The Major Google Updates That Have Impacted Seo | Search Munky

- Kaushal Mallya

The Google algorithm is updated a few thousand times every year. These unnoticeable changes are usually accompanied by a major annual update, redefining how all websites are ranked. That's why it is important to know more about what these updates are, their effects and what can be done to prepare for future updates.

Want to see if an update has affected your website? You can do so easily with a good SEO checker online. Why, though, does the algorithm need so many updates? Google is the world's leading search engine because of its accuracy and speed. With its cutting-edge algorithm, even complex searches can be conducted in less than a second. But to maintain that efficiency, the algorithm has to be updated frequently. Here are some of the major updates.

Panda Update, 2011

This update aimed to punish websites with repeating content and poor user metrics. Named after Googler Navneet Panda, this update counteracted the decrease in search quality after the previous Caffeine update (which focused more on the search speed). Websites with repetitive content and poor backlink profiles were the most affected. User metrics were majorly used for the first time in this update to target websites with repeating content and lower user retention.

Mobilegeddon update, 2015

This update ranked mobile-friendly websites higher, incentivizing a better user experience for mobile users. With the surge in mobile searches, Google, for the first time, started to consider a website's 'mobile-friendliness'. So websites that didn't use flash, had 'mobile friendly' font size and used content that could be adapted to different sizes were preferred.

Medic Update, 2018

This update aimed to improve money or medical-related advice by not giving preference to sites with no Expertise, Authority or Trust (E-A-T )Websites with important life-altering decisions, commonly known as 'Your Money or Your Life' sites, were affected by this update. Sites with unsubstantial medical advice, vitamin retailers with no concrete proof etc. saw a substantial drop in their rankings.

Google January 2020 core update

This was an extension of the medic update, further penalising low credibility websites. Primarily concerning websites in the health and finance sector, this update further zeroed in on websites with low credibility based on their backlink profiles. It furthered the scope of the previous Medic update.

Google May 2020 core update

This update further emphasized the importance of E-A-T and content factors. Closely related to E-A-T factors, it redefined the ranking rules, placing more importance on content, brand factors and user data. Larger businesses benefited from this update whereas YMYL sites with potentially untrustworthy information on health and finance were penalized.

There are bound to be many major SEO changes. How do you tackle them? Here are some key points to focus on, to keep pace with the ever-changing SEO landscape:

  • -   Provide quality content.
  • -   Ensure that your website is technically sound.
  • -   Post only credible YMYL content.
  • -   Conduct a regular free SEO analysis to monitor your website's
  • -   Stay tuned to Google's Twitter account or their blogs for announcements regarding imminent updates.