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Google Algorithm Update: Top Things to Consider

Google Algorithm Update: Top Things to Consider
Digital Marketing / SEO

Google Algorithm Update: Top Things to Consider

Staying up to date with the latest Google algorithm updates is very important for a business organization to generate more leads. It helps companies to maximize their online visibility, reach, and overall engagement with their targeted audience.  

However, before going deep let us first understand what Google algorithm updates are and have a retrospective glance at these updates from the past.

What are Google algorithm updates? 

Google‘s algorithms can be considered as a complex system that tends to retrieve data from its search index and give the best possible results for a query. The search engine uses a combination of various algorithms and numerous ranking factors to deliver a proper webpage ranking by relevance on the search engine results page (SERPs). 

The Evolution of Google Algorithm Update

Over the past few years, various search engines have continuously updated their algorithms to give searchers the best possible results. Google is one of the leading search engines all around the world. As per recent data, Google accounted for 83.49% of the global desktop search market in the year 2023. Google brings updates in frequent intervals that tend to have a major impact on search engine optimization (SEO). Some of the important Google algorithm updates over the last few years are as follows-

  • Panda Update (2011)

Google’s Panda update in the year 2011 can be considered the first major update in the “modern SEO era”. The main purpose of the Panda algorithm updates from Google was to reward high-quality websites and diminish the presence of low-quality websites on Google. It helps to determine if the website offers genuine information about the search term visitors used.

Two websites that were hit especially hard due to the Panda update are affiliate sites and sites with less content. 

The Panda algorithm resulted in improvements in search results by identifying thin, spam, and low-quality content and then removing it from top search rankings. Various black hat search engine optimization (SEO)  tactics such as keyword stuffing, article spinning, content cloaking, etc. would not work anymore. It tends to encourage various content writers and SEO experts to prioritize quality over quantity. They should focus on providing something valuable to the readers. 

  • Penguin Update (2012)

The main aim of Penguin algorithm updates was to target and bring down those websites that have web spam and used manipulative link-building tactics. This is referred to as the “webspam algorithm update”. 

Penguin updates are used to analyze whether the backlinks to a website are genuine, or if they have just been bought to trick the search engines. In earlier days many people used to pay for links as it helped to increase online visibility and improve Google’s ranking at a faster rate. However, Penguin Google updates can identify if links going back to a certain page are legitimate or are simply spam.

In addition, the Penguin update also tends to target the black hat SEO techniques. Manipulative link-building techniques no longer worked and backlink profiles with a high volume of low-quality links began to see decreases in their organic traffic and rankings. It tends to discourage low-effort, paid backlinks. Instead, SEO experts have to work on building a successful link-building strategy to get relevant links from valued sources.

  • Venice Update (2012)

With the help of the Venice algorithm updates from Google, searchers could find results from within or very close to their city or town. For example, if a user types “best Indian restaurant near me”, 10-20 blue links in search results within nearby locality will pop up due to the latest Venice update.

The Venice algorithm has a significant impact on local SEO, majorly for small and medium business organizations. They can now compete with bigger companies and brands for high-volume keywords within local geographical areas. 

  • Pirate Update (2012)

Just as the name suggests the pirate algorithm updates help to prevent the illegal spreading of copyrighted content. Google recognized that piracy was a serious offense, so they cracked down on it by verifying any sites that had been reported for copyright infringement under violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).

Any website who in violation of DMCA will be severely down-ranked in organic search results due to this Google update. 

  • Hummingbird Update (2013)

Hummingbird algorithm updates from Google helped Google to better understand the “search intent.” It allowed search engines to contextualize user queries and website information more accurately.

The Hummingbird update ultimately made it easier for users to find the most relevant pages to answer their queries. 

  • HTTPS/SSL Update (2014)

The Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS/SSL) update makes sure that the users are accessing trustworthy and safe websites from their search results. This algorithm update encourages business organizations to transfer their websites from HTTP to HTTPS protocols by installing Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificates on their website servers for higher security. 

HTTPS was made a lightweight ranking signal for Google that tends to increase the level of trust and security in the organic search results.

  • RankBrain Update (2015) 

With the help of RankBrain algorithm updates from Google, machine learning can be deployed to determine the most accurate search results for a given query. It can make guesses about words it does not know, find words with similar meanings, and then offer relevant results

With the help of this update, queries tend to go through an interpretation model that can apply a combination of various factors such as word count and location to determine intent and deliver the most accurate results.

  • Mobile Page Speed Update (2018)

Google needs to deliver fast information. In the year 2018, there were Mobile Page Speed updates from Google which tend to include new ranking signals. This update mostly affected sites with a particularly slow mobile version.

Due to this speed update, new ranking signals were included which tend to favor web pages with fast mobile page speed in overall mobile search results. Websites with really fast mobile loading speeds did better in search results, while websites with slow speeds lost rankings.

  • Helpful Content Update (2023)

Google always gives importance to quality over quantity when it comes to website ranking. Google recently rolled out its latest helpful content update in the year 2023.

Helpful content update helps to ensure that users can immediately find helpful and good-quality content. It tends to give more importance to a visitor’s satisfying website experience. With the help of this update, websites that tend to prioritize the user’s overall experience are rewarded with higher SEO ranking.

Current Trends in Google Search

In today’s ever-changing business scenario, to stay ahead of the curve, and maintain that online visibility and competitive edge, search engine optimization (SEO) professionals and various business organizations should stay up to date with the latest Google algorithm updates. 

Here, we will discuss the latest trends in Google search and how they help improve the SEO ranking of a website.

  • Voice search optimization 

With the advancement of technology over the last few years, voice search has gained popularity and a substantial increase in its adoption. To optimize voice search, a business organization should focus on natural language keywords and long tale keywords that tend to depict conversational queries. In addition, providing direct, concise answers to some commonly asked questions to increase the chances of being featured in voice search results.

  • Secure and mobile-first indexing 

In the year 2023, mobile-first indexing updates from Google have become the standard of all websites. In today’s digital age, most people have access to smartphones with internet facilities. As a result, Google has prioritized mobile versions of websites for ranking and indexing. In addition, website security can also be considered a significant ranking factor with Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) being a must-have for all websites. SEO experts should ensure that the website is mobile-friendly to stay ahead of the competition. 

  • Understanding user intent with AI

Over the past few years, the SEO landscape has been revolutionized due to Artificial Intelligence (AI). This has helped business organizations analyze huge amounts of data and gain valuable insights. AI algorithms tend to identify user intent with greater precision, thereby allowing websites to tailor their content to match specific search queries effectively and efficiently.

Key Google Algorithm Update In 2024

Google tends to bring SEO updates at frequent and regular intervals to refine and improve its overall algorithm for better search results.  

In the forthcoming year, some of the important aspects that Google will emphasize are as follows –

  • Links and backlinks

Links whether hyperlinks or backlinks tend to help search engines facilitate indexing and crawling. Google considers links as a sign of trust and credibility. Websites with authentic linking are ranked higher in the search engine. 

  • Responsive designs

A responsible UX design that allows websites to realign and readjust themselves across multiple devices. Since people tend to use various devices such as mobile phones, laptops, tablets, desktops, etc. to access the internet, having a responsive website will help business organizations get better customer satisfaction.  This in turn directly affects website ranks and overall SEO performance.

Core Web Vitals and User Experience

One of the most noteworthy aspects of Google algorithm update 2024 is the increased importance of the customer experience. Core Web Vitals is a set of metrics that tend to measure real-world user experience for loading performance, interactivity, and visual stability of the page. 

Good interactive user-friendly with high-quality content that provides value to your target audience is essential for increasing user experience. Creating content that is informative, engaging, and shareable can help attract more organic traffic and improve your website’s ranking on search engines.

Also read: From Zero to Hero: How Growth Hacking Marketing Transforms Startup Businesses

Significance of Staying Up-to-Date with Google’s Algorithm Changes

Some of the benefits of staying up to date with the latest Google updates for a business organization are as follows –

  • Engagement

Google algorithms prioritize content that generates high levels of engagement, such as likes, comments, and shares, which further helps business organizations generate more leads.

  • Relevancy

Algorithms tend to prioritize content relevant to a user’s interests, based on their browsing history, search history, and previous engagement. 

  • Recency

Google algorithms also prioritize recent content, as it is more likely to be relevant and engaging to users. Hence a company that wants to stay ahead of its competitors should generate attractive and appealing content. 

  • Quality

Algorithms prioritize content that meets certain quality standards, such as high-resolution images and videos, clear and concise copy, and engaging headlines. As a result, a business organization should develop a user-friendly attractive website for better search engine ranking. 

  • Higher Search Engine Rankings

One of the main benefits of staying up-to-date with Google’s algorithm is that it can help improve a site’s search engine rankings. Google algorithm updates help to improve search result quality. These updates often enhance search query interpretation and prevent spam tactics. As Google continuously changes its search algorithm, business organizations should also keep their websites updated for better SEO ranking.

Top 5 Benefits of Staying Up-to-Date with Google’s Algorithm Changes
Top 5 Benefits of Staying Up-to-Date with Google’s Algorithm Changes

The Rise of E-A-T: Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness

E-A-T stands for expertise, authority, and trustworthiness. It should be kept in mind that E-A-T is not a Google algorithm update but it is a concept that is present in Google’s search quality guidelines, evaluates the quality of a web page, and determine if those pages will show up in search engine results pages or not. 

Airbnb is a company that provides online marketplaces for short-term rentals. In the year 2018, Google made changes to its search algorithm that had impacted the visibility of AirBnB listings. However, AirBnB responded smartly by investing in good content marketing and SEO strategies to improve their listings’ relevance and online visibility. As a result, Airbnb was able to maintain its position as a leading provider of short-term rentals.

Local SEO for Google Maps 

Staying up to date with local SEO updates is very vital, especially for local business organizations. Google My Business is a free online tool that allows businesses to create and manage their online presence across Google, including search and maps. By optimizing Google My Business listing for Google Maps, businesses can improve their local SEO, boost their online presence, and rank higher in local search results.

Wrapping Up

Google’s ranking factors will continue to evolve in 2024 and beyond. Business organizations should master core elements like site speed, mobile optimization, high-quality content, authority building, and great UX  to increase online visibility and higher SEO ranking for effective digital marketing. So stay updated with the latest Google updates and take your business to the next level. 

Also read: Real Estate Redefined: The Benefits of Digital Marketing

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