Although we’re all for hugging trees, this isn’t a blog about animal activism. It’s all about search engine codes (which doesn’t sound as exciting). Each year, Google changes its search algorithm around 500–600 times. While most of these changes are minor, Google occasionally rolls out "major" updates with code names such as Google Panda and, most recently, Google Pigeon(Pigeon is a placeholder name dubbed “Pigeon” by Search Engine Land (SEL) in absence of an official name by Google). To make sure you stay at the top of the rankings you need to know your pandas from your penguins.
Keeping up with the pigeons
You don’t need us to tell you that there are trillions of websites out there. Algorithms are the formulas in search engines that turn requests for information into answers. It does that by trawling through code that’s written behind each webpage as well as content on your site. It aims to get you the answers to your questions quicker, and knock the sites that are playing unfairly out of the game.
For search marketers, knowing the dates of these Google updates can help explain changes in rankings and organic website traffic. It can also help to improve search engine optimisation and make sure you stay off the ‘black list’ so it’s worth keeping an eye out for updates here.
Befriending the beasts
The latest update is Pigeon. Its purpose was to level the playing field for all sites and ensure that no one was using sneaky tricks boost their rankings unfairly. Like many updates it impacted just a selection of Google users; targeting English speaking users in the US.
Pigeon focused particularly on ensuring that small independent retailers wouldn’t be outranked by the bigger brands. So, if you look for a pizza restaurant in Colorado Springs, you’re more likely to pull up results that include family run businesses rather than the local Dominos or Pizza Hut.
The intent behind these changes are positive. However, if your site isn’t giving off the right signals you may find yourself slipping down, rather than climbing up the ratings. In the very worst-case scenario, you may even find yourself blacklisted and thrown off the search list altogether.
Get your pandas right
It can be quite a task to stay on top of the game; so taking advice from those ‘in the know’ is wise. We have guys here who love picking apart codes, putting them back together again and helping our clients to stay at the top of the rankings.
Don’t worry if you don’t know your pandas from your pigeons. We do – and we also know our coffee from our tea, so you can enjoy a cuppa whilst we go through your site with you! Take look at a few of the sites we’re already helped and