Why does Google release updates? Among many reasons that come to mind, one that seems most important from the marketer’s perspective is that Google wants to gauge user experience through the updates. Since marketers are keen to address issues related to customer experience that help them win customers, Google updates acquire special significance for them. It is imperative that complying with updates is an easy way to remain assured of enhanced customer experience. Marketers and SEO companies like Gilbert Arizona SEO Company have to stay alerted and agile and be proactive in minimizing the adverse effects of updates on rankings instead of reacting to the effects of updates.
To stay proactive against Google updates, besides focusing on user experience, you must also pay attention to quality content, which would automatically render the SEO and marketing campaigns update compliant even without knowing much about what it pertains to. Broadly, there are two categories of Google updates – some aimed at weeding out poor quality content and improve its quality, and some updates help Google in a better understanding of user experience. Interestingly, user experience seems to be the bottom line of all updates. In this article, we will discuss some Google updates that have created a major impact on content development.
It has been seven years since Panda update was launched in the month of February 2011 and remains one of the highest impacting Google updates along with Penguin that followed the next year. The update prevents websites with low-quality content from ranking. Websites that have too many advertisements use spammy content and duplicate content is poor quality sites that attract Panda penalties. This takes us back to the core point that websites that use quality content are quite comfortable even when Panda is on the prowl. By focusing on quality content, sites automatically stay insulated from Panda penalties. Quality content carries enough value because it is well researched and backed by authentic information that readers seek so that they find it interesting. Since Panda is now a part of Google’s core search ranking algorithm, it is likely to be refreshed more often and help those sites recover that suffer from Panda penalties.
Google wants to present the best quality content in search results and not stopping at launching Panda bolstered its initiatives with the launch of Penguin update in April 2012. Penguin targets spammy links because these created quite a setback in Google’s endeavor to serve quality content to users. Since Google considered backlinks as a sign of authority of websites, which in turn influenced search rankings, manipulators who wanted to beat Google at its own game started hoarding links with complete disregard to its quality, and it jeopardized Google’s efforts of presenting quality content. Penguin ended the clandestine practice as the quality of links prevailed over quantity. There is no scope of earning artificial ranks, and the way forward is to build quality backlink profiles acquired organically. This is possible only when websites use quality content that naturally attracts others who feel interested and share links.
The Hummingbird update launched in 2013 although addresses the issue of enhancement of Google’s capabilities to handle semantic searches; once again brought to the fore the close relationship between content and Google updates. The pattern of search queries kept changing and gradually it resembled conversational queries as if we ask questions to others. The most important aspect of these search queries is to find an answer to it; Google had to consider both the intent and context of the query. No more could Google just match keywords to present search results.
Since the search intent was on Google’s radar, the content also must possess it so that Google can match it. This necessitated changes in content so that the intent reflects in the content by taking into consideration what users are interested in and what their learning intentions are. Content development now has to consider the reasons underlying the choice of keywords and address it develop content accordingly.
The major Google update of 2015 was the Mobile Update. The update that happened in April was Google’s recognition of the dominance of mobile devices in influencing user behavior as well as search. It made responsive web design almost mandatory because it became a necessity for demonstrating mobile friendliness of websites and not doing it would impact visibility adversely. Since the mandate was to enhance the user experience by considering what mobile users wanted to do online the content structure had to change so that long form content can be displayed conveniently on small screens. The content was broken into multiple paragraphs for ease of reading on mobile devices. The fascination of mobile users for local content also brought about a change in content.
Since all updates have links to content, staying focused on producing quality content is the only way to drive away the fear of being hit by updates.