How the New Google Algorithm Works
“Google is always making small changes, but they are making huge changes,” says Pete Meyers, President of the User Effect, an online usability consulting company, and a former Google researcher. “I have been very impressed with their (inks) game these days,” Meyers continues. “I’ve watched them evolve their algorithms over the years and every year I see more.” One recent notable change was Penguin, which Google introduced in May of 2021. Penguin replaced the very-old Google PageRank system, which previously identified valuable websites and rewarded only the most relevant ones.
Google Penguin, like most algorithm updates, focused on two major factors: getting more out of each search and making it harder for sites that were less important to Google to dominate the ranking system. One major change that Google made to its algorithm was to drop the “Panda” system which classified certain sites as being less valuable based on certain criteria. That meant that websites like Adult Friend Finder, adult dating sites and other low-tier or even spammy websites would be removed from the rankings altogether.
Google Penguin also brought changes to the way Google shows search results. Prior to the algorithm change, Google showed users the most relevant results based on popular keywords. After Penguin, Google started showing users the most relevant results for the most common searches using less popular keywords. This move, according to Meyers, “totally confused users and marketers alike.” Marketers and SEO professionals were scrambling to figure out how they could retain their rankings in light of the new algorithm.
With the introduction of Penguin, there were noticeable algorithm updates everywhere. Content quality became a major factor in the ranking factor. Many SEO professionals had already begun adapting their strategies to take advantage of these updates. Some changes included creating content that was not only informative but also up-to-date. This was important because many searchers are looking for information that is timely rather than simply what has happened lately. Other SEO professionals were able to make the most out of the updates by implementing strategies that were deemed helpful by Google but still were not included in the update.
Google is not the only search engine that makes updates to its algorithms. Yahoo! and Bing have also recently made some major algorithm updates that affected the rankings of many websites. While these two companies released relatively small updates, it is important for SEO professionals to remember that each company’s updates are important. Therefore, it is not just Google that changes the rankings of websites.
Aside from Google Penguin, Google has also recently introduced a new update called Google Panda. Google’s latest update to its algorithm is not exactly an algorithm change but it can be compared to one because it affected all SEO services, including link building services. Many SEO professionals were already frustrated by Google’s Penguin and so this added to their frustrations and confusion. However, SEO professionals now believe that Google Panda is actually good for SEO. Google has not introduced an exact science to determine which sites are best, but they have introduced a framework which SEO pros can use to analyze their clients’ websites.
What separates Google Panda and Google Humpday is not the update itself but how SEO experts use this framework to analyze their clients’ websites. Unlike Google Penguin, Google Humpday does not change the link structure of the website. Instead, Google Humpday finds sites that follow certain rules and then decreases the SERPs of these sites. Google Humpday ranks sites according to the relevance of the content present on these sites. This algorithm is different from Google Penguin and also from Google Hummingbird update which only deals with internal factors.
If you want to avoid Google Penguin and Google Hummingbird, make sure you analyze your sites before Google releases their next algorithm update. You do not have to wait until the next Google algorithm update; you can still optimize your site before Google releases it. As long as your site is relevant to the keywords Google is using to analyze it, you will survive the algorithm updates. On the other hand, if you are not relevant and if Google detects that your website is not in keeping with its current set of rules, you can expect Google Penguin and Google Hummingbird to hit you hard.