In the last year and a half, Google has made some huge changes to the way that they index and rank websites.
- It started with Google Panda, which was the search engine’s first volley into rewarding high quality websites and demoting the search engine rankings of spammy websites.
- Recently, they have pushed through Google Penguin, which prevents websites from using link farms to increase their search engine rankings
- Local Venice, which allows people to search based on their geolocation.
How Google Updates Will Affect SEO
Google Panda Update
Google Panda, which was released in early 2011, was the first of many headaches for webmasters and search engine optimization (SEO) firms.
Previously, websites could increase their search engine ranking by simply repeating keywords in their website text over and over. This led to low quality advertising websites that had a wall of keyword text hitting the top of search engine results. To curb this, Google released Panda. Know what Google Panda Updated?
Google Panda uses a variety of algorithms meant to demote websites that are using keyword stuffing tricks to improve their ranking.
Examples of this include looking at the percentage of text a keyword takes up, examining the grammar and spelling of content and measuring the reading level of a website. This means that well written websites with lower keyword repetition are granted higher search engine rankings, putting the emphasis on the quality of content that is posted to a website.
Google Penguin Update
Another huge change to the way that Google ranks websites came with the Penguin update. In addition to looking at keywords used in a website’s content for search engine ranking, Google also looks at how many backlinks a website has.
Backlinks are simply links from other websites to a particular web page, and more backlinks lead to higher search engine ranking.
However, to artificially inflate backlinks, many websites had begun using black hat techniques. This included link farms, which existed only to provide repeated links to particular websites to improve their rankings. Other methods involved spam posts to blogs with links back to a particular site.
Google responded by developing Google Penguin, which looks at both the quality of the site that the backlink is coming from and the anchor text and text around a backlink.
Not only are they no longer rewarding sites on link farms with higher search engine rankings, Google has begun to demote websites that have large volumes of low quality backlinks. Read more about how to increase blog traffic after Google Penguin Update?
This has caused quite an uproar in the online community devoted to web design and marketing. However, Google has stated it has never changed its standards for what constitutes a high quality site, it is just now able to enforce the standards. Read post Penguin update for better SEO.
Google Local Venice Update
The most recent change to Google’s indexing and ranking system is called Local Venice. It has received less attention than Panda and Penguin because it does not affect search engine rankings in as direct a manner. However, many local businesses will probably see an increase in their visitors because of it.
Google Local Venice Update now gives Google users the ability to search by their geolocation. On the left hand side of a results page, there is now the option for people to change their location.
This means that searching for “Car repair” will generate different results depending on where the location is set to.
Ultimately, webmasters that create high quality content and accumulate natural backlinks will only see their ranking improve. However, this also means that Internet marketing companies are going to have to drastically change their tactics to stay relevant Google Algorithm.