Google has more than 200 ranking factors. Every year it implements hundreds of changes and adjustments to it’s algorithms. What worked yesterday might be useless tomorrow.
SEO and Internet Marketing is all about being on your toes all the time. It’s about adjusting to the constant changes implemented by search engines.
On this page I will keep track of recent algorithm changes. Here I won’t describe in details each and every change rather just give you a quick update. If you want to learn more about any particular algorithm, you can read from many reputable sources such as Google’s blog itself, Search engine watch, Search engine journal and others.
- More relevant sitelinks – for example, show sitelinks specific to user’s metropolitan region, which you can be controlled with location setting.
- More accurate country-restricted searches. On domains other than .com, users have the option to see only results from their particular country.
- More rich snippets (shopping, recipe and review).
- Improved dataset for related queries. G includes results for queries that are related to users’ original search trying to deliver more relevant related queries.
- +1 Button changes. Now the +1 button will only appear when you hover over a result or when the result has already been +1’d. So make sure you are +1-ing your webpages.
- Image search – size matters. Google prefer showing images with larger full-size versions. Use larger images!
- Faster mobile browsing. G shows mobile versions in search results instead of allowing websites to do redirect to their mobile version from their part.
Source: Google Blog
17 updates released in January, including the following…
- Jan 10, 2012 – Google Launches Search Plus Your World. Are you not on Google Plus yet??! Rush to create a personal page and pages for businesses.
- Jan 19,2012 – Above-the-Fold Algorithm Change – websites with ads above the fold penalized. Can be easily fixed by changing ad layots.
More than 40 updates. Here are the most important ones for SEO industry.
- Google Panda 3.3
- Google Link Evaluation Factor Turned Off – what is this mysterious factor?
Google says: “We often use characteristics of links to help us figure out the topic of a linked page. We have changed the way in which we evaluate links; in particular, we are turning off a method of link analysis that we used for several years. We often rearchitect or turn off parts of our scoring in order to keep our system maintainable, clean and understandable.”
- Google Images Adds Related Image Previews
- Google Now Allowing Searches For Sex On Strict SafeSearch
- Google launches Personal Blocklist Chrome extension that allow users to block/report any websites they think are not good quality or useful. Google then analyses this data to include to their algorithms updates.
- March 16, 2012 – Q&A session with Matt Cutts from Google and Duane Forrester from Bing. Listen here
What about the people optimizing really hard and doing a lot of SEO? We don’t normally pre-announce changes but there is something we are working in the last few months and hope to release it in the next months or few weeks. We are trying to level the playing field a bit. All those people doing, for lack of a better word, over optimization or overly SEO – versus those making great content and great site. We are trying to make GoogleBot smarter, make our relevance better, and we are also looking for those who abuse it, like too many keywords on a page, or exchange way too many links or go well beyond what you normally expect. We have several engineers on my team working on this right now.
- Panda 3.4
- Several Private Blog Networks got deindexed. This includes Build My Rank.
- April 17 – a number of sites reported lost traffic. G has mistakenly sandboxed websites that shouldn’t have been as a part of “Parked domains clean up”. All rankings came back same say.
- April 19 – Panda 3.5 update
- April 24 – Penguin update
- April 27 – Panda 3.6 update
- May 3 – Google Page Rank Toolbar Update