On May 23, Google turned our world upside down.
Over the past couple of years, the world’s biggest search engine has slowly overhauled it’s algorithm, the complex and secret system they use to rank websites and deliver search results. Through a series of adjustments beginning with an update called Panda in February 2011 and followed by Penguin in April 2012, they have introduced new ranking factors and downgraded others. These changes have resulted in the demoting of entire sites that Google considered to be of ‘low quality’ and improving the rankings of sites that met its criteria for a high quality site.
And now, they’ve changed the search landscape again, with a new update to Penguin that targets poor-quality links such as those from link farms, an increased focus on ‘social authority’ and relevancy, and over-optimized anchor text on links. The latter targets companies who have paid for SEO services that include setting up perfectly optimized links simply to increase site rankings. You’ve seen their ads: “We’ll get you to the top of Google!” The Google update may even look at how quickly links are added to a site, where spikes in link acquisition signal an effort to acquire links to improve rankings rather than a focus on quality content.
Why does Google make these changes? Money, of course. Advertisers want to be where their customers are. To remain the most reliable search engine and keep people using it, Google has to continue providing relevant results. When overly-optimized sites with information of questionable value land at the top of the rankings, people begin to look elsewhere to find the information they seek. Google's aim is to allow those sites whose content best answers a searcher's query to naturally rise to the surface.
If your site is built well, your content is relevant and people link to your website from social media like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Pinterest, you will likely sail through this latest update without any problem. If you’re not sure how well your site is working for you, contact us at for a current assessment of your website.