Google constantly and continuously updates their page rank algorithms. Some small Google algorithm updates occur virtually every day. This has led many–especially those who run eCommerce enterprises–to ask and wonder what’s wrong with Google because of the kind of disruption the frequent algorithm modifications bring to their online businesses.
Google algorithms are complex programs that determine how content, websites, and results show up when a user types a search query. Some minor updates go unnoticed whereas others have a major impact on online marketers and SEO content.
Every year there have been major Google algorithm changes that have caused some major impact. Here is a brief history of some major algorithm changes and their impact on businesses and the general online community.
History of Major Google Algorithm Changes and Effects on Online Users
- Google Panda: It was launched in February 2011 to remove websites with duplicate or plagiarized content.
- Google Penguin: Algorithm Penguin appeared in the year 2012. The update sifted sites that had backlinks to spam and irrelevant sites.
- Google Hummingbird: The Google Hummingbird algorithm was released in August 2001 to remove irrelevant content.
- Google Pigeon: This update appeared in 2014. The Pigeon algorithm updated top searches to appear according to the location of the user and address.
- The Mobilegeddon: This Google mobile-friendly algorithm update was launched in April 2015. Mobilegeddon was implemented to favor mobile-friendly sites.
- Google Possum: Google Possum improved on the Pigeon update.
- Google Fred: In March 2017, the Google Fred update was posted. Google Fred seeks to remove low-quality websites that did not provide adequate information or content.
- Medic Core Update: This is the latest major update that Google launched on August 1, 2018. This update affected health and wellness sites. It also focuses on the quality of information.
Ways Google Algorithm Changes Affect Businesses
- Loss of traffic to websites which translates to reduced sales.
- Loss of relevance on Google search
- Extra expense to produce relevant content
- Some algorithms, such as Google Possum, led to loss of content on search due to shared and common addresses.
Measures a Business Can Take to Survive a Google Algorithm Change
1. Write Original Content
Write original content that is free of any kind of plagiarism. Make sure your content is objective, expert and original.
Avoid keyword stuffing that reduces the quality of your content. Poor quality work will not stand the test of time and Google algorithm changes.
2. Clean Spam from Your Website
Google updates often sift through spam and irrelevant sites. If you have backlinks on your content and they lead to spam sites, your good content might be pulled down by the algorithms.
Get rid of spam on your website. Build links that contain relevant keywords. Use naked links or generic text to anchor your text.
3. Write Relevant Content
Write content that is relevant to Google users. Your content should be written naturally and free of unnecessary keywords. Google seeks to improve user experience, thus any irrelevant content will be removed or affect your rankings negatively.
4. Use Local SEO
Use local SEO to optimize searches related to your physical location and address. This ensures that you will remain among the top searches on Google and Google Maps.
5. Develop Mobile Friendly Websites
If your content is poorly formatted and cannot be accessed on mobile, your site will not survive an algorithm update. Mobilegeddon will pull down your content.
6. Focus on Quality and Quantity
Your content development should focus on readability and usability. Quality is key to appearing at the top of the SERPs and remaining relevant on Google. Focus on producing high quality, SEO-optimized content. Remove unnecessary words from your content.
Google updates push down content that does not promote good readership. Write content that provides quality and adequate information.
7. Diversify Platforms
Do not put your content on Google only. Put your content on other online platforms such as social media. Diversification of platforms will ensure that you will have traffic to your sites at all times.
8. Read the Webmaster Guidelines
When Google posts an update read, through the Webmaster Guidelines carefully. Do not change content on your site until you understand the requirements of the new update.
Major algorithm changes can cause instability in business. However, if you are posting quality content, Google updates will not cause a major change in the ranking of your sites. Focus on always producing relevant content, add credible links and avoid stuffing.