For the month of October, we have seen quite a few changes in the algorithms. From our analysis of clients and our own website, we have seen some minor and some major changes happening in the months of October and November. This post will go over some of the changes we have seen and update our readers on the next steps they should be taking to improve their positioning on major search engines.
Here is a short overview of each update:
Pirate 2.0 – October 21, 2014
The Pirate update targets websites that have been allowing searchers to download copyrighted content for free. Google has launched this update to fight websites that illegally supply a stream of digital and media downloads. The number of sites affected is relatively small however the drops in rankings are drastic. – Marcus Tober, October 26th, 2014
Penguin 3.0 — October 17, 2014
Penguin has been a nightmare for some business owners and a delight for others. This update targets specific websites that try to manipulate organic search results through blackhat backlinking methods. Sites that disavowed their bad links have seen a positive increase in traffic. Sites that continued using blackhat techniques have dropped in traffic drastically. These updates help Google combat spam and provide relevancy to the search partner. Some say that this update is still being rolled out by Google and so far has just been a minor refresh. – Barry Scgwartz, October 21, 2014
“In The News” Box — October 1, 2014
Google has made some changes to the way they show their news feed results. They explained that they have expanded the search feeds to a much broader range of websites. Major news sites reported that they have seen a great change in traffic. – Danny Sullivan, October 6, 2014
Panda 4.1 (#27) — September 23, 2014
Google has unleashed another major Panda update to combat websites that have duplicate, low quality or auto-generated content. Not only did they release this update on September 23rd, we have also seen a few Panda refreshes throughout the month of October. – Danny Sullivan, September 25, 2014
To keep up with the latest updates and stay connected to search trends, visit the Google Algorithm Change History page by MOZ.
Here is an example of a website that got hit by the Google Penguin Update. Sometimes clients want to build links on their own to their website. This is why we tell our clients to contact us before doing so.
Positive rank increase. A website has been redesigned recently, some internal linking work has been done and submitting a disavow file for spammy links before Penguin hit.
Slow and gradual movement in SERPs. This is the result of submitting a disavow file, doing citations to other websites and on-site SEO optimization.
This is a result of a disavow file being submitted on time before the penguin update.
Here is a perfect example of what seasonal business rankings look like after the summer. A website was not hit by Penguin, the disavow file has been submitted and some on-site SEO work has been done.
Slow and gradual movement in SERPs. Some on-site SEO changes have been implemented, disavow file has been submitted and link building strategies have been put in place for the next few months.
Another good example of a disavow file being submitted in time before the penguin update.
What We Learned
SEO is becoming something that is not just about link building. We have seen drastic movements from perfecting our clients on-site SEO. Disavowing links is crucial to your website’s performance on Google. Being smart when doing SEO is looking into the future if you are using link building methods that Google classifies as good now but think that in the future they will mark them on the blacklist than stop building them. It’s not about finding the next “link building method” that works now. SEO is about implementing a marketing strategy which involves a thought out plan for the months to come. If you focus on short-term success then clients will be upset in the long run.
It is always good to educate new clients on the value of the work being provided by a good SEO company. White hat SEO techniques are not just link building. A good SEO company needs to focus on the strategy of the client’s websites for the whole year to come, one month at a time. Whether it be content, link building, on-site implementation etc… Clients always need to be informed in the language which they understand. It is not always about rankings, sometimes it is about the conversion rate and quality of traffic being driven to your website. Being ranked number one for a broad keyword in your industry isn’t necessarily a good thing.
We are seeing that the most important part of SEO is to continue perfecting everything which Google calls out to be a good practice. Doing so has brought us some great results. We don’t focus all of our attention on link building. We focus our attention on devising a strategy and implementing it one step at a time. This is why we are an award-winning agency.