Over the last 3 years, we have seen so many updates by Google that many webmasters have left the industry and many more are struggling to come to terms with the changes that has impacted on their website so what are these updates and why “Google zoo” you may ask.
Well the first major update that was released was as far back as February 2011 which Google called the Panda update which impacted quite a lot of sites but the major Panda release of that year was April which had the whole SEO community holding their heads with what Google had just released.
It took months for webmasters to finally piece together what was some of the major factors in this algorithm change by Google and for some it was already too late and they had lost their on-line income but for the remainder of the SEO community it was time to try and recover their websites from the hammer blow many had suffered.
It was slowly discovered that Google had finally started to pay more attention to the websites content and structure and for many this was bad news while for others who genuinely presented good quality content on their site see a big jump in their rankings.
There is far too many on-page factors to mention in the Panda updates of the past but one thing is for sure you can guarantee Google will continue to release updates to this algorithm in the future so make sure you pay attention when modifying your current site or building a new site.
Here is just a sample of what Panda does check: * Site load Speed * Clean Code * Site hierarchy * Readability * User friendly
Does it accommodate every user including the visually impaired?
Does the content match what the user is looking for By ensuring this is in place will help your user and rankings which can only mean one thing, yes you got it your rankings and quality score will improve.
The next animal Google released was the Penguin almost a year after the Panda second release in April 2012 and boy did this not have the SEO community scrambling for cover as so many Webmasters watched their websites disappear overnight and not only their own but that of their clients also. This also resulted in many webmasters leaving the industry and has also resulted in a lawsuit from one client against their SEO consultancy firm for breaching Google webmaster guidelines.
So what did this animal hit and why did it hit so many so hard? The penguin algorithm update focused on the websites backlinks and the relevancy of them to the content of the site they were pointing to and it didn’t take rocket science for Google to realise that most of the sites links were spam so they algorithm did 2 things.
Firstly it discounted these inks and secondly it penalized the sites for violating their terms and conditions with many sites receiving a manual penalty and others just an algorithm penalty depending on the severity of the links found.
This has made webmasters very wary of how they build links today but sadly grey hat and black hat are still competing and winning in most niches online so be prepared for another major update to Penguin soon.
If you want to check your backlink history simply add your site to majesticseo and you will be given a free report you can study and help your backlink profile moving forward.
Good luck and watch out for our other SEO articles which cover some more topics in greater detail.