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Content marketing, SEO efforts, and building buyer personas all combine to make your website the best it can be, easily converting visitors to Leads to customers. The performance of your website is very important to your inbound marketing strategy. And since so much of this is dependant on the current digital landscape, you need to make sure you fully understand how it all works.
Over a trillion searches every year are done on Google! The algorithms released to help Google monitor the internet can make or break your website’s ability to be found. Here are the top six Algorithm updates that you need to keep in mind when working on your website:
The Panda algorithm update was initially launched to combat thin, weak content. If you ever hear or read anything about Google’s emphasis on quality content, this algorithm is that started this focus. It has been updated several times since 2011, targeting other bad content practices. Panda 4.2 is expected sometime soon, but if you’re creating remarkable content that is unique to each page, you shouldn't have anything to worry about.
The Penguin came to combat a variety of different ways spam websites were trying to artificially boost themselves in organic rankings. These included buying links, keyword stuffing, over optimization and more. The world wide web is a much more user-friendly, cleaner place since Penguin was released in 2012. Recently, Penguin was updated further to make penalties and other ranking factors happen in real-time.
Google has always been, and is still, concerned about user experience and ranking the most valuable website’s higher. Hummingbird further reduced the need for keyword stuffing in order to rank for certain words. It marked a noticeable shift towards more natural-sounding search terms that read the way a person would actually speak instead of “Fort Myers Nissan in Fort Myers serving Fort Myers, FL.”
Google noticed a shift in the world of search and began releasing algorithms to show this. The Pigeon algorithm was released in 2014 and took a more focused aim on local search. As more and more users were performing searches on mobile devices and were trying to find business in their immediate area, Pigeon helped with these type of inquiries.
By 2015, mobile searching was huge. Google recently said that mobile devices are now officially the majority source of its search traffic, an announcement that came much more quickly than anyone predicted. With the Mobilegeddon release, Google acknowledged the importance of websites and search results being mobile-friendly. The term “mobile-friendly” means more than just “readable on an phone.” Your website should offer the same experience to mobile users and desktop users, including downloadable resources, images, and more.
Late in 2015, Google announced a second big change in 2015- Rankbrain. It is actually more of a piece of programming than an algorithm. It’s similar to Hummingbird in that it is concerned with delivering a quality experience and ranking the best-written websites first. The biggest difference is that Rankbrain uses artificial intelligence to do so. The new AI is programmed to greatly increase Google’s ability to index and return pertinent results than ever before.
and a bonus…
Phantom- 2013 and 2015
There have also been several Phantom shifts, rather than full-out algorithm changes. Several prominent websites noticed big changes in their rankings after these Phantom shifts and Google admitted to “quality signal” updates around the same time. These fluctuations tend to penalize those doing Black Hat SEO, so if you’re doing any of those shady practices then you have nothing to worry about.
The regularly updated algorithms are the reason certain practices used to be okay, but are now penalized. For this reason, SEO and content creation best practices are not something you can learn once and keep going. We will do our best to keep you up-to-date with any newly released information from Google. In the meantime, download our free eBook Modern SEO to build a solid foundation for yourself.