Google, the worldâ€™s most popular search engine has made some remarkable changes in the past few months. Many of these changes have changed the face of search engine optimization. It would be interesting to step back in time and turn the pages of Googleâ€™s book to see how these actions have impacted SEO.
1. Major Penguin Update: The first significant change was the update of the Penguin 2.0 algorithm on May 22. In general, Googleâ€™s Penguin updates are aimed at weeding out unnatural linking practices and spamming. With Penguin 2.1, Google made its detection and filtering technology even more sophisticated.
2. In-depth Articles: Google launched in-depth articles in August.Â Googleâ€™s research found that about 10% of the searchers require something more than a quick answer. When a user searches for something, the Google will provide a block of results under the title. Results typically appear as an image (from the article), title, description, and either a publisher name or domain name. This will increase the payoff from the Author Rank as well as Publisher Rank. Google provides the following example of the results for a search pertaining to â€˜censorshipâ€™:
3. Hummingbird: On September 26, Google came out with Hummingbird. Hummingbird rewards relevant content by understanding the meaning behind the words. It is milestone for Google as it understands conventional search queries much better instead of just relying on keywords alone. For example, if you search for ‘pizzas in New York City’ in a search engine (other than Google), you will get the results that include either of the two words or both words â€˜pizzasâ€™ and â€˜New York Cityâ€™ (Bing results are given below).
The same query on Google would give you the pizza shops in New York City as well as photos and a map with their locations, though you havenâ€™t mentioned pizza shops in your query:
4. Secure Search: Google cut off keyword data. After a series of changes that resulted in a rise in â€˜not providedâ€™ data, Google made all organic searches secure with encrypted HTTPS. No keyword data is passed on to site owners. So users can no longer track users based on their keyword searches.
5. Dying PageRank: For the very first time in the history, Google has not updated the Page Rank. It is clear from the past reviews that Google used to update PageRank for every 3 months or so. This will affect website owners who continue to use PageRank as a measure of their siteâ€™s performance. Other measures will come into play if Google does not update PageRank.
6. Authorship Tag: Authorship tag connects the articles to their original author via Google Plus. The connection is done using rel=”author” tag. With this tag, the search engine results page will display your content and put your name and face to your content â€“ taken from your Google Plus profile.
7. Google Plus Marketing: Google Plus was launched in 2011, but has emerged as a leading social network and online marketing platform. Google launches new applications that integrate Google+ with search results. So an active presence on Google Plus holds great SEO value.
The important changes made by Google in the recent past will increase the importance of quality content and backlinking best practices for search engine optimization. Studying the past can help define the future. A professional SEO company can help you see the way ahead.