Evolution of Search Engine Optimization

Google makes about 500 change in a year to the search algorithm. The following summary is not intended to detail, more of to give an overview for the past years.

SEO Conclusion

From the Google Search Engine algorithm updates we can conclude that search giants are fighting against websites which use tricky ways ( black hat SEO ) to be ahead in the search engines result list.
So the only way to be ahead in the search engines is:
  • be sure that your website complies with SEO guidelines published by search engines
  • publish unique and valuable content which complies with your Internet marketing strategy

Relevant Google Search Engine updates


Hummingbird — September 26, 2013

Hummingbird is a core algorithm change of Google search engine. With this change the Google search engine was improved in semantic interpretation . The Google search engine will try to understand the meaning of the search and will get the best fit websites according to this. The Hummingbird change is close related to Google voice search, because the search engine has to handle the meaning of voice searches too. More on Inside Search

Search + Your World — January 2012

Google announced a radical shift in personalization - aggressively pushing Google+ . More on Google Official Blog

Panda algorithm – 2011

Major algorithm update which affected 12,8% of Google search results. Panda algorithm scope was to low rank the low-quality websites and the sites containing large amounts of advertising . Panda update was based on using artificial intelligence in a more sophisticated and scalable way than previously was possible. More on Google Official Blog

Google Suggest — August 2008

Google introduced suggested searches in a drop down below the search box as users typed their search queries.

Personalized Search — June 2005

When a user is logged into a Google Account all performed searches are recorded in Google Web History. The search result for the user is not based just on relevancy of web page for the search term, but Google also takes into account the websites from the search history . This means that for a search term one user can get other results than the other.

Florida update – November 2003

Since the Florida update of Google Search Engine the keyword stuffing black SEO technique is penalized. The keyword stuffing is when a website puts large number of keywords in it's visible or invisible elements, just to be ahead in the search engine list.

Exact-Match Domain (EMD) Update — September 2012

Google penalize websites that were only ranking because they choose a good domain . More on Twitter

Ads Above The Fold — January 2012

Google updated again the search engine algorithm to derank sites with too much advertising . More on Inside Search

Penguin — April 24, 2012

Google rolled out the Penguin webspam update . The updated aimed to adjust a number of spam factors such as keyword stuffing.

Social Signals — December 2010

Google and Bing use social signals from Twitter and Facebook to determine ranking of websites.

May 2007 Google Launches “Universal Search” and Blended Results

In addition to web results users can have news, images, and groups results right on the same page.

Austin – January 2004

Since the Austin update of Google Search Engine following black SEO techniques are penalized:
  • invisible text
  • META-tag stuffing
Some websites used to show other content for user and other content for search engines. They wrote massive number of keywords on white background with white color just to trick the search engines and to be ahead in the result list. Some websites used to place massive number of keywords in the html meta tags like description, keywords meta tags.

Cassandra — April 2003

Since the Cassandra update of Google Search Engine the following black hat SEO techniques are penalized :
  • massive linking co-owned domains
  • hidden text and hidden links
The websites used massive link building strategies like:
  • Link exchanges
  • making of article directories that contain links to the sites
  • co-owned domains: website owners built domains just to make links to the target site
  • building links from the forums
  • etc.
The idea was to build as much link as you can to your website and that would give rank well in Search Engines.