The 4 Most Significant Changes Made to Google’s Search Algorithm in 2013

The 4 Most Significant Changes Made to Google’s Search Algorithm in 2013

The significance of Google as the major search engine provider on the internet cannot be overstated. It is therefore important for webmasters across the globe to monitor any Google algorithm changes, as these will impact their site traffic. Here are the 4 most significant Google algorithm changes that have occurred in 2013.

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1. Hummingbird 
This was not just a peripheral update but rather a core update of the main search and index algorithm used by Google. This update has been likened to a new engine for the internet’s largest search engine.

Impact of the update

The first and most significant change is increased importance of conversational searches. Google is seeking to provide the end user with a more intuitive search mechanism. Conversational searches enable the person to get results that are more accurate by using conversational queries as opposed to keywords.

The second significant change is that this update has caused a resurgence in the importance of long keywords. Long keywords lead to better accuracy as they allow the search engine to determine which sites are providing the best content to the end user in terms of relevance and value.

2. In-Depth Articles
This update is dedicated to providing the end user with access to fresh evergreen content that is in long form. These in-depth article results are attached to the end of the search engine results page and are not considered a form of organic search engine result.

Impact of the update
This update is targeted at queries that have a low number of words. These are what are termed as broad searches by search engine providers. The most significant impact is that the tenth organic result on the SERP will be bumped to the second page to make room for the in-depth article block. Furthermore, news websites are benefiting as they provide majority of the in-depth articles shown.

3. Multiple Panda Updates
There have been three major updates to panda culminating in a new system of updating Panda. Panda recovery was the last major update to be released and it was designed to soften the impact of previous harsher updates. Panda Dance changed the update format into a ten day rolling system as opposed to one-off major updates.

Impact of these updates
Panda has now been completely incorporated into Google’s search algorithm. There will no longer be announcements for any new updates. Webmasters are therefore going to be forced to maintain a keen eye on fluctuations in site traffic to note any new modifications.

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4. Penguin Updates
Penguin is a part of Google’s search algorithm that is targeted at websites that are deemed to provide spammy content. This update was designed to work in tandem with the ‘payday loan’ updates. The updates have refined Google’s anti-spam campaign to a fine tuned level where it targets content on a webpage level as opposed to just an entire site.

Impact of these updates
Gaming, payday loan, and porn websites were massively affected by these updates. Sites with content on such products have seen a significant reduction in the organic traffic.

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