your website takes a lot of time to load, you will face an issue as Google updates with page speed affect your website as slow page speed indicates poor user experience.
- Quality Links: Always include relevant and valuable links to rank better on Google as there are algorithm updates that detect spammy or irrelevant links. Don’t over-optimize your anchor texts.
- Mobile-friendly sites: There are Google updates that check for the mobile versions of the websites, whether they are mobile-friendly or not for ranking and indexing.
- Website design: Creating a user-friendly website is a primary ranking factor and also by improving site navigation.
- Customer engagement: Lastly, the Google updates affect the websites with poor user engagement and high bounce rates because the pages might be poor quality.
To be precise, the Google algorithm shows affinity to the websites and boosts their performance to provide a good user experience.
Here Are The 8 Major Google Algorithm Updates, Explained
1. Google Panda
Launch Date: February 23, 2011.
Purpose: Limit the rank of low-quality or thin sites with duplicate or plagiarized content and keyword stuffing.
Function: Google Panda, which was initially called ‘Farmer,’ targets websites with plagiarized, poorly constructed spammy content and keyword stuffing. This algorithm update gives a quality score to the web pages, rewards the websites with high quality and valuable content, and penalizes the websites with poor-quality, thin, duplicate content that is useless and inappropriate for the readers. In 2016, the Panda update was included in Google’s core algorithm, leading to faster recoveries.
How To Modify Your Website For The Panda Update?
- Perform a site check regularly for keyword stuffing, thin quality, and duplicated content.
- Update or rewrite the content with valuable and high-quality information.
- Check for grammatical errors with the help of tools like ‘Grammarly‘ and plagiarized content by using tools like ‘Quetext’ or ‘Copyscape’.
- Incorporate relevant keywords and incorporate them strategically.
Also Read: Top 7 SERP Tracking Tools To Use In 2021
2. Google Penguin
Launch Date: April 24, 2012
Purpose: Intended to fight web spam which means spammy links, manipulative links, artificial linking over-optimized anchor text.
Function: Many websites are used to gain links through devious means. To rank higher in the SERPs, they bought fake links or linked their content to shady websites. Google puts an end to such practices with the help of Google Penguin.
Penguin puts a check on the websites with low-quality content but ranks more than they deserve in organic search results with the use of backlinks that are spammy or paid links. At the same time, Google felicitates websites with good quality and relevant connections with better positioning in the SERPs.
How To Modify Your Website For Penguin Update?
- Regularly analyze the quality of your backlinks with the help of backlink checker ‘SEOSpyglass.’
- Track your link profile growth. Cultivate relevant and positive links.
- To build up a high-quality link profile from high-quality sites, you need to produce similar quality content.
- Utilize Google’s disavow tool and disavow low-quality links to make the search engine understand that you are not interested in such links.
3. Google Hummingbird
Launch Date: August 23, 2013.
Purpose: Intended to improve the searching mechanism and to give better results for the queries.
Function: The Hummingbird algorithm helps Google improve search results by interpreting the search queries even if the main keywords are missing. It tries to find out the user’s intent from the search query even if the question does not have the exact words. Hummingbird helps websites rank better if they are concept-centered with high-quality content despite being deprived of the original keywords. This is made possible with the help of synonyms used, latent semantic indexing, collocating terms in the content.
How To Modify Your Website For Hummingbird Update?
- Diversify your content with expanded keyword research and provide in-depth and intensified content.
- Research the topics to the core and use Rank Tracker’s keyword research module to get Google related searches and Google-related questions.
- Construct your content or rewrite it considering the synonyms, co-occurring terms.
- Consider many factors and features of the topic while writing the content to bring out the best.
4. Google Mobilegeddon
Launch Date: April 21, 2015.
Purpose: This Algorithm affects websites that lack mobile versions and poor mobile friendliness.
Function: In recent years, the majority of the search has been made through mobile phones. Nowadays, websites that are mobile-friendly and user-friendly are ranked well by Google. It is no wonder that Google introduced the Mobilegeddon algorithm to optimize the search experience of mobile users. The target of Mobilegeddon is to whack out the websites which are devoid of mobile versions or websites with poor mobile usability. Such websites face a blow on their SERP rankings.
How To Modify Your Website For Mobile Update?
- Create a mobile-friendly web design. Focus on usability and speed.
- Perform page speed tests to find out which aspects of the website are to be improved.
- As the algorithm affects only the search rankings of the mobile versions, optimize your mobile performance and images. Remove unnecessary codes and pop-ups.
5. Google RankBrain
Launch Date: October 26, 2015.
Purpose: To improve Google’s understanding of the meaning behind the search queries.
Function: Google refers to RankBrain as the third most important ranking signal. It is a machine learning-powered component of Google’s algorithm that uses word vectors to generate accurate results for a user’s query. Google RankBrain is a part of the Hummingbird algorithm and aims to deliver the most accurate search results by understanding the user’s intent.
It goes beyond and also considers past search history, synonyms, co-occurring words, etc. SEO entrepreneurs see it as an essential and valuable update that helps them to win good rankings as it discloses how users interact with the search results.
How To Modify Your Website For RankBrain Update?
- Put efforts to recreate a user-friendly website with engaging content. Monitor your CTR levels.
- Perform competitive analysis on Google SERP by searching your keywords.
- Try to understand the searcher’s intent behind the query they enter and craft relevant and conceptual content.
6. Google Medic
Launch Date: August 1, 2018.
Purpose: To help Google improve the identification of qualitative, authoritative, and expert content is ranking in the SERPs.
Function: Google Medic update is the core algorithm update of 2018, and it got its name as it is thought to be from the impact it created on health-related websites, but it equally influenced websites in all the industries.
However, it is not confirmed openly; According to SEO experts, the Medic algorithm update targets underrated, duplicative website content that does not fulfill the primary ranking factors like slow load time, irrelevant title tags, and poor user experience.
How To Modify Your Website For Medic Update?
- Never compromise with the quality of the content and always produce unique and valuable content.
- Follow white-hat link-building techniques and check whether your backlink profile is intact.
- To date, there is no proven counterattack for Medic update, but SEO specialists suggest hiring expert writers who can produce expository content that increases your website’s credibility.
- Make sure your off-page and on-page SEO are up to date.
7. Google BERT
Launch Date: October 22, 2019.
Purpose: It is designed to understand the user’s intent better, identify entities, and interpret the text.
Function: Google notified that the BERT algorithm update impacts 10% of all searches. BERT update is a language processing technology that benefits Google search in English and 70+ other languages. BERT helps Google to interpret every word of the search query to provide more accurate results. BERT is helpful to Google in recognizing more nuance in search queries and search results. To be precise, BERT assists the search engine’s users in finding valuable and relevant content.
How To Modify Your Website For BERT Update?
- Google’s primary purpose of updates like Panda, Hummingbird, RankBrain, or BERT is to provide search results for the queries from the human viewpoint and not perform like a machine. So, the culminating point for all these updates is to produce valuable, unique, informative, in-depth, and high-quality content.
- Google always rewards the website with excellent and meaningful content. So, the quality of the content must be your primary focus.
- Do entity research and include relevant entities.
8. Google Core Web Vitals
Launch Date: June 16, 2021.
Purpose: To rank sites based on the quality of their user experience.
Function: Three main metrics are introduced into the Core Web Vitals algorithm: Largest Contentful Paint, First Input Display, and Cumulative Layout Shift. This algorithm update mainly focuses on how quickly a page with lengthy content loads, how impactful a page is to envision, and how responsive a page is. This update impacts the ‘page experience’ of a user.
How To Modify Your Website For Core Web Vitals Updates?
- There are few vitals to pass the assessment of the algorithm.
- The largest contentful Paint must be under 2.5 seconds.
- First Input Display must be under 100 milliseconds.
- Cumulative Layout Shift must be under 0.1 seconds.
- Use Google’s Page Speed Insights tool and page experience reports in the Google search console to measure Core Web Vitals.
Google makes continuous changes to its algorithms to provide the most accurate search results for its users. These updates drastically impact the SEO strategy. Be intelligible and prepared whenever Google announces its next core update as it influences your page rankings.
As said by Google, “There is no “fix” for pages that may perform less well other than to remain focused on building great content. Over time, it may be that your content may rise relative to other pages.” So, concentrate on creating rich and valuable content, check for the spammy backlinks, fix them with relevant links, and optimize the websites to give the best user experience and mobile experience. Consider these factors to avoid Google penalties.