Whilst there are a number of search engines around such as Bing, Yahoo and most recently, the privacy driven Duck Duck Go, we all know that the king is still Google. It is well documented if you have any interest at all in digital marketing that Google’s algorithm is constantly being updated and if you are someone who works in SEO, or if your income relies upon the success of your website, it is essential to make sure you stay up to date with these. Being penalised by a Google penalty or simply dropping down a page or two in the search results can have a catastrophic effect on a business and can see your traffic (and in turn, sales) plummet overnight.
Google Algorithm Updates
Whilst updates to Google’s algorithm have happened since the search engine began, the first real changes aimed at eliminated spam were with the introduction of Panda and Penguin, targeting content and links respectively. In the mid-2000’s it was all the rage to just have giant link networks and just spam comments on websites with links in them, basically the more links you had, the higher you would rank. The same goes for content, the more content you had the better you would rank, so from a user perspective there were some terrible websites ranking very highly which really was affecting the quality of the search results. The introduction of Penguin and Panda went a long way towards correcting this and caused manual penalties to be applied to websites all over the place, destroying some businesses and making others in the process. The SEO industry got to grips with this pretty quickly and realised that the focus needed to be on quality rather than quantity going forward. Since then however we have seen a whole new raft of algorithm changes affecting particular industries (such as health/nutrition and gambling) as well as local SEO, content and to try and eliminate websites selling guest posts. A few of these changes have been major, others have failed to make any difference, but it is still important to be aware of them.
How To Keep Up To Date With Algorithm Changes
If you do a lot of reading and are genuinely interested in SEO then the chances are you will be up to date on any big changes, if however you are a website owner and SEO isn’t your primary job or you are a marketing manager in charge of a digital marketing team then you may find you don’t have the time to read up on the many changes and best practices involved. For people in this position the best thing to do is go on a course every year and learn about all of the updates and the best practices from people who do it every day, this way it optimises your times and all of the research and development is done for you. The Red Cow Academy is a training centre set up by the multi-award-winning Digital Marketing agency Red Cow Media. They are at the top of their field when it comes to SEO and offer SEO courses ideally suited for people who need the facts and the practicalities that will make a difference to a website, rather than theory and stats. As was referred to earlier, some of the changes and public comments that Google make aren’t always accurate, they state that certain things don’t work anymore (even if they do) so a company like the Red Cow Academy will tell you what they have found in real world situations to ensure it saves you time and gets you the best results as quickly as possible.