How Changes in Google Algorithms are Affecting The Rankings of Your Website?

Google being one of the most frequently used search engines, it is quite obvious that, in order to maintain their relevance to customers searching the net, and to keep themselves posted about the unscrupulous web designers, the Google engineers will be affecting changes in their algorithms from time to time. Since these algorithms determine the ranking of different websites, changes in these algorithms is definitely going to be the key behind how these rankings are affected.

Now, the main goal of search engine optimization is to redesign your website so that it attracts the attention of the popular search engines (like Google, Bing, Yahoo etc.) and get higher rankings from them, grabbing more customer interest and generating more revenue for the concerned website.

There are certain “do”s and “don’ts” for the SEOs according to the Google engineers, collectively encompassed by the Google Algorithms and your website can respectively get awarded( by an increase in rankings) or penalized( in the form of a drop-down in the rankings), by the Google team for these “do”s and “don’ts”. Again , these positive and negative parameters keep on changing with time. For example, in earlier days, Google was not able to detect the meaningless and repetitive use of keywords, whereby the unscrupulous web designers manipulated the search engine pages by stuffing their websites with an avalanche of keywords. As a result of this flaw being not detected, these designers got away wonderfully, with their websites getting top rankings from Google. But, once criticized for awarding higher rankings to the undeserving websites, the Google engineers came up with more complex algorithms, so that at present, the Google spiders are very much able to detect keyword stuffing. Consequently, nowadays keyword stuffing is penalized and these websites instead of getting higher rankings, see a nosedive as compared to other genuine websites containing meaningful and relevant content. Likewise , earlier on, Google was not able to detect Black Hat SEO techniques e.g. invisible text, links to unreliable or spammy websites, etc. but all these are detected nowadays and consequently website rankings suffer because of these.

On an average, Google algorithms are changed about500-600 times a year; and every few months, Google updates are rolled out, which helps the people to gather an idea of what the effect of these algorithm changes is going to be, on the SERPs. Knowing the dates of the Google updates can help them analyze the changes in rankings and website traffic. As of now, there have been two types of updates: the Panda updates and the Penguin updates.

Google Panda was released in the month of February in 2011. Websites were rated on the basis of quality, “including design, trustworthiness, speed and whether or not ” viewers would return to them. As a result, rankings of low-quality websites ( like those shallow in content and those loaded with huge amounts of ads) were dropped down, while that of high-quality sites like news websites and social networking sites rocketed , putting these sites at the top of the SERPs.

On the other hand, research showed ” scrapers or copyright infringers getting better rankings”, for which Google was on the receiving end of viewer’s criticism. In March2012, Panda was updated and an “over-optimization penalty” was introduced , resulting in the web crawlers becoming more responsible and intelligent than before. Now,sites which appeared over-enticing to the crawlers, were penalized however legitimately the SEO was achieved.

On September2012, the next Panda update was released(affecting about0.7% of queries). And the last one rolled out on January22,2013, affecting almost 1.2% of all English queries.

The Penguin updates in chronological order are:

Penguin 1 on April 24, 2012

Penguin 1.1 on May 26, 2012

Penguin 3 on October 5, 2012

Penguin 4 on May 22, 2013.

The Penguin 1 update was aimed at gaining better control over sites that were spamming its results by buying links or obtaining them through link networks designed to enhance the Google rankings. At this point of time, sites that had removed bad links or made efforts to remove spam, regained their rankings. A lot of sites, which escaped earlier, were penalized this time round, and had their rankings dropped down.

Penguin 1.1 and Penguin 3 did not add much to Penguin 1. Only minor changes were there. But, Penguin4 , more popular as Penguin 2.0, has brought about major changes in the way Google algorithms are affecting the ranking of websites. Although the exact nature of changes was not clear, Penguin 4 was surely designed for better spam-fighting. Matt Cutts, head of the anti-spam team at Google, announced that ” the scope of Penguin varies by language, e.g. languages with more webspam will see more impact”.

In short, the list of sites losing out on search visibility, according to the company Search Metrics,includes: game sites, porn sites, big brands like Dish.com, the Salvation Army, CheapOAir and ETS . This does not indicate huge traffic losses; they may still end up with high visibility for keywords that aren’t being detected. But, it’s important to note that , the lists provided by Search Metrics and a couple of other SEO software companies are mostly accurate.

Now fact remains that,even webmasters are often not aware of what is affecting the rankings of their websites. Only the Google engineers have the knowledge of what is affecting the rankings in the present scenario and they keep on updating the internet users about the changing Google algorithms . But even they will not be able to hold forth on what is going to be the future of SEO Medical advocacy and Outreach porn website how optimization techniques and ranking parameters will change. That only time will tell!

The Google Penalty Checker tool, devised by Fruition, however, helps the SEOs to find out what kind of impact (e.g. positive or negative) a particular update had on the website, i.e. whether it increased (positive) or decreased(negative) the rankings of the website on the SERPs. The tool can easily be used by a novice at SEO and is free for a limited period of time.

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