To give you more insight into how Google Indexes Websites, we must first look at Google Search Algorithms. Google has been the leader in indexing websites since the early 2000’s and has become a household name for many. Ever hear the term “Google It” or “Just Google It”. It is not a coincidence that they have become the standard for Web Search. Google has built a quality index of over 20 Billion sites. That is huge and is what has skyrocketed the company’s net worth.
How does this tie into Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?
Google is pretty much the one who writes the book on SEO. They determine what you can and can’t do. They determine if your site will be indexed or not. They also have the largest platform for online advertising. They also have the most widely used website analytics tools. So with that we bow down to the all mighty Google. Let’s see how they built their Search Engine by going over Algorithms.
What is an Algorithm?
An Algorithm is just a fancy term for a recipe or directions. Google periodically releases Search Algorithms to alter how they index billions of web pages. Google has released more than twenty eight algorithms. Panda, and Penguin have been two of the largest updates to their Algorithms. Panda has gone through twenty eight revisions itself (which I did not include in the twenty eight algorithms). With this said the nature of Search Algorithms is ever changing. To get the full history of the Algorithm changes I would visit Moz.com.
Highlights from the latest Algorithms (GEEK TALK BELOW)
On July 24, 2014, Google Introduced “Pigeon” in the US, the algorithm aimed to take on Local Search Results. Pigeon brought Google Places and Google Maps to the Google Web Search Results. This also brought the ability of Google Search Rankings to Local Results. In short Google now ranks local listings like web search results. On December 22, 2014 Google gave the UK, Canada, and Australia an early Christmas present by expanding their “Pigeon” Algorithm to include them.
Originally rolling out in early 2011 “Panda” came to shock many people with this roll out of a major Algorithm Update. This update was aimed at removing and deindexing “Thin Data Sites”. It was an overhaul on their index of sites. The first of many Quality Control Updates to the Google Index (now is 20B+ Sites). Panda went through a series of updates throughout 2011 and into 2012, many of which were minor and not advertised. After 2012 Panda was updated periodically until mid 2015, with the latest update Panda 4.2 (#28).
Penguin is the second major Algorithm update to Panda. Penguin is known as the “Webspam” update for the reasons of thining out the Google Index of Spam and Black Hat SEO tactics at the time like the major issue of keyword stuffing. Released in April 2012 this Algorithm was also geared to reward high quality websites and penalize sites for using what we now call Black Hat SEO tricks. They continued updates through October 2016.
Hummingbird Algorithm is a rebuild to the Google Search Algorithm to increase speed and and precision much like a Hummingbird. It is what Google said a “New Engine” built on old parts (from the two Algorithms above). Besides faster and more precise results Google introduced “Voice Search” or conversational search as it was coined. Original release in August 2013.
The Latest Algorithm Updates have been unconfirmed and it seems that Google is looking at another bigger rollout. It has yet to be named and “officially” announced, but seems to be rolling something out sooner than later. Google has pushed a Chromium Security update with their push for HTTPS use throughout the web. They have also pushed for new Web Standards in mobile sites, coined by the term Accelerated Mobile Pages or AMP. We will have to see what 2018 brings for SEO.