Lets look at the Google Algorithms
An Algorithm is a computer process that takes all the information from a website and reports the relevant information back to Google. The pages that appear on Google have been crawled and indexed by the Algorithms and those they deem most relevant to your search are positioned accordingly on the SERPS (search engine results pages). Factors that impact on their findings and how you are categorised in search are: the keywords that you have used on your website, how often you put fresh content on and your page rank which is determined by a multitude of factors.
Over the years there has been many updates from Google such as Penguin, Panda and Hummingbird which have impacted many sites by either boosting their rankings or penalising them for Black Hat techniques.
Take a look at Googles Algorithms
Introducing the Panda Algorithm 2011 update
In 2011 Google released the new update of Panda which was created to syphon through websites that had duplicated content from other sites. Content that was copied or auto generated. This update resulted in many sites losing their rankings and disappearing from the top search results and saw those writing fresh content surging through the ranks.
Changes in 2012
In 2012 we saw another Panda update that focused on page layout. This update from Google aimed at penalising pages that had little valuable content and those with too many ads, or both. This was followed by more updates on spelling and grammatical errors.
On the 24th April a new update was revealed and named the Penguin, this update aimed at checking for pages that had crammed keywords into the content. It also had a microscope on links and anchor text.
In July the Penguin updates had a laser sharp focus on backlinks, it scanned for the credibility of backlinks to ensure that sites were not using unnatural links to boost their ranking. Google also sent out a warning to webmasters to warn them to remove these links to stop them being penalised. These updates continued along with other warning including one that identified the issue of companies using EMD’s (Exact Match Domains – domains that use key words that exactly match search terms).
Changes in 2013
2013 saw the continuation of numerous updates on the Panda and Penguin algorithm but saw the release of a new algorithm called the Hummingbird. The name was derived from the speed that the Hummingbird works and was a warning to us all about how the new changes would impact the search engine. Hummingbird checks and indexes results based on the search term used and finds results that are relevant with relevant links and good page rank.
Changes in 2014
Throughout 2014 updates continue to focus on content, specifically the quality and relevance of content found in pages ranking high in Google. Google have set up a page for webmasters to help people create great content. You can view the ‘Webmaster Guidelines’ by clicking here.
Changes in 2015
In 2015, we learnt about ‘mobileaggedon’ the Google update that focused on sites being responsive. Responsive websites are websites that change depending on what device you are viewing it on. This updates focus is user experience, as if a site isn’t mobile friendly then it is more difficult for users to view content on your website. If you would like to check whether your website is mobile friendly then you can test it by visiting: https://www.google.co.uk/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/