Google Algorithm Updates – Your Best Friend

Over the years, we have been seeing new search algorithm changes by Google and each time it shakes up the SEO community. Moz.com provides a timeline of the Google algorithm changes over the years if you’d like to see what they were. But with the most recent update unofficially named “Fred” by Googler Gary Illyes, the SEO community, once again is in an uproar and people are concerned  with potential impact. Here’s a headline from a post on Search Engine Land.

Past Google Algorithm Changes
But are these algorithmic updates really a cause for concern? Let’s take a look at the last 2 major Google algorithm updates, Penguin and Panda.

Google Panda came out in February of 2011 and penalized low quality sites. Sites, for example, that had “thin” content, duplicate content of other sites or were basically content farms. This didn’t provide any value to the user because the quality of the content was so low.

The next update was Google Penguin and was first launched in April of 2012. Penguin was designed to target websites that were trying to game the ranking system by buying links or building links through link farms or networks. Basically trying to build links back to the site regardless if it was relevant or of high value so once again, it wasn’t about the user but rather getting link juice to gain more authority with search engines.

So as you can see the main focus of these updates was to improve search results so that the most useful and relevant pages match up with a user query. By removing the sites with nothing to truly offer users, that only benefits those sites that do provide useful and relevant information. At the end of the day, if a website would focus on the user first and then the search engine results pages second, they would have nothing to fear from algorithm changes.

With this in mind, to answer my earlier question, if there is a concern for those algorithm changes, I would have to say a resounding no. We should not be concerned as long as we are focused on the right things. But for the websites that try to game the system, they definitely should be worried.

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