Search Engine Updates. What do they mean?

And let's be real - We're mainly talking about Google.

guy writing code

Google has been the leader in the search engine field since the early 2000's. This article will be focused on them and their updates specifically, but keep in mind that the other search engines are copying what they do, at a slower speed. 

How do search engines work?

First off, a search engine is a system of gathering, analyzing, storing content from the internet and then retrieving relevant pages based on search queries. Here is the breakdown of it in order.

  1. Crawling – where content is found. 
  2. Indexing – where it is analyzed and stored.
  3. Retrieval – where a user query fetches a list of relevant pages.

Search engines rely heavily on improvements or updates in the code or algorithms to improve the effectiveness over time.

Google Updates: Panda, Penguin, and Hummingbird?


Despite having cute names for their algorithm updates – What do they actually mean and
improve for the end user?

Panda- The main reason for this roll-out was to filter out the lower quality sites for ranking above the higher quality ones.

Penguin- The penguin algorithm was set in place to battle against black-hat SEO techniques.  There were several things that they looked for and still do.  Get educated on these rules.

Hummingbird- Even though named after  a bird, this was implemented to verify that the sites are interacting in a more human way.


But, what does this mean to me or my business?

The most important takeaway is that you shouldn't try gaming the system or letting anyone game it on your behalf. It’s not a matter of ‘If,’ it’s a matter of ‘When’ search engines will catch on.

The next Google update is called Rank Brain 1

and gaming beyond this update will become impractical. Our best advice to clients is to write content that is helpful to your audience and build a site structure that is human and computer friendly.

  1.  Rank Brain is an artificial intelligence (AI) program used to help process Google search queries. RankBrain uses artificial intelligence to embed vast amounts of written language into mathematical entities, called vectors, that the computer can understand. Source: Google Rank Brain: What is it and how will it affect SEO?

This post is about: SEO

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