How Did Google Search Change in 2013?
A new infographic from E2M Solutions breaks down the eleven most important changes that happened to Google search in 2013. The list focused on algorithm updates and changes, many of which may have had some effect on the search engine rankings of your site pages over the last year.
Although reviewing a year-end list such as this might not reveal exactly what Google has in store for 2014, it at least illustrates the volatility of Google’s algorithms in their continuing efforts to rank the best, most valuable content more highly than the rest of the crowd.
Google Search, Panda, Penguin and Payday Loans
January of 2013 saw two important updates to Google Search, starting with a reduction in value to certain links on the 17th and a Panda update that saw ranking changes for 1.2% of queries. Google only made an official announcement about the Panda change. Another update to Panda came several weeks later in March, the last update before Panda was rolled directly into Google’s core indexing procedures.
Penguin 2.0 rolled out in May, and although it didn’t do much to penalize sites already found to be running link schemes, it identified additional sites manipulating inbound links in order to increase rankings.
The following month in June, Google unleashed the so-called “Payday Loan” update to penalize the myriad spammy sites cropping up in this niche, as well as certain porn sites and illegal link schemes. Panda was also updated in June and July, and some of the penalties imposed on sites previously were actually softened.
Content-heavy sites got a boost in August with Google’s new focus on showing in-depth articles in search results for queries seeking information. These types of sites were also relevant to August’s Hummingbird update, which looks to bring answers to conversational queries right in Google.
The later portion of 2013 was actually pretty quiet in terms of Google search changes, aside from Penguin 2.1 in October which affected about as many queries as Penguin 2.0.
Did your site manage to weather Google’s update storm in 2013? Are your rankings up or down compared to this time last year? Let us know in the comments below.