Google updates its search algorithm regularly, which can result in significant changes to how websites are ranked in search results. As a result, keeping up with these updates can be a challenge for SEO professionals. However, by understanding what each update is designed to achieve, you can better navigate the changes and adjust your SEO approach accordingly.
Panda and Penguin
Panda and Penguin are two of the most well-known Google algorithm updates. Panda was designed to decrease the ranking of low-quality or thin content, while Penguin targets websites that use spammy link practices.Understandably, websites that were hit hard by these updates needed to revamp their SEO strategies. This resulted in an increased focus on high-quality content and healthy link-building practices.
Hummingbird and RankBrain
Hummingbird and RankBrain are newer updates that focus on understanding the intent behind a user’s search query. Hummingbird, in particular, focuses on semantic search – or understanding what a user is looking for even if they aren’t using the exact keywords.This shift toward intent-based search means that websites need to focus on creating content that provides value to the user and directly answers their queries. Keyword stuffing and focusing solely on ranking for a specific keyword are no longer effective strategies.
The BERT update is focused on better understanding natural language queries. BERT stands for Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers and uses machine learning to analyze the context and meaning behind words within a search query.As a result, websites should focus on creating high-quality and informative content instead of trying to manipulate specific phrases or terms. Content that provides value to the reader and directly answers their query will perform best in search results.
Navigating Google’s Algorithm Updates
The best approach to navigating Google’s algorithm updates is to focus on creating high-quality content that provides value to the user. This means avoiding black hat SEO practices like keyword stuffing, link schemes, and low-quality content.By staying informed about the latest updates and optimizing your website for user intent, you can navigate the changes and achieve SEO success in the long term.