How should we Search Engine optimize our site? (Part 2)
November 12, 2013
How do we check if our blog or website has duplicate content?
November 24, 2013
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Why Google algorithm updates impact SEO visits on our site?

Let me cover the basics, for the people who are not much aware about algorithm. Google has built a logic (algorithm) based on which it ranks the sites when you perform a Google search for a particular set of words. Google keeps on updating this algorithm frequently (almost 500 times a year) so as to ensure that sites following wrong practices to rank themselves higher in search are penalized.

Examples of wrong practices could be

  1. Copying content from other sites
  2. Copying and modifying some part of the original content
  3. Creating multiple pages with same content
  4. Creating links to site from not relevant sites site
  5. Creating content only for Google bots e.g.  listing it in fonts not readable to users
  6. Keywords stuffing – repeating the keywords for several times within the page content

It also needs to update the algorithm so as to ensure that it is updated with the new ways in which user performs search e.g. Voice search.

Let us discuss about the recent three critical Google algorithm updates. Google keeps on updating these major algorithms with some minor changes regularly. If your business is not heavily dependent on organic search you need not worry much about the smaller updates that happen on a regular basis. However it is important to understand the fundamentals of these updates so that your site is not penalized.

  1. Panda algorithm update started from in 2011 and it penalizes sites for thin and duplicate content. Thin content refers to content that is almost similar to other pages and does not add much value to the user. It impacts the ranking of the entire site instead of a few pages.
  2. Penguin algorithm update started from 2012 and it penalizes black-hat practices or manipulative links to increase the links to a page. This could be links from other sites or unnatural ways of generating links from within the site.
  3. HummingBird algorithm was initiated in September 2013. It gives benefit to the sites that have content which is more in human language as compared to sites that give more importance to keywords. E.g. How do I search optimize my websites? As compared to keyword – Search optimize.

While you may not be following these wrong practices (Black-hat SEO) intentionally, it is important to ensure that your site is not adversely impacted because of these updates.

At Myntra.com, 6 months back we had approximately 30+ million URLs in Google search index. After proper due diligence we have been able to bring this count to 3 million indexed URLs. This helped us in reducing duplicate and thin content on the site and it helped us in enhancing organic traffic.

This brings us to the next question – How do we check if our site has duplicate content? I will write on this soon.

By Kaushal Thakkar

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