Google Algorithm | What to Do, What Not to Do

Google algorithm
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The Google algorithm is well-known to everyone who is working with the term SEO industry. But again, there are many people who don’t know this Google algorithm properly. However, to work with Google search engine you need to know very well how Google works and to understand it you need to know the algorithm. So today, the topic of my discussion is all about Google Algorithms.

I hope I can give you a clear idea about it, but if you have any questions then definitely let me know via comment. I will try to answer all of your questions.

Today’s topics are being shot:

  1. What is the Google algorithm?
  2. Why is the algorithm updated?
  3. Some of Google’s core algorithms and their functions
  4. What do you do with the Google algorithm update?
  5. What is a Google Penalty?
  6. How do you identify a penal website?
  7. That’s why Google can punish you
  8. What to do if Google algorithm updates lose its ranking?

So let’s start the main discussion, first-

What is the Google algorithm?

Google’s algorithm is a complex process that is used in the core mechanism in Google. The algorithm is set in such a way that it searches numerous data from the entire internet or web and then stores them through Google indexing. When someone searches by typing something into Google, the algorithm returns the best possible results from its store that was indexed earlier.

In simple words, the algorithm is a set of codes or commands through which Google does all its work accordingly.

Again, the Google algorithm is one of the best ways and using this Google determines a search result that will be shown on the SERPs.

For instance, think, you have a website about the DOG niche. You have written a post that is entitled to “Best Dog Food” and you see that the post is on the 8th page of SERP. But on another website of similar niche, where the article titled “Best Dog Food” was just published with the same topic and is in the 1st position on SERP.

What do you think? Why did this happen to you?

There are a variety of processes or factors behind your website ranking on page 8 and another website number 1 that is known as Google algorithm. Google has many algorithms and around 200 ranking factors, and each algorithm and factor has a different function to deal with the search queries. Some are working solely on search, ranking factors are working to deal with website rankings. For indexing, you will find different algorithms. This is how a specific algorithm word for a particular task.

Why is the algorithm updated?

Google always wants its visitors to show updated, accurate and relevant results. That’s why they always go through an update process. So it can be said that Google updates its algorithms to keep the Updated, Accurate and Relative results in the search results.

There was a time when ranking websites on Google was very easy. Keywords could be ranked by spammy links with content stuffing. But after updating the panda (Google algorithm), Google has put the low-quality content below the search results, keeping the quality content in search results. So that the visitor always finds the best result.

Some of Google’s core algorithms and their functions

It is not known exactly how many algorithms Google has. However, it is assumed that the number is not below 1. You would be surprised to hear that Google brings big updates to the algorithm 3-5 times each year. However, not all of them are big updates. Let’s find out what each of the updates was about and how they work.

1. Panda

Launch date: February 24, 2011
Hazards: Duplicate, plagiarized or thin content; user-generated spam; keyword stuffing

How it works: Panda charges a so-called “quality score” to web pages; this score is used as a ranking factor while measuring then. Originally, Panda was a filter rather than part of Google’s ranking algo. In January 2016, it was added into the core algorithm of Google.

2. Penguin

Launch date: April 24, 2012
Hazards: Spammy or irrelevant links; links with over-optimized anchor text

How it works: Google Penguin’s aim is to down-rank sites whose links it considers manipulative. Penguin has been part of Google’s core algorithm since late 2016. Most importantly, unlike Panda, it operates in real-time.

3. Pirate

Launch date: Aug 2012
Hazards: Pirated content; high volume of copyright infringement reports

How it works: Pirate Update was designed to block sites that have received numerous copyright infringement reports from ranking well in Google search. After the release, the majority of sites affected are relatively high and the most of the well-known websites that made pirated content (such as movies, music, or books) accessible to visitors for free, especially torrent sites.

4. Hummingbird

Launch date: August 22, 2013
Hazards: Keyword stuffing; low-quality content

How it works: Hummingbird assists Google properly interpret search queries and provide the most relevant results that match searcher intent. This is made happen by dint of natural language processing system that relies on latent semantic indexing, co-occurring terms and synonyms.

5. Pigeon

Launch date: July 24, 2014 (US); December 22, 2014 (UK, Canada, Australia)
Hazards: Poor on- and off-page SEO

How it works: Pigeon hits those searches in which the user’s location plays an important role. The update forged closer ties in between the local algorithm and the core algorithm. However, traditional SEO factors are now used to rank local results.

6. Mobile

Launch date: April 21, 2015
Hazards: Lack of a mobile version of the page; poor mobile usability

How it works: Google’s Mobile Update (aka Mobilegeddon) achieves that mobile-friendly pages rank at the top of mobile search. In this case, the pages that are not optimized for mobile are filtered out from the SERPs or severely penalized by making them down-ranked.

7. RankBrain

Launch date: October 26, 2015
Hazards: Lack of query-specific relevance features; shallow content; poor UX

How it works: Basically, this is a part of Google’s Hummingbird algorithm & a machine learning system that helps Google understand the meaning behind search queries. Most importantly, the algorithm serves best-matching search results in response to those queries. However, RankBrain is called the third most important ranking factor.

8. Possum

Launch date: September 1, 2016
Hazards: Tense competition in your target location

How it works: Possum expands your keyword list and does location-specific rank tracking. Now, local businesses need to be targeting more keywords than they used in the past due to the volatility Possum brought into the local SERPs

9. Fred

Launch date: March 8, 2017
Hazards: Thin, affiliate-heavy or ad-centred content

How it works: Fred points websites that break Google’s webmaster guidelines. The majority of affected sites are blogs with low-quality posts which appear to be created mostly to generate ad revenue.

10. BERT Update

Launch date: October 22, 2019
Hazards: Thin, affiliate-heavy or ad-centred content

How it works: BERT helps Google better interpret natural language searches and understand the context much better than ever. The aim of the BERT update is to make the search result most relevant.

Google January 2020 core update

Moreover, the latest of Google’s confirmed updates about the January 2020 core update which began Monday at noon, is now mostly done and rolling out as of Thursday morning, though as with any core update, it may take to two weeks to fully complete.

What do you do with the Google algorithm update?

When the Google algorithm is updated, all the site owners are a little worried, because the website’s ranking may be good or bad. So let’s not know what to do when updating a Google algorithm like this?

First of all, you need to be sure when the Google algorithm update is released because it is very important to know these days. You can keep an eye on the Google Webmaster Help Community for accurate updates on this update.

When you are sure of the date of the update, do not make any new changes to your site until shortly after that date arrives.

Beginning in the week prior to the updated date, target daily visits and keyword rankings on regular Google search consoles and Google Analytics.

In this way, notice the traffic data one week before the update and 2-5 weeks after the update. And it’s best not to make any big changes to the web site at this time.

What is the Google penalty?

Google Penalty is the removal of a website entirely or partially from the Google Indexing or the SERP. Now it can be happened with the entire website or for some specific pages or for certain parts that spread spammy keywords. This penalty may be manually executed by the Google Web Spam team, due to an automatic algorithm update.

How do you identify a penal website?

If you login to the webmaster tool (Google Search Console) of the website, from the menu on the left you will see the manual actions in this option to see if your site has been penalized.

Understand if your site traffic is suddenly abrupt and check for an update release at that time.

Enter your domain name in the Google search bar and see if your domain appears first. If not, then you have to understand that the site is wearing a penalty.

Check the ranking of your different pages to see if they are the same.

Why Google can punish you?

Why Google gives a website a penalty? Searching for the cause of this will create a very large list. Below are a few important reasons –

  • If you have a blackhat SEO technique such as clocking, re-directing to your website.
  • Duplicate content or thin content (content that contains very little information) may result in penalties for your site.
  • Loading time is crucial and if it’s too high, your site may get Google’s algorithmic penalty.
  • Website architecture that is not user-friendly, then Google’s algorithmic penalties can be implemented.
  • Extra spam (low-quality) backlinks can cause your website to be penalized.

What to do if Google algorithm updates lose its ranking?

If the Google algorithm update loses your site ranking, you can do the following.

Your first task is to update the algorithm that Google is coming up with. That is, Google is well aware of the type of websites that targeted the site or niches in those updates, or what keywords were targeted or what kind of link profiles were targeted. You can check out these blogs for information on this update: Search Engine Journal, Search Engine Watch, and Search Engine Round Table.

Now that you know what has changed as a result of the update, now you can better monitor your site and compare your site with the update. Only then will you understand the fault of your site and tailor your site accordingly.

However, you may notice that this update is affecting your entire site or just a few pages. You need to create a website by following Google’s Webmaster Guideline.

Through the discussion above, I have tried to give a detailed idea of ​​Google’s algorithms and algorithm updates. As we already know, Google algorithm updates sometimes take 3-5 weeks, sometimes even a week. So the time has not yet come to clarify the running algorithm update of Google, I will update the post as soon as any information is available.

I hope you like the article. If the content sounds informative, be sure to share it on Facebook and other social media. Any questions you may have through the comments, thanks for your patience going through the post.

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Sazzadul Bari

Digital Marketing Strategist

Sazzadul Bari is the man behind BlogCD, A Compact Disc of Blogs. He is also the owner of WPFame and a digital marketing strategist at WPManageNinja, specializing in content writing and lead gen.

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2 thoughts on “Google Algorithm | What to Do, What Not to Do”

  1. Hello Sazzad,

    This is a great information about Google algorithms. We are experiencing frequent algorithm updates from Google these days so it is important to know the factors behind it. No doubt, satisfying the user via quality content plays the major role to rule the SERPs.

    Along with it, relevancy also started playing major rule these days. The Dog Food example says it all, excellent example. Thanks for this information.

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