9 Google Algorithm Updates that Happened in 2013

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SEO London

SEO London Guide to Google Algorithm Updates 

Google’s search algorithms are the cornerstone of its search technology. And search as you may know is one of the cogs for the smooth running of the internet. Ergo, a healthy and smooth-running algorithm that does not fall prey to spam and the dark arts of blackhat SEO London is vital to the health of the internet. Google is aware of it and keeps tweaking its algorithm ever so often. Some of the changes are minor while some create an impact; and then there are some that cause a major shakedown. Do you know that in an year, Google introduces anywhere between 500-600 updates?

SEO London Google algorithm updates

Here’s an SEO London guide to nine Google algorithm updates that happened in this year. The objective of this piece is to give website owners some perspective on what goes on behind the scenes. Almost invariably, each algorithm targets a different aspect of online content and search behavior.

  1. Penguin 2.1 Spam Filtering Algorithm – This update, which was confirmed by Matt Cutts on October 5th, targeted spam. But this was not a big update. It was a relatively minor tweak to Penguin 2.0 and it impacted one percent of all searches.
  2. Hummingbird – This one saw a very quiet roll-out in mid-August and it wasn’t until a month later that we all got an official announcement from Google. Hummingbird is not an update but a whole new algorithm and is at present its workings are under study by SEO London observers. Hummingbird’s objective is to enable Google search to understand conversational search; we shall now see search algorithms shed their dependence on keywords and take into consideration the entire search string.
  3. In-depth articles – This update is, for my money, the most interesting London SEO company update of the ten mentioned here. It was rolled out in the first week of August. Google sends out a strong signal that it is more than willing to reward informative content and a veiled warning to promotional fluff masquerading as content. Google says that 10% of readers are actually looking out for content like that, and of billions of searches that is not a percentage to be sneezed at.
  4. The Knowledge Graph Update – This was another striking update that went almost unnoticed. But was a significant one because of the spike in the number of queries that resulted in Google throwing up Knowledge Graph results. This happened in the second fortnight of July and over the next few days the number of Knowledge Graph results increased by a whopping 50%. Interestingly, the bulk of the big gainers were brands. So, if you are a brand; big, small, or struggling – you need to work on building a stronger brand.
  5. The Google Panda Update – This update happened in July as well and the general consensus back then was that the update was aimed at softening the harsh blows that Panda had dealt out so far till then. Site owners heaved a sigh of relief as their rankings that had hitherto nosedived and taken traffic with it showed some sign of recovery.
  6. Yet another Panda dance – This one, no less feared by webmasters than the traditional Haka dance by Maori warriors was dreaded by early explorers to New Zealand, rolled out in the first week of June. In an act of small mercy, Google decided to spread the update over a period of ten days. So, the blows that fell were kind of softened as they stretched over a period of days. But there were glimmers of light for many webmasters out there, who reported an upswing in traffic to quality content.
  7. Spam Cleanser Update – Google has been waging a serious war against spammers, but not many SEO London practitioners may know how seriously the search giant takes this matter. This particular update targeted the super spammy terms related to payday loans, porn, and such. Stats for this update yielded interesting results. The impact in the U.S was limited to around 0.3% of the search queries but went up to 4% for searches in Turkey. That’s valuable insight into the origin and proliferation of spam. If you are targeting traffic from regions that have been marked as originators of spam then you need solid SEO London practices to keep you in the good books of Google.
  8. Penguin 2.0 – Penguin 2.0, actually the fourth Penguin update, got a relatively quiet release in the month of May. It was targeted particularly at spam in the English language and affected around 2.3% of the queries.
  9. Domain crowding update – How many of you SEO London practitioners are even aware of such a thing known as domain crowding. The month of May was of unusual activity for Google as far as updates to algorithms were concerned. This update targeted domains that appeared multiple times for a search after page two on the SERPs. The objective was to offer diversity to the visitor. Doubtless, many website owners would feel hard done by with this update. But then, who is to argue with Google!

This SEO London guide on the periodic algorithm updates should serve to take a look at your web property and see what is it that you need to tweak, work on, and add to your website so that you present an optimized website to Google. For instance; Hummingbird proposes the ascendency of long tail keyword content; the update favouring in-depth articles is a great reason to create really informative content that treats a subject in a detailed manner. It offers the opportunity to weave in long tail key phrases into the content. The Knowledge Graph update encourages us to present information in a well-rounded manner. And so on. If you sit back and take in all the updates you will realize that all of them are tied together and complement each other wonderfully. Evidently Google is approaching the whole thing systematically and is placing sufficient information out there for us to learn, think, improve, improvise, and innovate.

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