The occupation known as Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is about the same age as me. Unlike me, it has become a common term in many businesses. It’s no mystery why it has really taken off in the last decade. Businesses want to be the “go-to” place for their customer needs; and today, these ‘needs’ are searched for online.
It is up to SEO to help make your website visible. But in the world of SEO, the platform for optimizing is constantly changing thanks to Google algorithms. Understanding what each algorithm is looking for is an essential part to making the first page of Google or the second.
Let’s take a look at a few of the main algorithms.
Panda, the first of the four algorithm updates up so far, was released in 2011. Unlike the other updates, the Panda update was named after a Google engineer: Navneet Panda. It is him we should thank for the rest of the updates being named after animals also.
The main objective of Panda is content; and if you think of bamboo as content, then the animal is not so different from the algorithm. For the times when a panda is awake, it is consuming and consuming and consuming. It will stay in an area where there is a lot to eat so it will not have to move. So, fill your website with good ‘bamboo’ for the Panda algorithm to digest and it will find it useful. It is as black and white as that.
Another animal and algorithm that is black and white, is the Penguin. This little animal needs to bear with its other friends to stay warm in the cold of winter. The bigger the cluster of penguins, the warmer they all will be.
Think of each penguin as a valuable link. The more links, the warmer they will be. However this is only true for penguins. If a polar bear or walrus were to join the cluster, there would be a threat to the whole group. The Penguin algorithm follows the same process. Good links receive an added bonus, whereas unnatural links can hurt you badly.
Unless you are a major company who can win basic keyword searches, you probably have to get creative with long-tail key phrases that people may search for. The Hummingbird update rewards websites who can be the answer to the question being asked.
If you are a small business, be like a hummingbird when optimizing your website (never thought I would say that). Be “colorful” with the word choice you use for your long-tail keyword.
Did I save the best for last? No. I hate pigeons. They are one of the only birds that don’t migrate (so you see them almost all year round) and they are extremely abundant and noticeable in cities. So I am not happy with the choice of name, but it does suit it well.
The Pigeon algorithm is the most recent Google update and quite important for small businesses. It gives an advantage to local businesses for searches about goods and services. This does not mean that just because you are geographically closer to a customer that they will come see your website on Google. The other algorithms have a much bigger part to play in the SEO process.
Remember: Algorithms are updated regularly
Now that you are familiar with some of the Google algorithms and how they affect rankings, it is important to be on the lookout for the next update. Google has been cranking out changes in the last few years to improve search engine results. Each change affects rankings.
Note: How did I choose a topic to write about? Well through lame association. Last week I wrote about “Game of Thrones” which stars Emilia Clarke who is going to be in “Terminator Genisys” which has an evil company named Skynet and Google is the real life Skynet. Plus Google really influences SEO with all its updates.