With its continuously expanding reach to users across the globe, Google relies on its engineers and programmers to think ahead of the curve and plan for the future of web development. Key to its success and high approval rating among users are its search engine capabilities. That is why the field of search engine optimization is important to developing a coherent navigation system that brings users to the information they need. The Google search engine algorithm is responsible for tracking over two hundred signals to determine the validity of a search result.
To put this in a more concrete scenario, think of an environmental lawyer for example who lives and works in California. His case research depends on search results that are sensitive to local, county, and state jurisdiction that pertain specifically to his work. Search Engine Optimization and Google indexation are responsible for tracking his location, finding sources that correspond with his search, finding those that are most recent, and pruning sources that are outdated but remain archived on the internet. Algorithms like Google Panda piece together the most accurate and appropriate results so that the lawyer can do his research quicker and easier.
The environmental lawyer is just a single scenario that brushes the edge of the complexity of how Google indexation works. Positive SEO Signals are comprised of a number of ranking factors that search engines use to draw valued and reliable content to the surface when a search query is placed. Google Penguin has just become a part of Google’s core algorithm after four years of development. The most notable change to the way that Penguin will affect users is that it has been updated to run in real-time. In previous releases all results were refreshed periodically.
The significance of this update is that search results will improve by being updated actively as new content is released. Take the lawyer again as an example. He is doing research to find supporting legislature in his case to redistribute the uses of a clean-water reservoir during a drought while following activists on the scene as news updates allow. In the past his feed would have updated on an indirectly connected refresh through Penguin. Now Penguin makes it possible to see the updates as soon as new content is available.
While Penguin has updated to track search updates as they happen, Google Panda is responsible for tracking the quality of the sites and information that results that come up. In the past, Panda updates often led to previously checked sites being re-released into the ranking system so long as they met quality indexes. Since 2015, Panda updates have been quieter. The changes being made are implemented over the span of months instead of all at once. For SEO analysts this has made it difficult to determine what sites Panda is actually impacting. The slow roll-out of the Google Panda Algorithm Update has impacted many businesses including retailers, news publishers, educational sites, and many more. A drawback of this is that reliable pages are finding their search rankings thrown off over a period of time.
By pairing Panda and Penguin together as part of the core algorithm, the hope is that real-time updates in Penguin will restore a sense of balance as live updates to content correct any issues with rankings in the algorithm. Improved SEO standards can help drive the quality of content being released and help manage what is being seen.
Image By David (Penguin Waddle) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons