Everything You Need to Know about Google Search Algorithm

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Everyone wants to game to Google search algorithm. But what does that mean and why? We are going to let you in on a little secret. The only way to “game” Google is by producing high-quality, relevant content.

But that doesn’t mean there aren’t certain tips and tricks that can be done to help your content marketing perform.

Google makes its money by placing ads on search results. The more searches they do, the more money they can make. They can charge higher rates when the results are more matched to searchers’ intent. So, it’s in Google’s best interest to be the best at search.

“You want the answer, not trillions of web pages,” per Google. “Algorithms are computer programs that look for clues to give you back exactly what you want.” That’s why Google is always tweaking its algorithms to refine the results it serves up. It’s an ever-changing environment and a tough thing to navigate.

Important aspects of the Google search algorithm

Some of the more recent Google search algorithm updates:

“Fred” (March, 2017)

Google still hasn’t officially acknowledged “Fred.” That’s the nickname Google-watchers gave it after Google’s Gary Illyes joked that ever updated unless otherwise stated, shall be called Fred.  Fred appears to target sites providing “thin content” designed to attract ad views.

Panda (Updated January 2016)

Panda assigned lower rankings to low-quality content sites. It also took on duplicate content, plagiarized content, spam, and keyword stuffing. It also penalized sites for “thin content.”

Penguin (Updated October 2016)

Penguin attacked site owners that were using links to manipulate the algorithm, such as link farms or links originating on spam-filled sites.

Possum (September, 2016)

Possum emphasized proximity when it comes to search, specifically in the Local Pack. The closer you are to a location when you search, the more prominent the result will be. This increased the importance of local keywords.

Rank Brain (October, 2015)

Rank Brain better defined what people are searching for and match the appropriate content. Using machine learning, Rank Brain analyzes page content for relevancy against search phrases. Google claims it improves over time.

A quick time out!

We’re not even halfway through! If you’re confused or worried about whether you’re doing the right thing, don’t worry. The Lorem Ipsum Company provides on-page search engine optimization, link building, and SEO strategies. This helps improve your ranking, improve your traffic flow, and increase sales.

Now, back to the list.

Mobile Friendly (April, 2015)

This Google search algorithm update gave preference to sites optimized for mobile. It also penalized sites without mobile or responsive content.

Pirate (October 2014)

As the name implies, this update focused on pirated content. It also penalized sites with lots of copyright infringement claims.

Top Heavy (Updated February 2014)

Sites “top heavy” with advertisements could still rank well in search listings. Websites that don’t have a lot of content – but lots of ads – on the top half of the page were penalized.

Hummingbird (August, 2013)

Hummingbird provided a more intuitive method for matching content with search intent. It allowed for what users searched for, rather than the exact words they typed. It also punished keyword stuffing in content.

Payday Update (June, 2013)

More attacks on spammy sites, including payday loans and porn sites.

Exact Match Domain (September 2012)

The EMD update filtered out poor quality sites that ranked high because their domain name included an exact match of a search term. Think “bestvacationever.com” as an example.

What to do about all of this

Whew! These are just the algorithms that Google acknowledges. Almost all have been updated multiple times. Google says they tweak things every day.  It’s something that needs constant attention.  That’s where the Lorem Ipsum Company comes in.  Contact The Lorem Ipsum Company to learn more about Google search algorithms and work with you to optimize your site and your content to maximize your results.

 

    Jeramy Gordon is the founder and Chief Content Officer at the Lorem Ipsum Company. He has been creating successful content strategies for almost two decades and believes in the power of high-quality content. He lives in Orange County, California, with his wife and two children.

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