Google Algorithms: What Your SEO Agency Wants You to Know

Janet Lee
Reading Time: 4 minutes

As the reigning authority for directing internet traffic, any SEO agency will tell you that Google’s influence is undeniable. With a variety of complex algorithms to process and rank millions of pages, it can be difficult to keep up with the information Google uses to determine which pages should take precedence in the results. The days of stuffing pages with keywords are gone; Google’s artificial intelligence can find – and penalize – content that is not of the highest quality.

What Aspects of Google Algorithms Are Most Important?

To keep an eye on trends in Google’s algorithm updates, search marketers keep watch on three of the most important and relevant algorithms known as Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird. When these specialized algorithms discover an issue with your page, they may devalue your entire website and sink it to the bottom of the Google rankings. When this happens, it can be very difficult and costly for businesses to get back up in the SERPs where they have respected and valuable visibility. In the event you encounter the wrath of an angry Panda, you can work with a top SEO agency to reverse the damage.

Google Panda penalizes weak content.

Understanding Google Panda

Panda searches for low-quality content that is weak in value, includes poor grammar, is unreadable, and appears as spam or offers little information on the topic. It also watches for content that is stuffed with keywords, spun, or rewritten to closely mirror other content that is available on the internet. By not giving duplicate content a high ranking, users will find the information they need immediately, rather than digging through a multitude of results. In use since 2011, Google Panda has brought higher-quality results to users so they can find the information they need efficiently and quickly.

Google Penguin penalizes sites with bad links.


What does Google Penguin do?

Google Penguin seeks incoming links that have been placed to potentially give a page an unfair advantage for search engine rankings. Although links are an important way to give a page value and connectivity to other quality pages on the internet, the use of unnatural links is frowned upon, and Google has been actively seeking these pages with Panda since 2012. Using keywords as anchor text used to be the key to good SEO, but it is now considered a questionable practice. Penguin looks for natural links that flow with the text, lead to high-quality content, and are relevant to the information provided. With mobile search dominating user behavior, longtail natural anchor texts are becoming the way to optimize for a better user experience.

SEO relies heavily on content marketing.


How does Google Hummingbird Work?

Hummingbird is considered to be the most comprehensive, sophisticated and unique of the Google algorithms, and it made dramatic changes to the way Google works when it was introduced in Autumn 2015. More than a simple update, Hummingbird determines if the page or website is providing the answers to the questions Google users seek. Because of its complex artificial intelligence (RankBrain), it is difficult to pinpoint the precise information that Hummingbird is looking for, but it is most certainly about conversational content quality and well-researched information. With the goal of determining the subject, user intent, and context, Hummingbird’s ability to process a semantic search makes all the difference for a useful search result.


Frequent Google Algorithm Updates

Google frequently updates and changes the way their algorithms interpret information, which can make it difficult for some SEOs and businesses alike to stay aware of the latest preferences. However, it’s very important to understand the updates so you can maintain the quality of your digital marketing and SEO. Reviewing your content and links to make sure they align with Panda and Penguin is a continual process, and Hummingbird’s search for quality and value means you want to remain thoughtful about the content you produce. Running continuous SEO experiments and tests allow savvy search marketers and SEO gurus to stay ahead of the curve, even when a major algorithm update rolls out.


Google updates require well-trained SEO

When Do Google Updates Happen?

Although Google may announce specific updates and provide information to assist marketers and publishers with optimizing content, the core algorithm may be updated many times or be updated on a rolling basis every few months. It can be difficult to know what the changes are and when they occur. Although there are many complexities to consider, retaining a focus on unique, high-quality content that answers questions with valuable information and ranks well in Google is a solid starting point.


Navigating the Seas of Search Marketing with Your SEO Agency

There are some specific steps you should take to optimize your website with high-quality content. Getting trained to use analytical tools, and working with a good SEO agency specializing in search optimization will help you secure a dominant seat for your website’s online visibility. With industry knowledge and an eye for detail, professional marketers have the expertise to help you identify issues that can be addressed to improve your website’s visibility, and increase conversion rates.

However you decide to approach SEO optimization, doing nothing is a recipe for your website to be penalized by Google’s algorithms and sink to the bottom of the rankings. Maintenance, knowledge, and proactive changes will hoist your sails to ensure your website navigates the seas of SEO while receiving all the positive attention from Google it deserves.

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