Search Engine Optimization has a rich history.
Really, if you are not in the industry you will consider SEO a boring work, but for us who work in the industry knows it is anything but. Today I want to talk about a key moment in SEO.
There were three cases which rocked the SEO industry and everyone who listed their sites in Google.
The Google Florida Update
The Google Florida update was a change in the SEO policies which occurred in 2003 with a change in the algorithm.
While there had been some relatively minor updates occurring in Google before this, the Google Florida update was a massive hit to those trying to manipulate rankings. The update went clearly after sites who were engaging in Keyword stuffing.
Site lost ranking, businesses lost traffic and suffered greatly.
This was the first time that Google had reprimanded the sites and had sent a clear warning that if you are manipulating the ranking of your website by violating the guidelines you will be hit.
The Panda/ Farmer Update
There were many updates between Florida and Panda to be exact, but when Panda was introduced it had a major impact.
The first Panda Update hit on February 23, 2011. It took a few months to finally roll out. During these months, website owners were holding their breath.
Since that day, some websites and business owners have not recovered.
Panda focused on sites with thin content mainly. For example, if your website wrote a number of articles on a variety of topics, and there was no overarching them to it all, it was a potential target.
The Penguin Update
This update left a lot of black-hat SEO professionals in the soup.
But it was not just Black-Hat professionals who this update was after, even companies who had knowingly or unknowingly hired black hat SEOs were in a tight spot.
This update really targeted link spam. For those who don’t know it, links are an important part of Google considering the ranking of the website. The more high—quality links you have pointing to your website that meets their criteria, the higher you rank.
Well offcourse some people tried gaming the system. The people who had many wrong links pointing to their website, got hit with a penalty on the April 24, 2012.
Now it was only for those websites which were abusing links, and only 3.1% of English queries got hit.
For those who got hit with this update, had to wait until the Penguin update was run again so that they could get their website on the same level ranking as it was before.
The Penguin update ran about 10 times, but there was a massive lull at one point.
There was no updates to Penguin between 2014 December and 2016 September. That means that some websites had to wait for 2 years.
SEO has a Rich History
Search Engine Optimization has many interesting stories, but the 3 of these form most of it.
One thing to take away is to always focus on quality and longevity when doing SEO.
If you are trying to game Google, they will catch you eventually.