Major algorithm changes for Google

What you can do now

Even though the new algorithm is still in research, greater focus on the following areas could futureproof the content you are producing if the changes come into force at a later date.

  • Avoid errors, especially typographical ones such as incorrect figures that may pass spellcheck but could damage ranking.
  • Pay attention to a site’s overall subject when producing content for a particular page. It could be penalised if the content is too different.
  • Try not to state the obvious. Under current plans Google would be looking to penalise content for “trivial” information.
  • Visit Mozcast to keep track of any changes to Google’s search algorithm.

Hummingbird (2013) – arguably the last major change. The main change was the introduction of semantic search ie looking at the whole sentence as a query rather than individual words.

Caffeine (2010) – although this featured a greater emphasis on search criteria, arguably the greatest change was in terms of speed. The revamp to the index meant the database was updated continuously rather than piecemeal. This was more about gathering of information than ranking.

Florida (2003) – the update that probably changed the nature of SEO. Sites stuffing a page with keywords with little relation to the content suddenly found themselves removed from Google’s first page.

PageRank (1996) – named after founder Larry Page, and developed by Page and fellow founder Sergei Brin. PageRank determined the quality of a page by the number, and quality, of links to it.

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