As we say on our website, “Google’s algorithm is a mystery. Though we can’t crack it completely, we can make sure your website ranks high so users can find you. ”
And to an extent, we’re right – the algorithm is not only well hidden, but also constantly changing, so we can never be certain we have it completely worked out.
But in order to ensure you rank as highly as possible in searches, it’s necessary to try to determine at least some of how Google’s algorithm works based on its most important updates and how they work. Here’s what we know!
Panda launched in 2011 and is still a key part of Google’s algorithm. Originally, it was just an additional filter, but as of 2016, it contributes to the official ranking algorithm.
It is used to rate web pages based on their content quality, giving them an overall score. Low quality or spam-filled websites are penalised by ranking low in search engine results.
In 2012, Penguin was added – and has had several updates since. Penguin identifies and down ranks sites with unnatural link profiles. Essentially, it picks up on (and fights back against) sites that have used black hat link tactics to rise through the listings.
Hummingbird looks at websites that feature completely original, informative and therefore valuable content and ensures they rank higher in search engine results, ensuring the engine is providing users with the very best content and information. It will rank down sites that use aggressive keyword targeting, keyword stuffing or have a poor user experience.
Pigeon arrived in 2014 and used location to ensure Google users are getting the right returns for their queries, based on location. It creates ties between local and core algorithms, using SEO factors. Pigeon will rank a site down for a poorly set up My Business page on Google, lack of local directory citation or NAP inconsistency to name a few.
Mobile Friendly Update
In 2015, Google introduced the Mobile Friendly Updated (informally known as Mobilegeddon) in order to boost websites and pages that have been optimised for mobile use.
Since then, sites that are not suitable for viewing on mobile devices have been ranked down.
Later in 2015, RankBrain was introduced to help Google better understand the meaning behind user queries in order to provide more accurate and informative results. It compares the website’s content to the search (also relying on factors like SEO, links, tags and keywords) and evaluates the accuracy of each match.
We hope this makes the way Google’s algorithms work a little easier to understand. Although it can be hard to keep up with Google’s constant updates, it’s always good to know the things that can help you rank highly in searches. To learn more about each aspect of the algorithm and what you can do to ensure you’re in the right, you can find more information on them online!
What do you know about Google’s algorithm? Do you know of anything we’ve missed that can help work out the mysteries behind its functions? If so, we’d love to read about them in the comments section below – so don’t hesitate to share your secrets!