What Is The Google Algorithm And How Does It Affect You?
Google Algorithm Updates. “We at SEOMoz are very pleased to be watching Google’s progress with these two new updates,” says Matt Cutts, Google Senior Fellow, product and engineering manager, Google. “We believe Google has made progress in two directions: simplifying the search process and increasing the speed at which Google delivers updates. Google is also making important changes to their core products and services.” Google’s new updates are part of the company’s effort to strengthen and enhance its ability to provide relevant results and give customers a better experience, online.
Google Algorithm Changes. The first major update to Google’s ranking algorithms comes in the form of panda update, which makes all Google local searches more local. Google’s been steadily improving its local search rankings over the past few years, which has been credited in part by Google’s partnerships with mobile operators, like Verizon and AT&T. The update will begin rolling out across the globe beginning this week. Google’s first major update, which was released back in July, focused on improving the rankings of local searches on the Google homepage.
Google Algorithm Changes. The second major algorithm update to Google’s ranking algorithms is being called the Panda update. Google’s latest Panda update banned the use of black-hat techniques to boost site rankings, such as using external link building tools. Google’s reasoning was that black-hat strategies had been used by some sites to artificially inflate their rankings, leading Google to eliminate these tactics in an effort to uphold its high quality standards.
Google Algorithm Changes. The third major algorithm update to Google’s rankings involves creating new ways for the search company to distinguish between natural “bad” and “good” results. As was widely expected, the new Google Panda changes take aim at penalizing those that are purposefully marketing ” spam links” or duplicating content from other websites. While this may seem like a targeted way to combat Internet fraud, it also has the effect of making certain types of content less valuable in light of the increasingly competitive environment. As Google rightfully points out in its post on the panda update, the move is a part of a broader game plan to improve the quality of Google’s results.
One way in which Google has sought to distinguish between spammy and useful content is by increasing the weight it places on a website’s backlink profile. The new Panda update changed the maximum value a webmaster can assign to backlinks, dropping them from the first page of Google results in order to reduce the effect of spam. The Penguin update, which took effect in March, brought even more influence to the power of backlink profiles. Google has indicated that it will continue to add new criteria to its analysis of backlink profiles in an effort to distinguish between spammy and useful sites.
Although some believe that Google’s algorithm is solely based on page rank and popularity, this is not the case. As part of the penguin algorithm, Google has also begun collecting data about link activity for each website. This includes information about the types of anchor text entered into a link, including the link’s domain name, the link’s destination URL, and the text contained within the anchor text. Google classifies these data as “inbound links” and applies it to each of the major search engines.
With Penguin and Panda, Google focused on changing the behavior of webmasters and websites by removing the excessive presence of spam. However, it did not attempt to change the core algorithm that underlies these changes. According to Matt Cutts, a Google expert and one of the leaders behind the Google Panda project, the algorithm is not necessarily changing. In fact, he points out that the updates are being released as part of a series and only part of the algorithm will be changed. Therefore, even if Google decides to lower the ranks of websites that are known to be spam, we don’t anticipate Google reducing the ranks of truly valuable sites. Google’s core algorithm is not being changed in any way.
Google’s penguin update and the resulting algorithm change didn’t affect the level of backlinks a website receives from other sites, but this doesn’t mean that all efforts to increase the number of backlinks are ineffective. There is still a significant impact on the relevancy of your site for search engine searches. For instance, websites that have the best quality content, hosted at highly ranked and authority sites, will receive higher rankings than sites that only have random backlinks. Therefore, it is important that you focus on building a quality backlink profile and take advantage of the new opportunities presented by the Penguin and Panda updates.