There are loads of things happening in the search industry since the start of the year, from the changes in the search results (Social Search Transformation – Search Plus Your World) and different Panda Updates rolled out which depicted the downfall of blog networks.
Topping the SERP is really tough these days as Search Engines gets smarter and smarter with the continuous updates, giving the advantage to those high quality sites. Most of the changes in Google’s algorithm clearly indicate that we all have to adapt and improve as well with how to market our brand and make our websites more visible through different strategies.
Let’s go over a short recap as to why Google’s latest updates rocked the SEO industry:
Google Updates 2012
Google announced a list of changes for the month of December 2011 which includes Image search landing page quality detection, more relevant site links, rich snippets and a lot more improvements.
“Today we’re continuing our monthly series with details about many of the improvements we make to search. For the month of December, you’ll find a list of 30 search improvements, 9 of which we’ve blogged about previously. In addition, to have a little fun we’re including a sampling of codenames along with the list.”
January 10, 2012: Search Plus Your World!
Google launched what probably changed the search results page –aggressively pushing Google Plus and Transforming the search results with the following: Personalized Results, Profiles in search and People and Pages.
“Search is pretty amazing at finding that one needle in a haystack of billions of webpages, images, videos, news and much more. But clearly, that isn’t enough. You should also be able to find your own stuff on the web, the people you know and things they’ve shared with you, as well as the people you don’t know but might want to… all from one search box.”
January 18, 2012: Panda 3.2 Confirmed by Search Engine Land
“Thye company told us they have done a data refresh of the Google Panda algorithm about a week ago, and added that there were no additional signals or algorithm changes. This was only a data refresh.”
January 19, 2012: Ads above the Fold Page Layout Improvement
Google updated their algorithm affecting websites with too much ads above the “fold”.
“In our ongoing effort to help you find more high-quality websites in search results, today we’re launching an algorithmic change that looks at the layout of a webpage and the amount of content you see on the page once you click on a result.”
February 3, 2012: 17 Search Quality Highlights for January
Google announced another list of “Search Quality Highlights” for the month of January 2012 which includes autocomplete, freshness, a minor update to refresh the data for panda and more improvements of the search.
“Here’s the latest installment of our monthly series on “search quality highlights,” with 17 new quality improvements to read about for January. In addition to this month’s big announcement of Search plus Your World, you’ll find short summaries of other changes to our high-quality sites algorithm, spelling systems, snippets, search preferences, speed, freshness and much more. It’s all part of our ongoing effort to be transparent about how search works and the ways Google is constantly evolving to answer your questions.”
February 27, 2012: Search quality highlights – 40 changes for February
Google published another set of “Search Quality Highlights” for the month of February 2012 which includes related searches, sitelinks, indexing, SafeSearch and more.
“This month we have many improvements to celebrate. With 40 changes reported, that marks a new record for our monthly series on search quality. Most of the updates rolled out earlier this month, and a handful are actually rolling out today and tomorrow”
February 27, 2012: Panda 3.3 Confirmed by Search Engine Land
Google rolled out another Panda update, which appeared to be relatively minor.
Panda update. This launch refreshes data in the Panda system, making it more accurate and more sensitive to recent changes on the web.
March 23, 2012: Panda 3.4 Update confirmed by Search Engine Land
Google has announced on twitter that they are rolling out another Panda Update that targets low quality websites.
“@google: Panda refresh rolling out now. Only ~1.6% of queries noticeably affected. Background on Panda: goo.gl/mTKCH”
April 3, 2012: Search Quality Highlights – 50 changes for March
Google posted another soet of “Search Quality Highlights” for the month of March 2012 which includes the following changes to anchor text evaluation, image search and better local results
“Here’s our latest installment of search quality highlights, with another 50 changes to report for March. We’re starting to get into a groove with these posts, so we’re getting more and more comprehensive as the months go by”.
April 24, 2012: Another Step to Reward High-Quality Sites
Matt Cutts, Head of Google Web Spam Team, recently announced that they rolled out a new search algorithm that will prevent webspam polluting its search results. The Official name Google has given to the new webspam algorithm that has been released last Tuesday is Penguin.
“In the next few days, we’re launching an important algorithm change targeted at webspam. The change will decrease rankings for sites that we believe are violating Google’s existing quality guidelines. We’ve always targeted webspam in our rankings, and this algorithm represents another improvement in our efforts to reduce webspam and promote high quality content”
As Google announced that it is releasing a new search algorithm to fight web spam which they called the “Penguin Update” and will impact about 3% of the search queries. The majority of the business owners, web masters and blog owners have seen its impact already. There has been mixed reviews.
Authority sites have been hit by the update as well and some were knocked out of the rankings. For example, search results shows outdated and low quality websites top the searched term for “make money online” query. Some website owners seemed contented with the positive benefits and don’t want to speak up. To sum it all up, there have been huge weirdness that we’ve been seeing and for sure there will be another algorithm update in the near future.
Change is inevitable, every website and business owners should know that. The following Google updates only shows that we have to adapt and develop through these changes. Revamping certain strategies or hiring a professional SEO company is practical and will surely pay you back. Coping up with these changes and going with more genuine ideas and strategies.