A History about Google's Most Important Local Search Updates
This blog is all about revisiting the world of local search updates, which took place over the years. The search engine giant has made bizarre changes over the years, annoying and restricting digital marketers in certain ways. Google’s continuous updating local search algorithm has hit local businesses and will continue to do so. What makes the matter difficult is the fact that Google doesn’t notify about the changes or the sudden updates. It’s completely up to the search engine marketers to find out the changes and how much it will affect the digital marketing strategies.
So, let’s start with the journey. Take a quick glance at the most important updates that created a buzz all over the world.
2011: Panda Update
The first update took place in February 2011 and was named as Panda. Originally it was meant to be a regular filter, later it became a fixed component of the Google core Algorithm. The purpose of this update was to reduce the visibility of websites having low quality content.
As per Google reports, the Panda update had an impact on 12 percent of the search results in the United States.
2012: Penguin Update
Often referred to as Web Spam update, the objective of Penguin update was to stalk the amount of spam in search results to improve the quality of sites. The Penguin update targeted Black Hat SEO practices to a huge extent.
2013: Hummingbird Update
It was in August 2013 when Google rolled out the Hummingbird Update. According to experts, this was the weightiest edit of search algorithm. Not only the ranking, the update changed the entire search algorithm. Hummingbird managed to seek those websites whose plan was to artificially improve their rankings.
2014: Pigeon Update
In the year 2014, Google surprised us with the Pigeon update. With this update, the search giant wanted local search mechanisms to be connected more closely with the general algorithm so that they become capable of delivering useful and relevant results. The update had a huge impact on Google Maps. Local small and medium sized businesses and even large companies with different locations started to focus more on local search engine optimization, after this update.
2015: RankBrain Update
The Rank Brain update inserted artificial intelligence into search engine. With RankBrain’s machine learning software, the search engines were able to teach itself how to efficiently process queries and results and properly rank web pages. It’s ability to process page information drove the need for quality content. If you want your business to appear on the first page, your site should have better content.
The Possum update emerged to sync the playing field in terms of businesses in adjoining communities. Before Possum update, local search results were restricted to businesses for a geographical area. Instead of depending on search terms, Possum controlled user’s location to perfectly determine what businesses are relevant to queries and nearby.
2017 and beyond;
Search marketers are predicting about the next major update to happen and what would be the results. Google rarely announces or explains the updates anymore…
The best you can do is look at your successful competitors and follow their lead for the good. Put in your best efforts to keep yourself updated about Google updates so that you can strategize your business accordingly.
That’s all to say!