In its official blog, Google announced that it did a handful of changes (39 to be exact) in its system for the month of May, including the introduction of the Knowledge Graph. While some can be regarded as minor updates, there are other changes that you should not disregard simply because they can affect your website’s ranking. You can find them below, including some useful suggestions how you can adjust to such changes.
Improvements in Penguin Algorithm
Google rolled out its Penguin algorithm last month with the aim of penalizing websites that utilize black hat SEO practices in pursuit of higher rankings as well as traffic. The loopholes and shortcuts that Google was referring to include keyword stuffing, link schemes and different spamming techniques.
To further reinforce the Penguin, Google said that that it did minor tweaks in the algorithm for the month of May, referring to the update as “twerf2” under the “page quality” project. The search engine giant did not actually specify what tweaks it did, other than a refresh to the data being used by the system.
To make your site safe and to avoid putting it at risk of being penalized, make sure that you avoid using automated link schemes at all costs. It would also be best to stay away from excessive reciprocal links or link exchange, buying and selling links, linking to bad websites and false redirects and cloaking among others.
The best way to get around the Penguin is to create relevant and unique content. The more useful your content is, the higher the chances that others will find it valuable to their readership and link to it.
Improved Detection of Inorganic Backlinks and Other Spam Elements
Along with the improvements in Penguin, Google also added new algorithms that can detect different link schemes and other spam elements. The change was codenamed as “improve-fix.”
Again, double check your website and strip off the link schemes that you might be using. Likewise, only use white hat SEO practices when promoting your website.
Updates Directed to Web Page Titles
In its May search highlights, Google made three updates that are directed toward web page titles. These include the “Tomwaits,” “TopOfTheRock,” and “Otisredding.”
Codename Tomwaits triggers alt title when the HTML is truncated. TopOfThe Rock is an improved version of Google’s title generation systems, while Otisredding avoids boilerplate copy of titles that do not actually describe or represent the page accurately.
With these changes, what Google would want you to do is to make your web page titles as accurate as possible. Stick to shorter and direct to the point titles that describe your pages accurately for easier detection.
Google did not forget to make some freshness updates in its system that include, better detection of major new events, smoother ranking functions for freshness (flsp), better detection of searches looking for fresh content (pineapples) and simplified freshness algorithm (febofu). As such, to be able to take full advantage of these changes, the main solution is to update the content on your website as frequently as possible to ensure that the latest information will be available to users.
The search highlights that Google made for the month of May aren’t actually new since it has long been known that the search engine giant is frequently updating its system to deliver relevant content to end users. While others may find that these changes are putting a halt to the functionality of their websites, you should not be worried about them as long as you employ white hat SEO practices in maintaining and promoting your website. Still, you should always be on the lookout for these changes so that you can adjust your website accordingly, following the rules set forth by Google.