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Spotting Google Updates

Google has changed tremendously over the years, and we’re not complaining. The search engine itself has become more personalised and now allows users to find the information they need at the touch of a few buttons. But to successfully show users what they want, the search engine platform has introduced an array of Google updates that determine a websites position on the platform.

Some of these changes date back to the early 2000s. Between 2003 and 2005, local SEO, maps and personalised results became a core focus for the tech-giant. From 2006 to 2009, universal search and real-time results were the next big thing — offering users insight to new information as it was unfolding.

2010 to 2012 was all about knowledge graphs and localised search accompanied with Google Instant. However, from 2013 onwards, everything revolved around mobile search and indexing accordingly, local search improvements and the rise of voice search.

With Google making over 500 algorithm changes each year, your business should be prepared for when one hits. We take a look at some of the most noticeable changes and what you can do to prepare for future ones:

Panda

Google once had an excessive issue around duplicated content. People working in SEO were creating pages solely for rankings as opposed to providing useful information to its users. Between 2011 and 2015, Google looked deeper into this and made the appropriate changes which had a known effect on e-commerce, knowledge, and information websites.

Penguin

Marketers once had a habit to buy links to influence Google’s core algorithm, and the search engine grew tired of this. By using a link detection algorithm released between 2012 and 2016, Penguin was able to spot spammy, bulk and paid-for links easily.

Hummingbird

Back in the day, when Google was not as advanced as it is now, keyword stuffing was something that everyone did. However, over-optimisation soon became unacceptable when the Hummingbird update rolled out in 2013. Google had a mission to show results that were well-written and offered users the relevant information that they needed.

Spotting Google Updates In Advance

There are a few ways that you can keep yourself on top with any Google updates. Firstly, it’s important to regularly check the @SearchLiaison and @GoogleWMC Twitter accounts for insider information.

However, Google don’t always announce their updates so it’s useful to check out industry publications that monitor the fluctuations in search results. Often, these fluctuations are natural and don’t require action unless your website is directly affected.

As always, it’s important to track how well you are ranking. This means looking out for the core industry keywords that are driving traffic to your website — if there are any sudden changes in these rankings over a period of a few days, this will be a key indicator that your website has been impacted by some sort of change.

For when these changes do occur, have confidence in Mediaworks to give you expert advice on how to fix any issues at hand. Our SEO specialists are always on hand to help and you can contact our team using the form below.

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