Google Algorithm Updates Explained for SEO Dummies

Google Algorithm Updates Explained for SEO Dummies

Google reports to update their search engine query database or search algorithm thousands of times per year. In order to provide relevant search results this company takes precautionary methods to adapt the algorithm to help humankind discover answers to questions via Search, YouTube, or Local database entries. Since the late 90’s, Google has provided results, first via quantity and now evermore towards quality-based results that help others seek answers to problems regarding health, wealth, love, and happiness. Quality metrics are measured via unique resource location authority, amounts of relevant traffic pointed to those URL’s, and now due to the status or reputation from entities like Yelp, Facebook, and/or Twitter which contribute to Google’s Knowledge Graph. In this article we will discuss why this company has altered their algorithm to benefit searchers locate answers at the comfort of couches, desks, and offices.

  1. Panda Update: 2011

Essentially, this update helped Google understand unique resource location information via quality scores that gauged website’s based on their content in titles, meta descriptions, and words on page. For instance, duplicate content on your home page that exactly matches words with another page for let’s say to a targeted city raised red flags. Another instance this update helped the company and content-friendly companies succeed is the use or misuse of plagiarized information on your webpage. For questions about this update feel free to leave us a comment or check out the Screaming Frog SEO Spider tool to better understand your website’s layout from an semantic perspective.

2. Penguin Update: 2012

Natural websites on the internet develop organic back-links by providing good content that helps other succeed in terms of understanding how to build more building blocks in life. Penguin was a major step forward to help businesses that gain links from a healthy, natural, and authoritative methodology. If however your blog or URL received a nasty amount of negative irrelevant links with unnatural anchor text then you could expect a lowering of Google rankings due to foul play or incompetence. We recommend that if you ever face a penalty from unnatural links to utilize Google’s Disavow tool to remove those pesky links that hurt your website. Learn from this link at SEMRush to disavow bad back-links and bring your website’s traffic back in working order.

3. Hummingbird Update: 2013

Synonyms, related concepts, Google suggestions, and equivocations of phrases in latent semantic indexing understanding is improved with this update. In other words this core algorithmic change helped searchers with particular languages locate products or services that may otherwise mean other relatable words. Google auto suggestions improved in terms of understanding search intent. High quality content on your webpage allowed for ranking increases given your diction is rich.

4. Mobile Update: 2015

Users with smart phones like iPhone’s and Androids dominate the market. Mobile-friendliness on blogs gained advantages over those without websites that utilized compact, symmetrical, and easy-to-interface over your brand’s website. Google ranks websites on how fast your mobile version and whether it is compatible with smart phones, tablets, and specialized computers. Learn if your unique resource location is friendly by visiting our friend’s at Google:

5. Rankbrain Update: 2017

In our opinion this adaptation of Hummingbird is the most important update to the search engine’s database up until today. Why? Artificial intelligence pans quality info from person’s via search history, wording of searches, and mixes concepts of what searchers what to see via Search. This relatively confusing aspect of the search engine has many baffled today because computational algorithms work around the clock to help others locate products or services via millions of multitudes of queries and pans it into relevant results that help the searcher in real time.

6. Medic Update: 2018

Hence the title of the change medical websites were affected heavily in terms of Google’s rating systems regarding their E-A-T metrics. What are these metrics you may ask? The meaning of the update refers to Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness. A prime example of a website that excels with these metrics is the man Jonathan Elijah Bowers at Basically if your website is about my money or my life then you can expect more difficulty to rank for search terms if you want to profit over health, wealth, love, and happiness. We recommend building solid back-links from trustworthy, organic, and authoritative resources on the web. Want to learn more? Click here.

Before we continue with the other updates I want to share with you about Knowledge Graphs as described by IBM via According to the webpage, “…also known as a semantic network, represents a network of real-world entities—i.e. objects, events, situations, or concepts—and illustrates the relationship between them” so this means millions entities exist within the web, others more relevant towards brands, and many these can affect rankings for example if positive or negative reviews are left on directory or review based entities like Yelp or Facebook.

7. Bert & Beyond: 2019-continued

This update rewards websites that utilize natural, content-rich, and relevant information on page. Search engines like Yahoo, Amazon, and Bing all operate the same in this context of providing clean, concise, consistent, and accurate information that helps others with real world problems discover easy-to-understand solutions. Core updates continue on today to help searchers locate answers, find answers geographically or locally, and map out the web to better improve the quality of life for all of mankind.

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