A Brief History of Google's SEO Algorithm Changes

Scripted’s talented community of freelance writers have a variety of expertise and specialties. While many of our customers hire writers to execute their content marketing strategy, our writers deliver high-quality content in many formats. You can find content writers, blog writers, ghostwriters, and SEO writers all with experience in your niche.

The following is a an example of a Search Marketing SEO blog post:

Google is constantly evolving to pre-empt and counter advances in SEO. Here are the biggest algorithm changes to search engine optimization.

The average internet user sees infrequent Google updates, often labeled with cute names like panda or penguin.  However, the vast majority of updates — hundreds of every year — go unnamed, unpublicized and, often, unknown. In the past five years, there have been countless changes to the programming that makes Google's search so effective, but these are the most well-known:See also: Sudden Drop in Traffic? It Might Be Google's Algorithmic Penalty

August 2009: Google Caffeine Preview

This wasn't yet the full version of what Google Caffeine would become, but it gave users a glimpse into the new settings. Caffeine was designed to deliver speedy results, thanks to a larger index and quicker ranking that could be computed in real-time. With this updated algorithm, even in the beta stage, Caffeine was twice as fast as the previous search program. This expansion was critical for web developers using SEO tactics since more pages than ever could be indexed and ranked.

April 2010: Google Places

Google Places replaced the Google Local Business Center, which aligned the search results for place names more closely with local listings. The most important change brought by this algorithm update was the ability of small local businesses to put themselves on Google Maps and gain page ranking. Suddenly it became incredibly important for small businesses to embrace SEO techniques that included their location.

December 2010: Social Signals

The Social Signals algorithm change was long expected of Google as the onslaught of social media gripped the world. With this update, Google confirmed that it would be using information from Facebook and Twitter to rank search listings. SEO, therefore, became important not only on individual websites, but on one's social media pages as well.

February 2011: Panda/Farmer

The Panda/Farmer update turned SEO on its head, with its goal penalizing content farms and poorly-executed websites with repetitive content. Prior to this update, marketers could pay increasingly low rates to content farms who churned out dozens and hundreds of low-quality articles per day. So long as they peppered their work with keywords, Google rewarded those sites with higher rankings. The Panda/Farmer update changed the focus from quantity to quality. Panda continued to be reworked and updated throughout 2011 and beyond.

April 2012: Penguin

Penguin was a further attempt to devalue content stuffed with keywords and place quality content higher in search results. Penguin was equipped to better recognize repetitive "spun content" and the buying and selling of links.

July 2013: The Knowledge Graph Expansion

The Knowledge Graph is a Google application that attempts to find semantic meaning in a web search. The KG amasses information from many sources. In July, the KG-assisted search results expanded by 50 percent with an unexpected algorithm update from Google. In terms of SEO, the context of a keyword became more vital.

August 2013: Hummingbird

With the Hummingbird update, Google sought to have its search engines work more effectively for mobile — specifically voice — queries. The order of the words took on a more important role, as Google had discovered that people using voice browsers tended to form their query as a question. Hummingbird directly affected mobile-based SEO so that Google could work more effectively on smartphones and tablets.See also: How to Optimize Your Site for Voice SearchIn the coming years, the panda update is expected to be incorporated into the main Google search algorithm while more mobile-focused updates take place. As in the past, Google headquarters will likely continue to update the search engine regularly without so much as a press release. The major changes that affect business and individual SEO content, however, will probably feature in the headlines of technology news as they have in prior years.

To Read More About SEO, See Below:

Apps Dominate Web Activity, Where is Your Mobile Content?Is Your Content High or Low Quality?The Benefits of Semantic Markup on Google Local Search

Powered by Scripted.com

Miranda G.

Miranda G.

San Miguel de Cozumel, Quintana Roo, Mexico

I'm a Canadian expat (read: immigrant) living in the beautiful Mexican Caribbean. I love cats, food, travel, music, and I'm an excellent source for optimized SEO content! My work has been printed in the Wiltshire Gazette and Herald, Playboy, Earth Island Journal, Be a Freelanc...

Jobs Completed 806 Customer Ratings 2 Job Success 777/806 (96%)

Other content marketing examples from Miranda G.

Cozumel’s Deer, Once Feared Locally Extinct, Found Living in the Jungle

Recent sightings ignite hope for species thought to have disappeared from the Mexican island It h... Read More

How Small Businesses Can Create a Community on Mobile Devices

Having a mobile marketing presence has seen increasing importance with the increase in usage of m... Read More

EPA Budget Cuts Could Mean Even Less Safety Testing for Pesticides

There’s bad news this month for anti-pesticide activists who were hoping the Environmental Protec... Read More

The Politics of International Work and Travel

Want to travel the world? Great! All you need is money and the right documentation. No problem, r... Read More

Similar content marketing examples from other writers

Is SEO Copywriting a Relic of the Past?

I’m a journalist and writer – it’s what I do. I’m not a marketing agent, I’m not a web designer a... Read More

Sogni Di Cristallo, Beautifully Handcrafted Murano Glass!

Ancient Venetian Glass-making Techniques and the Sogni Di Cristallo Vintage Collection*This post ... Read More

When Violating SEO Rules Makes Sense

Buzzfeed and Upworthy-style websites seemingly break all the normal rules of SEO—they don't use t... Read More

Three Tips for Using Social Media to Market Your Niche Website

Three Tips for Using Social Media to Market Your Niche Website If you run a niche website, you ... Read More

Four Great Sources For Valuable Business and Marketing Trends (July 2015)

When I start my monthly writing process for the Kennebec Valley Chamber, the first thing I do is ... Read More

What are the Best Small Business Tools for Social Media Marketing?

Today, it’s virtually impossible to run a small business without being on social media.According ... Read More