Google’s Latest Algorithm Update and Why it Matters

Google is updating it’s algorithms all the time. This means that the software and coding that determines where sites rank is always changing, and so are the rules. For many years, for instance, it was possible to rank a website higher in a search by simply including a keyword over and over again in a website. Through regular updates, however, Google’s algorithm began noticing when websites were simply entering the keyword purely for the sake of rankings.

Now, the algorithm is based on the quality of the content and the on-page SEO (Search Engine Optimization), and there are a number of rules that must be followed in order to rank well. It’s for this reason that our WordPress SEO plugin, All in One SEO Pack, is so popular – we are providing website owners and companies all over the world with the expertise and resources they need to work according to Google’s rules. Furthermore, we are able to adapt our services and provide resources in accordance with Google’s algorithm updates.

But what is the latest Google update? Well, at the beginning of 2016, Google rolled out a major core ranking algorithm update which was publicized on Twitter and well-known SEO sites.

What was interesting about this latest update is that Google typically doesn’t confirm when a core algorithm update happens. Not only that, but it was expected that Google would update to Penguin 4.0 in March 2016. This update is yet to be seen.

What is Penguin and Why is it Important?

The Penguin update was launched in April 2012 and was designed to more effectively stop spammy sites from appearing in search results. Specifically, sites that used bought links, or which obtained backlinks through link networks, were targeted by this update.

Ever since, Google has been updating Penguin to stop websites that don’t deserve to rank high from being easily accessed in search results. And, whenever Penguin is updated, sites that have not been updated to get rid of bad links or spam will be taken down in rankings. When sites do in fact take action, then rankings may be regained.

What is Expected in the Next Penguin Update?

So when the next Penguin update does in fact come, what should we expect? Well so far, many online commentators are expecting semantic search to play a part.

Semantic search is all about understanding the relationship between concepts, content and media online. Instead of an algorithm simply relying on data like anchor text and meta tags, semantic search could possibly have a more detailed understanding of what relates two pieces of content, and what stops content from being related.

Semantic search was first introduced to the world with the Knowledge Graph back in 2012. The technology was then expanded upon in Hummingbird in 2013. Most recently, Google has been working on an artificial intelligence system called RankBrain which embraces semantic search.

What Does the Recent Core Algorithm Update Mean?

The core algorithm update didn’t come with a name. It was announced by Google but it was not given an official title despite introducing a number of important changes.

First off, it’s important to remember that this update is not related to Penguin or Panda. The Panda system is in fact part of the core algorithm, but these changes don’t affect that. What has been changed, however, is how Google ranks the quality of content on websites.

Specifically, Google is now even more focused on ranking sites better if their content is more recent, more detailed and accompanied by videos and images. This means that content that is rich in keywords but which is not recent, researched, detailed or accompanied by media may not be easily found. While some might have thought that this would result in academic content being left at the bottom of search rankings, the fact that the algorithm update specifically looks for detailed and referenced content means that this won’t happen.

The update has also seen some strange surges in ranking, which many online commentators have been unable to explain. This could relate to the aforementioned semantic search system which is expected to properly roll out in the next Penguin update.

What’s So Important About Video?

Arguably the most important change that came with the core algorithm update was the video and media section. Content that includes video will now rank better, as long as it meets all other criteria set out by Google. But what’s the big deal?

First of all, video is a great way of communicating ideas to your customers, readers and subscribers. It’s great for your website and helps keep people on your website. Now though, it’s also an essential tool for proper SEO management.

First off, the title and description of your video helps Google to understand your site, your brand and your message. You can also index your video on your site making it easier for Google to find. Furthermore, the amount of likes, shares and views that video receives on your website adds to your ‘credibility’. The more interaction with your website, the higher up the search rankings you will go as Google’s algorithm considers the high quality nature of your website.

If one of your videos go viral, then the benefits will multiply. With thousands, possibly millions, of views and likes, Google will quickly push your website up the rankings for searches relating to the content on your website. From the meta tags and data to good old fashioned keywords, Google will be able to display your material to users searching for related content.

Not only that, but your video can help improve your visibility through video-specific search engines. YouTube is obviously the most obvious example, but there are video search options on Yahoo, Bing and Google.

What Will Be Next?

The Penguin update is definitely coming, but right now we simply can’t say how soon it will be. It was widely expected to have been released in late 2015 or early 2016, so no matter what Google might say, we can’t predict when we’ll see it. It’s possible that the delay is a result of major changes, or the implementation of their new artificial intelligence software.

It is practically impossible for us to accurately predict what Google is planning, which is why it’s so important to focus instead on how to improve your SEO right now. Here at Semper Plugins, we have all the tools and resources you need to embrace all the current algorithm rules from Google, and how to make the most out of your website and content.

Be sure to take a look at our hugely popular All in One SEO Pack, and remember that we offer unbeatable support from SEO experts!

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author avatar
Steve Mortiboy
Steve has over 25 years of project management and service delivery experience. He started his career in defense communications before moving to the British Ministry of Defence where he worked for the British Army. For the past 15 years, Steve has worked in IT, managing large projects and enterprise clients. Recently he has worked with entrepreneurs and small businesses helping them to meet the needs of their growing client base. A recent immigrant from England, he brings some international flavor to the team.

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1 comment on “Google’s Latest Algorithm Update and Why it Matters

  1. Penguin is nothing to fear if you’re doing Seo the right way. Still plenty of sites getting away with huge exact match anchor text ratios in their link profiles. And still lovin ‘All in One Seo’. The plug-in continues to evolve with great new features 🙂