Reasons for Various SEO Strategies
Google is well-known for its constantly improved algorithms of search which are targeted to show only relevant search results. From the birth of Google in 1996, the search engine has done a lot of work to provide its visitors with the information that they are looking for.
At the same time, many website owners did their best to appear on the first page. It would be all good if various black-hat methods of SEO were invented and many internet spammers decided to occupy the #1 page with not quality content. This was reason for Google to start making updates which were targeted to increase the quality of Google search results, so only relevant and quality and popular content would take the lead. There are some of these updates:
- 2000 – Google Toolbar launches with its own page ranking. Sites begin to bounce up and down in the Google rankings unpredictably, which began to be called the Google Dance.
- “Boston” 2003 February – Google was still rolling out algorithm updates and index refreshes on a monthly basis. Sites that backlinked each other take a hit while sites that constantly update and have many incoming links are promoted.
- “Cassandra” 2003 April – Addressed hidden text, hidden links and linking between sites owned by the same owners.
- “Dominic” 2003 May – Google did a deep crawl of the web, and reported backlinks changed.
- “Florida” 2003 November – Old tactics like keyword stuffing were now penalized and made SEO an industry. White hat websites (those who follow guidelines) are given some promotion.
- “Austin” 2004 January – Invisible text and meta-keyword stuffing were cleaned up.
- “Brandy” 2004 February – Google begins looking at anchor text, link neighborhoods and synonyms. Google’s stock price doubles in August.
- “Nofollow” 2005 January – Nofollow tag introduced. This attribute tells that a hyperlink should not influence the link target’s ranking in the search engine’s index
- “Allegra” 2005 February – Sites changed rankings but the specifics were unclear. It was meant to remove high ranking spam from the index.
- “Bourbon” 2005 May – Google announced 3.5 updates but it was speculated that this involved how duplicate content and the www subdomain was handled. Google also switched to new data centers.
- “Sitemaps” 2005 June – XML sitemaps can now be submitted, letting webmasters tell Google what the important pages on a site were.
- “Personalized Search” 2005 June – Google taps your search history to adjust your search results.
- “Jagger” 2005 September-November – A series of updates targeting linking practices and made Pagerank updates public.
- “Big Daddy” 2005 December-Feb 2006 – Cleaned up Google’s handling of URLs and linking, though some websites suffer needlessly.
- “Dewey” April 2008 – Results shuffled but no clear factors reported.
- “Vince” 2009 February – Big brands become favored in search results.
- “Caffeine” Summer 2009 – Summer 2010 – Big infrastructure improvements, resulting in quicker indexing and ranking.
- “May Day” May 2010 – From late April into early May, long tail traffic drops for sites with thin content and improves for others.
- “Social” December 2010 – Social signals are officially being used to modify search results.
- “Brand Penalties” January and February 2011 – Overstock and JCPenny were penalized due to black hat tactics.
- “Panda” February through June 2011 – Sites with lots of content but little value, lots of ads and other visitor quality issues were penalized every month ~ about 12% of websites. Even individual penalized pages can drag down a website that was otherwise ranking well.
- “+1 Button” March 2011 – Google account holders can click the +1 button to show their approval of web pages or Google ads. This will affect search results.
- “Schema” June 2011 – Data like addresses are now encouraged to be formatted by Schema.org’s preferences for more standardized search engine indexing.
- “Google +” June 2011 – Google’s most successful social media application launches, with 25 million users within 5 weeks of launch. Business brand name accounts are deleted, though there are plans for these kinds of accounts. There is also a big Google push for using your real name, much like Facebook’s insistence to do the same.
- “Another Panda” July 2011 – Site rankings change but no major updates are announced.
- Panda 2.4 and Analytics Changes August 2011 – Panda was rolled out across the globe, with the exception of a few countries. Google Analytics now counts every keyword visit as a new visit, which should eliminate the zero-views-zero-pages visits being recorded in Analytics. (http://www.seomoz.org/blog/panda-24-and-analytics-session-update-rolled-out-simultaneously)
- Scraper Changes August 2011 – Google put out a call for users to submit known scraper websites so the algorithm can be made to detect them. However, Google can only detect who published their content first. So if your site posts something and it gets copied by another site, your site may be seen as the Scraper if Google crawls the other site first.
- Another Panda Update September 2011 – Google issued another Panda update at the end of September. Early reports indicate that it penalized sites that had shown improvements since the last update and continues to favor big brands. Google has had no comment.
- Ad Choices November 2011 Google is allowing those with Google accounts to control (to some degree) what kind of ads they want to see.
- Google Algorithm Changes January 2012 Web page layouts heavy with ads will get the evil eye and web marketing will have to shape up and be interesting or Google will penalize you.
- Minor Panda Updates February 2012 It is being reported that a number of small Panda adjustments were made during February 2012 , all of which add up to better search results for the user.
- Google Link Crackdown March 2012 Google has stepped up their detection of linking schemes (aka Blog Networks .) Linked sites are being punished.
- Google Panda Penguin Update April 2012 Google attacked webspam content. The best current solution is to have interesting content updated regularly in multiple formats and don’t rely on a single traffic source.
- Penguin update April 2012 The main target of Google Penguin update is to check webspam.
Those multiple updates and evolution of Google search motivated search engine optimization to create multiple SEO strategies which would be natural to Google and will not be contrary to the main idea – show client the information which they are looking for.