Google’s 2013 Year End Review

Google underwent a lot of changes this year, as there were 3 different algorithm changes keeping marketers on their toes. While many SEOs lament the changes Google constantly makes, the Search Engine giant claims to simply be trying to provide the best, most accurate results for their users. Here are the three wild beats marketers had to clash with in 2013:

Panda: Panda is a change to Google’s search results ranking algorithm that was first release in February of 2011. The change aimed to lower the ranks of what Google deemed to be low quality sites. This change seemingly benefitted news sites and social media networks and severely punished any sites that had low quality or duplicate content throughout the site. Though the change was initially implemented in 2011, it was updated very consistently in 2013, especially in the first half of the year.

Penguin: Penguin originally made its’ debut on April 24th, 2014, and was aimed at decreasing search engine rankings of websites that violate Google’s Webmaster Guidelines by using “black-hat” SEO techniques involved in increasing artificially the ranking of a webpage by manipulating the number of links pointing to the page. This ushered in a new age of link building, as SEOs could not depend on building links that were irrelevant and low quality in nature. Penguin updated on May 22nd, 2013 with an emphasis on page-level as opposed to domain-level metrics.

Hummingbird: To celebrate their 15th birthday, Google released the new Hummingbird algorithm, claiming it provided a more “human way” to interact with users and also provided more direct answers to queries. The name “Hummingbird” came from their want to make an algorithm that was fast and precise; especially for conversation queries, most likely geared towards perfecting voice search queries.

Whew! That’s a lot of different animals and quite a bit to keep up with. If you’re wondering how this effects your online campaign, just know that producing a quality product is all that matters. Google has cracked down on those who build spammy links, duplicate content and try to dupe the system in other ways. In order to build your site and your brand, all you need to do is produce quality content that people in your market find interesting. Integrate it with your social media, make sure your site is being featured on important web sites. and boom! Success. Of course, all of this is made easier with a reliable online marketing team (wink).