Google has been busy this year updating its algorithm to help better weed out spam and improve search results. This can be good news or bad news for webmasters, depending on how your site is currently optimized. In order to stay ahead of the curve and ensure your website is performing well in the local search engines, it’s important to know what these updates are and how they may impact you. Here’s a quick overview of some of the biggest Google updates from 2012.
Panda was a change to Google’s search results ranking algorithm that was first released in February 2011. The update was designed to lower the rank of “low-quality” sites in the search results and return higher-quality sites instead. Panda was updated several times over the years, with the most recent update being released in July 2015.
Venice was an update to Google’s local search algorithm that was first released in February 2012. The update was designed to improve the accuracy of local search results by incorporating information from Google’s Places database. Venice was updated again in May 2012, with the most recent update being released in December 2014.
- Exact Match Domain
Exact Match Domain (EMD) was an update to Google’s search algorithm that was first released in September 2012. The update was designed to lower the rank of websites that were using exact match domains (i.e. domains that exactly match a keyword) in order to manipulate the search results. EMD was updated again in October 2012, with the most recent update being released in November 2014.
Penguin was an update to Google’s search algorithm that was first released in April 2012. The update was designed to lower the rank of websites that were engaged in spammy link-building practices, such as buying links or participating in link schemes. Penguin was updated several times over the years, with the most recent update being released in December 2014.
- DMCA Penalty
The DMCA Penalty is a penalty that can be applied to websites that receive a large number of Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown notices. The penalty is applied by lowering the website’s rank in the search results, and it can result in the website being removed from Google’s index entirely. The penalty is typically applied to websites that host pirated content or content that has been stolen from other websites without permission.
- Payday Loan
Payday Loan is an update to Google’s search algorithm that was first released in June 2013. The update targets websites that are engaged in deceptive or abusive practices related to payday loans, such as promising loans without requiring any fees or providing loans with excessively high-interest rates. Payday Loan has been updated several times since its initial release, with the most recent update being released in May 2016
The Pirate update was first introduced in August 2012 and it has not been updated since then. The Pirate update is designed to downrank websites that are found to be violating copyright laws. It is also intended to discourage people from searching for pirated content by displaying warning messages in the search results.
- Top Heavy update
The Top Heavy update was first introduced in January 2012 and it has been updated once since then. The most recent update was in October 2012. The Top Heavy update is designed to penalize websites that have too many ads above the fold (the area of the website that is visible without scrolling). This change is intended to improve the user experience by making it easier to find relevant content on a website.
2012 was a big year for Google updates. As we come to the end of the year, it’s important that you take some time to review your website and make sure you are following all the latest guidelines. These updates can have a significant impact on your site if you’re not optimizing correctly. So far, 2013 has been relatively quiet on the update front, but that doesn’t mean things will stay that way. Make sure you are always up-to-date with the latest changes so that your website can stay ahead of the competition. Have you been affected by any of these Google updates? What changes did you make to ensure better SEO rankings?