Here are the most important Google updates - Explained

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Here are the most important Google updates - Explained

Google Search Algorithm Updates - Probably the most important news an SEO can get from Google, depending on these updates new SEO strategies are developed and some of the old ones are abandoned. Every search result depends on the algorithm and it is vital for webmasters and SEO to understand these updates as best as possible. 
Here are the most important Google updates - Explained
In truth, Google constantly updates the ranking algorithm, but from time to time it releases a major update named after an animal. When this happens, SEO specialists and webmasters go insane and you better start reading what the update is all about and also check your rankings to see if you went up or if Google totally destroyed you rankings, worst still if Google penalized you! 

Here are the most important Google updates of the last 6 years: 

1. Google Panda Update

When it hit: 24 of February 2011

Important notes: This updated was focused on penalizing in ranks copied content, spam related content, websites that did keyword stuffing and duplicate content. 

Later on, in 2016, Panda was fully implemented into Google's algorithm, acting like a quality score, assigned to every page. So in essence, the panda update become a ranking factor.

How to stay safe: Don't plagiarise, stay away from duplicate content by always checking and crawling your website and never stuff your pages with keywords!

2. Google Penguin Update

When it hit: 24 of April 2012

Important notes: Google Penguin hit link and backlinks. If you have a highly optimized keyword based anchor-text backlinks profile Google, in essence, will penalize you. 

How to stay safe: Stay away from irrelevant backlinks and highly optimized anchor-texts. I also suggest you often check your backlink profile to spot any irregularities and low quality/spammy backlinks and disavow them from Search Console. 

3. Google Hummingbird Update

When it hit: 22 of August 2013

Important notes: Hummingbird hit websites with low-quality content but also websites and content that practice keyword stuffing. 

How to stay safe: Focus on overall subjects and niches when it comes to keyword research. Don't stay stuck on the keywords themselves by overusing them in excess. Use a wide range of related keywords as natural as possible. 

4. Google Pigeon Update

When it hit: 24 of July 2014

Important notes: Targeted low-quality on/off-page optimizations, especially for the websites that targeted local searches. 

How to stay safe: Both of your on-page and off-page optimizations should be top notch without any errors or bad user experience. If you target local keywords, on a regional level, make sure your website is registered into local directories and listing pages for a better off-page SEO score. 

5. Google RankBrain Update

When it hit: 26 of October 2015

Important notes: Acts in a similar way with the Hummingbird algorithm update, the only difference is the real-time update and the AI characteristics. Google Rank Brain is capable of learning and changing different factors in the search results. In essence, Google Rank Brain is all about the relevance of the content served to the user with what actual users need. 

How to stay safe: Provide genuine helpful content to people. The goal is to actually fix a problem. Google will see that and rank you appropriately. 

6. Google Possum Update

When it hit: 1 of September 2016

Important notes: The Google Possum Update is all about local searches and how results should differ depending on the user's location. Highly important Google update, from this point on Google, can serve users different information depending on how close they might be to certain businesses. 

How to stay safe: Make sure you include the right local-based keywords in your content A complete local keyword research is necessary. I also suggest implementing location-based structure data so that Google can better grasp your actual location as well as create different feature snippets in search results. 

7. Google Fred Update

When it hit: 8 of March 2017

Important notes: Google has a list of webmaster guidelines, Fred targets those websites that don't respect said guidelines. 

How to stay safe: Read the Google guidelines from Search Console. Make sure you are in order with everything Google asks. Overall make sure your content is of good quality, especially if you have ads displayed on such content-based pages. 


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Thanks for posting this. I'll make sure to have a read on the Fred update because it seems to be an important update that was also quite recent. Do you know when the next Google update may be and what kind of things they may start to think about in terms of our websites and content? Would the update be somewhere near the start of 2018 or do you think it will come at some point later in 2018.

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Nobody knows when the next update will be and what kind of update will it be about. But one thing is for certain though; Google will have a massive ranking update in the early part of 2018 with the switch to mobile first indexing. This is not really a secret and Google had announced the update in the past.

Personally, I consider this update the most significant SEO shift in years and will change the SEO world forever; it will also take old SEO experts that don't understand the importance of mobile out of this business.

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I agree that no one knows except the insiders of Google for the next update. Maybe Google is challenging us with a sort of guessing game not only with the policy update but also with the effect of the SEO work that we do on our site. Based on the experience of others here, the SEO work that you do today may have an effect tomorrow or next week or maybe next month or even longer.

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Yes, I was wondering about that too. I mean Google could change their update schedule at any time, but it is a good bet that they will have one coming out in 2018, maybe sooner rather then later, I think everyone should stay posted for the latest.

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This is really fascinating stuff. Overall really good information, and I'm glad that you added a "how to stay safe" section so we can avoid making crucial mistakes. In the back of my mind I always figured that Google was constantly updating their search algorithms and features, but I never really kept up to date with them. The only change that I was particularly familiar with was the changes made to YouTube's algorithm for monetization and revenue, because it ended up taking down a lot of my favorite creators such as most animators. That being said, I find the update names to be interesting. Most are codenamed with some sort of animal yet the last one is "Fred." It would seem someone at Google has an interesting sense of humor.

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Yeah, It seems like nothing have change in the updates though, because I was really expecting something that was alien to me, but all these listed here, I already know them. Except for the YouTube Algorithm turn over,which you stated here, sad to hear that some channels where taken down.

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What to do part in your post is pretty important. Many among us don't pay attention to this part. And we end up making more mistakes. So it can be said that google ranking takes time. And if we are doing everything normally. And making sure things are properly managed. Then sure it can be done. I think Google updates are interesting way to keep an eye on the new SEO changes. Thanks a lot for sharing that.

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Thank you for this information which you shared with us which I did find interesting and valuable information indeed. Google are always doing new things and updates, I do see as well the google plus for social signals isn't the same as also they do not show as signals now when I check my social signals.

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You did well to bring this compilation to our notice though it really an update to me because I had known about some a friend send to me via our chat group.I wonder what would be their update for the years to come.Thanks for sharing.

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Definitely an eye opener for someone like me that is planning on setting up a blog soon. I can really look at ways that I can avoid some penalties as I try to make my blog contents rank higher on Google.

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Cool, but I think these things are really not new due, it is the basic thing every blogger should know and abide with. Especially the plagiarism aspect of the rules, Google has been sounding this on and on, but it seems that the rule is falling on deaf ears, because I can still find bloggers who's contents reeks of plagiarisms. And this is something Google's crawler hates with passion.

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I often think that the discussions about Google updates get a bit overdramatic. Ultimately, Google is working to bring value to users. When a person performs a search, they expect to find relevant, reliable, and useful information. Everything that Google does is to fulfill that demand. So, if you (the general you) start by creating unique and valuable information, I think you have little to worry about with these updates. Know your target, and develop an understanding of what they are looking for and how they are using search. Then, create content that feeds those needs and demands. All other SEO techniques and strategies then become icing on the cake.

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I really wish to use this opportunity to commend you on the great post that this is, the time and effort input towards its content write up is perfectly done and very informative. It's definitely going to be of great importance to all Google users and myself included.

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I began writing online regularly since 2010, and I have been hit by every Google updates. When the first update, the Panda update hit, I did not know what was this all about. At that time I was publishing on Hubpages and everyone talked about this updates, however, I had few articles on hubpages and it did not matter much. The second update, the Penguin update also did not affect me much because at that time I was more focused on opinionated articles that brought visitors from social media rather than search engines. When the Hummingbird update hit, it did not affect me either. I was taking training on SEO, and I already
knew how to survive the update. In fact none of my articles were affected because I already knew how I can remain unaffected.

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Do you mean to say that those Google updates on its functions with SEO can greatly affect the rankings of a website? What if you are not aware of those Google animals, I don’t think you can fully abide with the new policy. I guess that it the importance of an SEO specialist because he can fully explain how those policies work against your ranking on the search engine list that probably you have been missing a lot if you don’t know about those updated policies.

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The dreaded Google algorithm always takes people out. People are always dreading it and they seem to have one every year or every few years. That is the problem with a monopoly they grow to big and start to operate as a monster. They don't really care about people because they think that you need them more then they need you. All I can say is that we should start using other search engines to take back our power.I'm sure that these updates will continue, waiting for 2018.

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Thanks for posting this. Can I ask if you know when is the next update and what are probably its content. Fred update is such an important update and probably read it if I have a free time. again thanks for sharing this wonderful information.

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