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An In-Depth Guide To Google Algorithm And Its Major Updates

An In-Depth Guide To Google Algorithm And Its Major Updates
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Hey! Have you ever wondered why your website is not ranking on Google with your targeted keyword? Well, the answer lies in Google algorithm and website popularity. Knowing how search engines and Google algorithms works can provide help to promote your business effectively online. We all know Google is by far the largest search engine among many other search engines like Bing, Yahoo, yandex, etc. but it can be said that No other website will be successful if it’s fails to please Google algorithms.

 Google measure website by updating various algorithm. In Past years, Google used to update minor algorithms to meet certain parameters. Now, Google makes thousands of major algorithm updates every year like a panda, penguin, pigeon, hummingbird, Fred, Page layout, mobile update, Rank brain, etc.

In This blog, we will guide you on the Google algorithm and its types.

What Is Google Algorithm?

Google Algorithm is a bunch of deciding rules that the web indexes utilize to decide the meaning of the site. Each web search tool has its own standard. From time to time, this Google algorithm calculation attempts to give better query items and significant answers for users on the web.

Google Algorithm

You may know that “Google search engine named “Google-bot”, that is a powerful tool. Every time, Any webpages published, then this Google-bot comes across to crawl and then it indexed and lastly it ranks those pages that are relevant to the intent. So whenever a user queries with any specific keywords, then Google makes sure to give the best and most relevant answer. In this matter, the Google algorithm works as the ranking factor for every website, that’s the reason, Google rolls out new updates every year.  Google algorithm updates are unnoticeable. Yet, sometimes, Google rolls-out is so superior that it discord the way we do SEO every time.

First of all, we want to give you some idea about factors of the Google algorithm, “How search engine perceives those keywords and determined “what results will be returned for a certain query?”.

How Does Google Algorithm Works?

We will go through some points, which was officially listed by Google itself and they are:-

1. Meaning of the query

         – To give relevant results for users, Google must know the user’s intent. They must understand the natural meanings of those keywords/Query. By using a particular query, what user wants- either review, descriptions, graphs, or finding specific websites?  Google must understand this user intent.

       -And sometimes, it’s necessary to understand to give freshness in content. For example, when we search for trending products in the market then, of course, we want recent product details with fresh content.

2. The Relevance of pages

       – Secondly, the search engines have to find the relevant pages from those websites, that user query with keywords, which plays the big role here and it does by regular crawling and indexing of all website and investigates and finalize the content for a relevant query.

3. Quality of Content

       – We all know that the “Content is a King” for a reason. Generally, Google has millions of pages for each keyword but has to filter the one that gives content best and demonstrates well, and matches user intent.

4. Usability of Pages

        –       Google has continuously focused on the ranking factor in technical aspects. They make sure the web pages have a simple structure, mobile-friendliness, fast and responsive, and security of websites having HTTPs, etc.

All this in just a second!!

Now, Let ‘s move onto another topic!

Top Major Google Algorithm Updates and Its History

We will learn about Top eight Google algorithm updates and their history also the new algorithm to rolled out in this mid-June 2021. So, why they were introduced by Google, we will know and why it’s still a trending algorithm to follow in upcoming years.

  1. Panda

Launched: February 24, 2011

Risks: Panda algorithm totally ignores a high percentage of duplicates, plagiarize, keyword stuffing and thin content. It also affects the websites having low-quality inbound links.

How It Works:  Back in 2011, It was announced as “First Search filter” that meet certain parameter by  Google but Officially, this algorithm has been announced as Google core algorithm in 2016 and assign a so-called “Quality Score” that was targeted for poor quality content and low-quality links. It has to be the ranking factor till now. Since the update has been more sudden.

Google updated below traffic report as an example of panda attack.

Avoid Panda Attack: Optimize your website as per Google Criteria. Make sure your content is very unique and original. Panda hates low-quality content, so immediately you should be removed or improved low-quality content from your websites. No keyword stuffing; Keyword density should not be 3%-4% and also a proper Grammer should be done. Always, the sites with duplicate content and low-quality links were ranked lower while the ones with the original content and with more quality links from relevant sites were ranked higher.

  • Penguin

Launched: April 24, 2012

Risks:  Penguin algorithm fight against “Spam Backlinks”, “Irrelevant incoming links and Links with over-optimized anchor text.

How It Works:   Between 2012 and 2016, it was also announced as the second Search filter that went through 10 documented updates evolving over time, and officially, the penguin algorithm has been announced as Google’s core algorithm in 2017. This algorithm down-rank the sites which have spammy links using “Black hat SEO techniques” that seems manipulative to Google. It works in real-time.

Example of panda attack:

Penguin hits the specific keyword due to over optimize that leads to 0 traffic.

Avoid Penguin Attack:  To be aware of such a core algorithm, you need to stop building spam backlinks on irrelevant sites. Leaving links on the comment section at other websites also considered spammy by Google itself. The most effective practice is to use any tool to check the backlinks profile and run regular site audits to be updated on backlinks. You can use a Backlink checker like SEO SpyGlass

, for details.

This tools can analyze every types of backlinks you have created for your websites.

  • Humming Bird

   Launched:  August 22, 2013

   Risks:  Hummingbird hazards are very low-Quality content with keyword stuffing.

How It works:  Humming Bird has been positioned as the complete overhaul of the core algorithm, since 2013.  Hummingbird algorithm works on user intent and its real-time algorithm means it manipulates search results very frequently. This algorithm helps to analyze and interprets the meaning of keywords that the user searches for and wants to provide an accurate result that the search intent wants to be based on an example like above weather forecast example;

Also, Google has improved search query intent results based on knowledge graph, the result looks like this;

 Google my business listing, etc to show more relevant results. This algorithm plays a very important role for semantic searches in the google search bar, local search, and voice search as well.

Avoid Penguin Attack: To be safe and updated from Humming Bird, you should generate content with proper keywords in right place without keyword stuffing.  Always place the H1 and H2 sub-heading with targeted keyword, alt tag as well as the content body. The keywords need to place naturally everywhere that could be title or meta descriptions so to make it very obvious to both visitors and Google that your site is relevant enough to a specific topic. For high Quality content, you must have idea about SEO content writing.  “Always make sure to give the best demonstration of content”.

  • Google mobile Friendly Update (Mobilegeddon)

   Launched:  April 21, 2015

   Risks: Mobilegeddon ignores poor mobile usability and the Lack of a mobile version of the page.

How It Works: Google released significant a new mobile-friendly ranking algorithm design to boost mobile-friendly pages in mobile search result pages. Today, Google has been continuously working on mobile-first indexing, it all depends upon how fast the web pages from the mobile version. So, Google can rank them on that criteria. Mostly named as ” Mobilegeddon” update make sure to give mobile-friendly optimized pages ranks higher in Google search result pages and those pages that are not mobile optimized then, there’s a big chance of downranked of sites.

Avoid Mobile-geddon Attack: Recently, Google has been started to give priority to mobile-friendly websites that improve good user experience. So, always make sure to optimize your web page’s speed and usability. To check the speed of both desktop and mobile versions, you can use a page speed insight developer for better results. Here, you can find the reasons behind the slowness of websites that include page interactivity, landing page and visual interactivity. If you want to test; whether wepages is friendly or not then, you can use mobile friendly test tool  for better understanding. Its provides the Example like below images;

This tool helps to find out webpages is mobile friendly or not.  So, make sure your every web-pages are mobile friendly.

  • Fred

 Launched: March 7, 2017

 Risks:  Google Fred does not like distracting ads on the web pages also the unnecessary pop-ups that hide the important content of pages. It absolutely disregards content that has ads/promotions or offshoot connects that appears to be misleading advertisements (resembles a download or play catch to fool somebody into clicking).

How It works:  Fred algorithm appears to hit those sites that have an enormous number of advertisements and appear to have been made determined to create income over taking care of a client’s concern.

Avoid Fred Attack: To be safe from Fred Attack, you must maintain ads and content ratio in your websites and blog. Make sure to not distract your user with those ads. This may lead to a decrease in your user visiting your pages.

  • Rank Brain
Rank Brain

Launched:  October 26, 2015

Risks:  Rank Brain can be harmful to those websites that give poor user experience and lack query-specific relevance features.

How it works:  Rank Brain is known as an algorithm learning artificial intelligence system. Google itself has claimed that “Rank brain has been the third most important ranking factor along with links and content. Rank Brain especially consists of two metrices; Dual time and CTR (Click Through Rate). If any website or webpages has good dual time and CTR, then there’s a big chance that Google can increase your ranking. According to Google, the most desirable search engine completes around or more than 3 billion searches every day and 15% of them are unique or fresh queries. Although the human brain operated them very well, they bound somewhere, which caused a bad user experience due to unattractive title.

While rank brain recognizes those unique searches distinctly and catches out their synonyms from its database.  So, What our sites need to look like in search results to get high CTR? Of course, attractive titles, meta descriptions makes more precise.

  Other Ranking signals of Rank Brain:

   • Link Structure

   • Keywords matching

   • Freshness of content

   • Domain Authority

   • Engagement

   • Related Topics

   • Context depth

Avoid Rank Brain Attack:  You should make sure that, your web pages have attractive titles and meta descriptions to increase CTR. By Looking at those factors, visitors immediately judge which content can be effective for them to read. With these methods, you can improve traffic on your website, and Google passes the value to that site, which has higher CTR and Dual time. The content should be fresh and relevant using images and Infographics to increase dual time on any page. So, Good luck!

  • BERT (Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers)

Launched: October 22, 2019

Risks:  BERT affects the poorly written content of websites.

How It Works: BERT is known as “Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers” an open-source neural- network technique for natural language processing (NLP). BERT helps to understand each and every word of the sentence in a natural way. Rather than looking at words one-by-one. This Google algorithm helps to know the intent of the query since it looks at the words before and after it.

  Avoid BERT Attack: Nowadays, Google is finally appreciating the good content. If you have ever noticed that your site is affected by the BERT Google algorithm, then make sure to optimize and audit your content. Content should not be thin and poorly written, rather it should be in a long frame and SEO -friendly. 

  • Page Experience

Launched: Mid – June 2021

How It Works: Google first announced this algorithm to roll out in March but later on, it has been Postponed. Finally, in this mid-June Google is about to rolled-out the page experience algorithm to judge web pages depend upon how users perceive the experience of interacting with pages. This Google algorithm mainly consists of seven-element. From that, core web vitals that measure the important metrics over web pages.

As Google has already mentioned the page experience criteria to make aware about what it wants our web pages to be and how users interact with web pages. Page experience consists of ranking factors including mobile-friendly, safe browsing (HTTPS), page speed update, intrusive interstitials penalty. Google search console has already added its needed features about page experience including core web vital and other ranking signals.

Google may live Page Experience algorithm any time in this month June. So, still, you have plenty of time to be prepared!

  1. Core Web Vitals:

 As discussed above Core Web Vitals are metrics focusing on site speed, interactivity, and visual stability of web pages. They are:

            • Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): LCP metric estimates the loading performance of the webpages. To give a good user experience, LCP should be in the range of 2.5 seconds, when pages start loading.

            • First Input Delay (FID):  FID metric estimates interactivity of users with webpages. This ought to be under 100 milliseconds.

             • Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS):  CLS metric estimates the steadiness of points of arrival. The page ought to keep a CLS of under 0.1.

2. Mobile Friendliness: Websites must be mobile optimized and should not have mobile usability errors in order to give a good user experience.

3. HTTPS: HTTPS is also included as a ranking factor by Google. A website must be served over HTTPS from HTTP to make it secure and responsive.

4. Safe Browsing:  Any security issue from the site precludes all URLs on the site from great status.

5. No Intrusive Interstitials:  Always make sure to not run ads on your website that keeps distracting and interrupting. It does not give you a good user experience. Unnecessary pop-ups of ads can hide the important content of your websites.

The page experience features of the Google search console provide a percentage of URLs of your website that perform a good user experience. By this, search engine keeps updating Google algorithm to test and analyze your website based on factor. Google algorithm has always been the trending topic on entire SEO.

Elance Digital Media is a result-driven Digital marketing agency in Nepal dedicated to the growth & success of clients. We assure you that within the right amount of time and hard work, we will help your business in the proper way of Digital marketing. Here, we provide Digital marketing courses as well.

So, Hurry up! Contact us for more details.

Renuka Makaju
Renuka Makaju

SEO Executive at Elance Digital Media

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