When the search engines first appeared, ranking in high positions of the search results page was not a particularly hard task. The only thing a site needed then was the use of lots of keywords and many added links. Over the last couple of years, however, lots of changes have taken place. After the latest Google updates, many SEO experts spent numerous sleepless nights trying to outsmart the popular search engine. But what are these updates, and what exactly do they affect?

Panda Update

These updates are among Google’s most common updates. Panda appeared for the first time in February 2011, and since then, some more updates appeared, related to it. The February version gives advantage to sites which have higher quality.

This update thoroughly changed the way in which people create the content of their websites and clearly demonstrated that a higher position in the search results does not only depend on the use of lots of keywords.

Just two months after the first Panda updates, Google released Panda 2.0. It attacked spam content and managed to “hit” even some remarkable sites. The April version showed once again that content has to be quality and relevant in order for the sites to rank better.

The next Panda update happened in September 2011. After the release of Panda 2.5, many sites suffered losses, especially those of mediocre quality.

In May 2014, another version appeared – Panda 4.1, which had the goal of significantly reducing the amount of low-quality content.

Five months after this historic update version, Google made another significant one. It had to do with the additional measures taken against bad content and focused on meaning and exactness. This update version affected over 5% of the overall number of searches. Recently, in July 2014, Google also released Panda 4.2, which gave sites of medium size and high-quality content the opportunity to rank better.

Penguin Update

The first Penguin update appears in April 2012 and has the goal of taking strict measures against black hat SEO practices, such as the overuse of keywords and improper linkbuilding. This update version affected over 3% of the searches. In May 2013, Penguin 2.1 was released, which attacked duplicate content and spam. Measures were taken again black hat SEO methods, for the purpose of fairer optimization.

Colibri Update

In September 2013, Google introduced the Colibri Update. This is a huge step towards the search engine optimization for better user experience, making it useful for each individual. In its core, this update version guarantees that the focus of results is mainly on the words searched as topics, and not as separate phrases. Thanks to this update, the results are predicted based on details such as location, behavior, search history, and other such factors. More attention is paid to more specific queries.

Pigeon Update

This Google update released in July 2014 focused entirely on the local search. It is a step towards ensuring a more specific and relevant search for local queries. This update builds narrower ties between the local search and Google’s first-rate algorithms.

The SEO industry developed fast over the last years, which makes the competition even less predictable. In case you have your own business and want your site to appear on the first page of Google, you should trust the experts in this field, such as the experts from 411 Marketing. Our online marketing agency will help the growth of your business.