Google is a multinational company that provides internet related services. It is built around the company’s hugely popular and successful search engine. In the business sector, websites rely heavily on the Google search engine for SEO purposes. Now, Google is always tweaking its search engine system, which keeps landing these business websites in hot water. We can see through past records that many online businesses have been wiped out of competition in rankings due to major Google algorithm updates.
Google’s Matt Cutts has confirmed that Google in average makes 1 change per day to the search algorithm. They don’t release those changes each day but actually release them in sets as major updates or changes. In 2015 itself, some major Google algorithm updates were the RankBrain, Panda 4.2, The Quality Update and Mobilegeddon. The last Google Penguin update was on October 14, 2014. It affected SERP in terms of bad and junky links. So, it’s only natural that 2015 was abuzz with predictions that Google was to roll out another Penguin update, the Google Penguin 4.0 at the end of the year. However, that still hasn’t happened yet.
During the second week of January this year, search results faced major fluctuations. Websites on top were thrown off their ranks and relatively average websites rose to the frontlines. Because the SERP changes were so tense, the SEO community quickly concluded it to be the highly anticipated Google Penguin update. We all guessed it was the Google Penguin update. As Google confirmed it, now we know that it was only a core algorithm update along with Panda algorithm fused into it. Yes, the Panda algorithm is now a part of Google’s core algorithm. We will now only see the effects of the Panda updates in future as results of the core search algorithm.
The effects of this new core algorithm change are evident but the conclusion is still not clear. Websites with content containing brand keywords seem to have suffered heavy visible losses. On the other hand, brands have experienced an enhancement in rankings. For instance, if a non-Shazam website was ranking page 1 for “shazam” or “www.shazam.com”, then it wouldn’t rank as highly anymore as a result of this change. So, the algorithm update may be related to how Google handles brands and use of brand related keywords. It wasn’t surely link oriented or domain name oriented, it was definitely keyword related. Another account could be user intent. Sharp quality content is not enough as it must also fulfill the user’s objective for visiting your website and reading your content. It must fulfill the complete user experience. The rise in the ranking of educational game sites backs this up.
2016 has just started and we know that Google is going to roll out other key updates soon, potentially the Penguin 4.0 first. This will obviously result in further volatility in page rankings. What you can do to resist these changes and maintain your ranking in SERP is to make sure that you raise your website standards in terms of quality content, quality links along with appropriate tags, titles, keywords and meta keywords. Algorithms are intended to improve search results for users and Google just wants to ensure that users are getting access to sincere services. As long as you are devising websites based on good user experience, you will get along with Google in 2016 and in return, Google will get along with you.