Search Engine Optimization and the Google Updates You Should Know About

( December 11, 2012 -- In 2012 the ever evolving world of search engine optimization or SEO for short saw many changes.  If you weren't aware you should find out what you've missed and take up any slack as soon as possible.  SEO started back in the day as an easy way to get your website ranking on sites like Altavista, ASK Jeeves, Yahoo and Lycos etc.  With the possible exception of Yahoo these search engines have now become all but redundant as Google began to dominate in the early 2000's and has remained king of the hill ever since.

Nowadays, SEO is a much more involved and difficult process, no longer can you just sprinkle keywords throughout your page and expect to rank the next time the search engine spider visits your page.  As part of Google's continued evolution and their determination to remain dominant came several game changing algorithm updates.  Google named these updates Panda, Penguin, Venice and EMD.  Nearly every SEO agency had clients that were affected by these updates in some way, shape or form.

Google's Panda update affected multiple millions of websites when it was first rolled out with many webmasters reporting traffic drops in excess of 50% in some cases.  Panda was designed to root out duplicate or thin content and to ensure only sites with the best original content were ranking highly in their search results.  If you or your digital marketing agency had to deal with this update you'll understand the challenges that it presented full well.

The Penguin update also caused misery for millions, again with many on popular search engine forums reporting that some webmasters saw ranking drops and traffic losses above 75% in some cases.  Penguin's principle function was to root out those sites whose link profile was excessively un-natural.  For example, too many un-related spammy looking links pointing back at a given site was one sure way to get your site hit hard by the Penguin algorithm update.  Many providing SEO services were also hit hard as clients cancelled in light of these sweeping updates.

Lastly the Venice update made changes to the way Google handled local search results and the EMD or exact match domain update hit sites that Google deemed were using overly manipulative use of exact match anchor text in their domains.  It did not seem to matter whether you were practicing SEO in England (SEO UK) or SEO in Baltimore (SEO USA) the effects of these updates appeared to be universal.

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