Know More about Google Algorithms!!!

In general terms, algorithms refer to a particular set of rules which are applied to solve a problem in specific number of steps. In computer language, an algorithm helps the computer to perform a certain task. In fact, Google algorithms also follow the same rule as a simple algorithm does. When we perform search on Google, it generates as many as millions of results to select from. Here, search algorithms decide on the sequence of the results and also what kind of results to be displayed. In fact, Google has a complex set of algorithms for generating search results which gets updated on a regular basis.

When the algorithms deal with a particular web page, it assigns a pre-defined numerical value for each and every attribute it looks for on that page. This value is then added to the final outcome. In this way, the web page which follows the required set of traits put forward by the algorithms will be able to make it to the top in the search engine results list.

Some of the Google algorithms are listed below:

1. Google Hummingbird

This Google search algorithm places its emphasis on synonyms as well as context. In fact, since Hummingbird has the ability to judge the context, it can easily judge the intention of the user who conducts a particular search so that it can understand what type of data he is looking for. This concept is known by the name 'semantic search'. Unlike the former search algorithms which laid emphasis on each and every word in a search query, Hummingbird focuses on each word and also, how it influences the structure of a particular query. Further, Hummingbird aims at giving a human touch to the interactions by focusing on the relation between keywords and the concept as a whole. In addition, it gives more importance to the content of the page, thus generating more relevant search results. In this way, Google provides the users the most suitable web page, instead of a home page or a page which offers higher ranking.

To understand the full purpose of Hummingbird, it is essential to get an idea about some important aspects of search engines like knowledge graph as well as semantic search. Knowledge graph refers to a set of SERP (Search Engine Result Page) features which offer support in delivering quick, accurate results to the user queries regarding places, people, and things. As mentioned above, semantic search works on matching the suitable SERP results to the language used in the search queries, rather than only the synonyms of specific keywords, thus seeing it in a broader light. As far as website owners are concerned, they should ensure that natural language is used widely in their content in order to comply with the standards of Google Hummingbird.

2. Google Mobile-friendly Update

Here, the focus of Google is to improve the rankings of the pages which are mobile-friendly, when the mobile search results are taken into consideration. An advantage of this update is that the users can easily locate relevant results of high quality, in which the users are offered readable text without the need for zooming or tapping. Further, this update is applicable only for rankings on mobile devices and it influences the search results on a global basis. Another aspect of this update is that it applies only for individual web pages and not for the entire website. Further, if the pages of your website are not mobile-friendly, it can have a major impact on the mobile traffic offered by Google search. However, once the site becomes mobile-friendly, the pages are reprocessed automatically with respect to crawling and indexing.

3. Google Panda

This algorithm gives preference to websites which are of high quality and further, invalidates the presence of low-quality websites as far as Google search results are concerned. Initially known as "farmer", it tried to address several problematic areas with regard to SERPs such as:

  • Duplicate Content- This refers to copied content which can be viewed on Internet circles more than once. Further, duplicate content can also be present in your site if you have several pages which offer similar content.

  • Thin Content - This is about irrelevant and poor text as well as resources. For example, a small set of pages which talks about different health conditions, with only one or two sentences provided on each page.

  • Content Lacking Authority or Trustworthiness - Here content is mainly provided by unauthorized sources.

  • Content Farming - These are low-quality pages which are accumulated mostly from other websites.

  • Content which Mis-matches Search Query - There are certain pages which 'promise' to offer relevant content, but fails to deliver so when the users click on the search results.

4. Google Penguin

Following the footsteps of Panda, the Penguin update rewards high quality websites and reduces the occurrence of websites which are involved in malpractices like manipulating links, keyword stuffing, etc. in the search engine results pages. While manipulating links, the webmasters develop or purchase backlinks from low-quality websites which contains irrelevant content and create an artificial image of relevance and popularity so as to manipulate the search engine rankings provided by Google. In keyword stuffing, a web page is either overly crowded with several keywords or mere repetitions of keywords in order to manipulate rankings.

5. Google Pigeon

Google Pigeon refers to a local search algorithm update. It focuses upon improving the ranking of local listings in a search. This update can also cause a huge impact on the search results displayed in Google Maps along with general search results generated by Google. In fact, Pigeon mainly lays focus on local search results. This aspect is quite beneficial for users as well as local businesses. On the day of its release, there were mixed responses from webmasters. While some complained about decrease in rankings, others reported improvement in the same. Further, this search algorithm included distance and location in its task.

6. Google Payday

Google Payday Loan includes a particular set of algorithm updates as well as data restores of the search engine Google which is introduced to spot and penalize websites which employ search engine-related spam techniques (also referred to as Black Hat SEO) so as to improve their rankings for specific search queries which are treated as "spammy".

Google launched the Payday Loan algorithm to expel low quality websites which make use of different spam techniques to improve their rankings for search keyword phrases which attract heavy traffic like payday loans, gambling and drug, prescription medicines, and so on. What makes this algorithm special is that in comparison to other updates like Penguin, Pigeon, Panda, etc., it does not emphasize on content or backlinks. On the other hand, Google uses this update mainly to target markets and search queries which employ spammy SEO techniques excessively. In fact, the goal of this algorithm is to improve the quality of particular search results in which the spam content is relatively high.

7. Google Pirate

This penalty-based update was introduced to tackle reports of copyright infringement and impose a penalty on such websites with dropping their search rankings. After the introduction of Google Pirate, Google has made remarkable progress in denying accessibility through Google for websites which violate copyright rules.

8. Google Top Heavy Update

This update by Google blocks sites which are "top heavy" with advertisements from obtaining high rankings in the search engine results page. In fact, Top Heavy is updated on a periodical basis. When Google releases a fresh update with regard to Top Heavy, the websites which have eliminated excessive ads could reclaim their position in the search engine ranking list. This update also known as the 'Page Layout' algorithm, places emphasis on sites which have unwanted, excessive ads above the fold or those which offer hardly any valuable content to the user. Another interesting aspect of this algorithm is that it encourages the webmasters to be extra cautious about giving more importance to the users.

In short, the Google algorithms offer a great learning experience for both the webmasters as well as SEO enthusiasts, showing them the right direction to move upwards in the search engine results pages.

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