In this ever-connected age of the internet, consumers are now accustomed to researching their purchasing options extensively before making a decision. And the first point of contact in their research is typing in a few words or phrases into the Google search engine. Most retailers who are self-aware understand how important ranking on the search engines (SEO) is for sales. But how does SEO work?
In the core of all search engines like Google are algorithms designed for indexing content based on the webpage’s relationship to a particular search term. Turning search queries into results, they can make or break your SEO campaigns. The first step towards improving your search ranking is to try to understand what these search algorithms work.
The Beastly Algorithms
1. What Are They Really?
Panda, Penguin, and Hummingbird are the titles of Google search algorithms that rank web pages by specific keyword phrases. Each focuses on different rules to enforce and reward page quality, uniqueness, popularity, and other factors. All are updated and rehashed periodically to improve search results and prevent people from taking advantage of the system.
2. Why Should You Care?
Knowing search engine algorithms might help you build better a website and a better user experience. There have been instances where organizations have tried to take advantage of the search algorithms by using dishonest tactics, only to get “slapped” by an algorithm and drop out of the search engine results pages (SERPs).
3. How Do They Work?
Each algorithm works separately to affect SEO. Sites that use machine-generated or duplicate content to cover large numbers of keywords can be demoted by the Panda update which was rolled out in 2011. Instead, it rewards content. Penguin downplays sites with a lot of mutual links, paid links, guest blogs, forum links, and other spammy backlinks.
Hummingbird integrates the finest of Penguin and Panda, helping Google evaluate the intent behind them and longer search questions. To optimize content for it, you need to create reviews, tips, tutorials, and how-to guides that are essentially helpful to users on their purchasing journey. Google also includes a new algorithm update called Pigeon, which concentrates on local research results.
Nobody knows how many “beasts” Google will roll out, but you will be a better marketer for understanding they exist–a little knowledge goes a long way when it comes to improving your SEO.