How the Google Algorithm Has Affected Search Engine Rankings
When was the last Google Algorithm Upgrade? Well, if you ask me, I will have to say that it was not recent. I remember the first Penguin Update, which Google implemented in late August 2021. Then in November Google Penguin implemented two major updates, including the first major update to their ranking algorithms since they introduced the algorithm change that lead to Google punishing publishers who were using duplicate content to drive traffic to their websites.
So, when was the last Google Algorithm Upgrade? I can’t give an exact date, but I’ll wager a guess and say it hasn’t been since October. Google has simply moved on to the next update, Penguin, which is still fresh in Google’s mind, but which they released in September or earlier. Therefore, unless Google tells us so, it makes it tough to determine for sure when the latest Google Algorithm Upgrade is coming.
The second major update to Google Algorithm was Panda, which Google released in May/ Immediately after Panda, we started seeing a lot more Penguin penalties on high volume domains. As a result, many high value domains (i.e. authority sites) were getting Penguin penalty just days after they got their PPC campaign launched. However, this has now changed. According to Brad Callen, Google SEO Manager, “In principle, Google has made clear that sites with low quality content that receive a lot of penguins or Panda penalties will no longer be penalized during future algorithm updates.”
Let’s focus our attention on the second update to Google Algorithm. Unlike Penguin, which was a content-based algorithm updates, this one revolves around two main areas. It addresses two of the major complaints that many internet marketers have: keyword stuffing and duplicate content.
Keyword stuffing is a general complaint that many internet marketers have. Basically, you build up a bunch of low quality websites in many niche areas, and you promote your websites to those keywords and phrases over. Google deems this as spammy links and it hurts your chances of getting ranked in the first page of Google. So, if you receive a Panda penalty, don’t panic – you won’t be banned just yet. Let Google explain their reasoning behind banning the duplicate content sites:
According to Google Senior Staff Engineer, David Bailey, the current Google Algorithm doesn’t ban keyword stuffing anymore. He states “the intent behind the creation of Google Panda and Google Penguin was to stop those who are deliberately doing it from creating massive amounts of content that are virtually indistinguishable from one another and mimics one another, so they can be banned for various reasons that we can understand. However, in practice there’s no reason to restrict the content that someone creates if they follow the rules of our own system, and that’s the critical thing.” As long as you don’t do it deliberately, and as long as you keep on creating high quality, original content, you shouldn’t have any problems. (In fact Google is looking into ways to implement the panda algorithm updates further in future).
The second major complaint that people have with the Google Algorithm change is that it eliminates spam links. Many websites including some of the largest news sites have received penalty notices because of their excessive link building. Google feels that by removing these spammy links, they will improve quality links for those websites. Unfortunately, this hasn’t been enough to counteract the negative impact that the panda update has had on high-quality websites across the internet. So what other measures will websites that have experienced the Google Penguin or Panda have to take to get back to top search engine ranking positions?
Well, the best way to regain rankings is by avoiding doing what caused the original problem, which is keyword stuffing. Although it’s still possible to get high rankings by using blackhat methods, most of the time black hat tactics are frowned upon and penalized heavily by Google. However, if you follow Google’s new policies about keyword stuffing, you shouldn’t have much of a problem getting penalized again. If you follow their terms of service, and you use carefully selected keywords, then you should be fine.