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4 Kinds of Google Algorithm Updates to Know


Today, one can say that Google is the most influential search engine on the market. It’s one of the most visited sites in the world and the results it provides are less spammy and more accurate. But because of Google’s ‘power’ over the Internet, they can impose rules and updates that affect each website that wants to be on top of the search engine results page.


Before, manipulating Google’s search engine results were easy but Google implemented some updates and algorithm changes to overcome these manipulations.


Being unaware of these updates could all in all spell disaster for any SEO who’s still implementing ancient and ineffective SEO tactics. So what are the major updates that a person practicing SEO should know and understand?


1. Panda Update



The Panda update was first launched last February 2011. The main purpose of this algorithm change was to lower or down rank ‘low quality’ website with high rankings on Google and rightly reward websites those which are ‘high quality.’ Right after this update was released, complaints were all over Google’s Webmaster Forums and other forums related to SEO. The subsequent Panda updates targeted other concerns related to the quality of a website, user experience, and its content.


2. Penguin Update



The Google Penguin update is the second kind algorithm change that was released last 24 April 2012.This update targeted websites that seem to violate a number of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines through the use of declared black-hat SEO techniques, including link schemes, cloaking, and keyword stuffing. Penguin was also on the lookout for duplicate content. You can probably say that the main target of Google Panda is spam indexing.


3. Page Layout Update



The third update, and probably the least known update, is the page layout update which Google released on 19 January 2012. This even came first before Google and Panda. According to a blog post on Google’s official blog, “This new algorithmic improvement tends to impact sites where there is only a small amount of visible content above-the-fold or relevant content is persistently pushed down by large blocks of ads.” The most recent update of this Top Heavy change was last 9 October 2012 where it impacted 0.7% of English searches.


4. Exact Match Domain (EMD) Update



The Exact Match Domain update targeted those websites that use the keyword they were trying to rank for as the domain name of the website. For a long time, this worked remarkably however it caused a lot of keywords to reach sky-high prices once they were identified as ‘money keywords.’ Google confuses the domain name as a brand name that’s why some EMDs are getting high rankings.


These four updates were only explained in a nutshell and getting more information about them could help you be more cautious of SEO techniques you make. Loopholes to Google’s rankings are getting fewer and fewer. Just make sure you stay true to Google’s Webmaster Guidelines and everything should be fine. 


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