20.04.2017 - Thursday

Latest Google Updates That Has Stirred Up The SEO Community


SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a methodology that seeks to improve the traffic of a website by increasing the website’s visibility in the search engines organic results. Adapting this process leads to more traffic as the website appear higher in the search results for the information related to the website’s offerings. Every year Google changes the search algorithm about 500-600 times. While most of the changes are minor, sometimes they rolls out a “major” update for e.g. Google panda and Google Penguin which impacts search results significantly. Being aware of the Google updates can help the search marketers in improving rankings and ultimately the search engine optimization.

Google SEO Updates &Algorithm Changes In 2017

Google Hummingbird Update

Google announced the Hummingbird Update on August 2013 which is designed to have a better focus on the meaning behind the words. This Google update expands the Knowledge graph to help the search engine to comprehend the relationship between concepts and can provide answers to the queries which do not necessarily have simple answers. Before the introduction of Humming bird update inputting a complex questions provided results which were relevant to the keywords in the question but not actually the answer for the searched question.

The knowledge graph of this update helps in a search which is a follow up one in reference to a previous search. While making a follow up search the Google will understand that in accordance with the previous search instead of treating the query as a separate question. Humming bird update pays more attention to every word in a query on the whole sentence basis or meaning rather than on particular words. The aim is to make the pages meaning do better instead pages matching a few words.

Google Mobile Friendly Update

Google introduced its mobile friendly search algorithm update on April 21, 2015 to contribute a boost to the mobile friendly web pages in Google’s mobile search results. The basic idea of this update is to provide with the mobile users a better search experience and increases ranking signal to find more relevant mobile friendly pages. Even though majority of web pages content is readable without zooming, yet some pages show intrusive interstitials to users. This may frustrate the users as they are not able to access the content easily. Those pages showing intrusive interstitials deliver a poorer experience to the users. To overcome this, Google announced this Mobile friendly update with the intention of ensuring the mobile searchers to access the content they expect to see when they land on Google’s page for search results.

Google Panda Update

Google Panda update is one of the most provocative algorithm update from Google and refreshes the search engine to refine the search algorithm to enhance the value of search query results for users. This update is concentratedmajorly on making certain that low quality and poor content websites are pushed further down to facilitate higher quality websites receive priority exposure. They chose a core group of websites and handed over those websites to “Quality raters” who review the websites. These reviews comprised of a survey where the quality raters answered some intuitive questions. Then it scans a large set of data for these questions. Panda seeks to bypass or eliminate unnecessary comparisons and computations, therefore reducing the overall number of calculations needed to find out the best match for a specific desired solution. When Google required developing a set of ranking signals which would separate the websites into “High Quality” and “Low Quality”, this Quality rater survey was used to divide into such a segregated plane.

Google Penguin Update

Google Penguin algorithm was released in April 2012, which is an algorithm that aimed at targeting websites which use low-quality link schemes to rank high in Google search. This focuses on decreasing the ranking of websites which violate the web master guidelines of Google and artificially increase rankings using black hat SEO techniques by purchasing links through some wrong practices. Prior to this Penguin update websites used some negative external link building tactics to score high ranking and increase traffic. But after the update it clearly implied that content was very important and those websites with incredible content will be recognized on the other hand spammy content would be punished. Thus this update did a pretty job of devaluing lower quality links from obvious link sources.

Google Pigeon Update

Google’s new local algorithm of Google Pigeon Update propelled on July 24, 2014 has taken local search to an entire new level of specificity and accuracy. This update goal is to offer enhanced local search with improved location and distance based ranking parameters. Contrasting to Penguin and Panda updates, this is not a penalty based one, but is a core change for local search ranking algorithm. After this update some of the local businesses may have noticed an increase or decrease in referrals, business and leads of the website. The modifications done by this update can be visible within the Google Maps search results and Google Web search results. The main purpose of this Pigeon update is give preferences to local search results in the search engine and thus extremely beneficial for local businesses.

Google Payday Update

Google Payday Update launched on June 11, 2013 is a new algorithm update that is focused to filter out lower quality websites which were using spammy techniques to boost rankings for heavily trafficked search key word queries like pornographic or payday loans or similar heavily spammed queries. Hence high quality websites will get recognized and get more preferences as they absolutely deserves. And users will get the benefit of getting easily what they need without coming across the annoying or irrelevant stuff. Hence through this payday update Google identify and penalize websites which use black hat or spamdexing techniques to improve ranking.

Google Pirate Update

Google Pirate update was introduced on August 2012. This update is a filter to prevent websites having many copyright infringement reports and assure rights holders. Google Pirate updates impacts the websites those use search keywords like “download free movies”, “online free movie”, and “movie download”. This may sound good news for the owner of a legitimate website. Piracy websites scoring a higher ranking than legitimate website is changed by this Pirate update. As the search engines are being ripe for picking up free music and movies, Google desires to make sure that it stays on the good side of entertainment groups.

Google EMD (Exact Match Domain) Update

Google rolled out a new algorithm update on September 2012, Google EMD (Exact Match Domain) in which they will penalize the low-quality exact match domains. Before exact match domains benefited the advantage of keywords in the URL and drive extra traffic with the exact monthly searches for the Keyword. In addition exact match domain usage gives the benefit of achieving rank easily with low-quality content. An Exact Match Domain is one that exactly matches a search query which will drive traffic to the website. For example , if the website name is Buyjeansonline.com, the search query buy jeans online is a beneficial search term and by calling the website as like this it mean a short cut to the top of a SERP.

Google Top Heavy Update

Google Top Heavy update was introduced in January 2012 to avoid websites that were loaded “top heavy” with advertisements from positioning as well in Google search listings. Since Google is all about providing the best matches to their users, their quality team do not like it is hard for viewers to access the content they need. The objective of this update is to make users search experience more efficient and quick, facilitating them to reach the content for what they are looking for. Google, in their quest to deliver a more user-friendly experience, also target low authority websites with this update.


Now the digital world is more hyped-up, energetic and influential than ever. It is as well more focused and competitive. With the end goal of achieving high search engine rankings in Search Engine result page and to maintain them, it is a must to take after the latest SEO updates. This will be the initial move towards staying conscious of the latest SEO trends and remaining focused. The future is indeed promising for those who cope with latest SEO updates.