The year witnessed some standout changes put forth by Google, which had a great influence on SEO. SEO experts and consultants keep themselves informed about the various updates. Google continued to lay emphasis on quality and standards as a means of promoting the websites. The significance to trust, credibility, and reputation was heightened. Google also got assertive with responding to irresponsible web standards and poor quality. This goes to prove the importance and high levels set by Google for the content and design of a website.
The month of April introduced Penguin, which acted as a tool for penalizing websites that were constructed with artificial outbound links. Google made a strong stand to detach poor standard and artificial links. They can be considered as well planned and implemented steps taken by Google to highlight websites with good standards. Giving importance to credibility of links, it also disregards links that are unreliable. This gives an idea about the reaction and response of Google towards websites that make use of untrustworthy links.
Besides penalizing poor quality, Google also spots out and appreciates high quality. This has, certainly proved to be encouraging to the websites, and has shown that high quality is also rewarded. In April, the announcement of a crucial algorithm change issued its importance at reducing the rankings for the sites that has low quality. The algorithm focused on several bad practices, such as overuse of keywords and poor content.
- The practice of over-optimization also came into light. The misuse of the concept of relevance by using too many keywords on the page, or the use of numerous exchange links.
- Site-wide back-links were also brought to attention, and were held in comparison to the keyword counting process that Google uses.
- The increased number in static advertisements placed above the fold was also assessed and those risking content were penalized.
- Google also sets to identify those topics that offer freshness and quality. This ensures that the algorithm spots recent and updated information.
- In September, Google brought forth the announcement that exact match domains, which characterized low quality, would be targeted.
- In the same month, an update was put forth by Google targeted to increase the number of domains shown in the search results.
- The algorithm, Panda, was designed to focus on websites that made use of poor standard of content. It also witnessed thirteen updates since November 2011. It has been effective in motivating websites to clean up substandard content and take efforts to design and plan well written content.
Websites also need to concentrate on tags and in using them correctly. Google strives to improve the quality of websites and set new benchmarks for them to serve the online users effectively, while building their incomes. Such standards and updates also reflect the high level of quality and efficiency that Google demands.