Google Release Pigeon Algorithm Update

Google Released the latest algorithm update calling it Pigeon. This update which is a major algorithm update for local search may be damaging to your local search results. 

Google has confirmed that the update has started to be rolled out on July 24 aimed at US English search results.

If since the 24th your website has been subjected to a traffic drop then this may be due to the disappearance of your local listings following the Pigeon update.

This new local search algorithm is using new search ranking signals which are basing local rankings using domain authority including local relevant backlinks as well as other SEO rankings factors.

If you would like advice for local business looking to recover from this pigeon update then get in touch with us today!


Google Updating Toolbar PageRank in December 2013

On December 6th 2013 Google has pushed out a Google PageRank update when no one was expecting it. The last official update was February 4th 2013 and the next one was due August 2013. After this didn’t take place it seemed that Google had changed its focus and this has taken all webmasters by suprise.

Matt Cutts has actually confirmed on Twitter that this update was a kind of accident by Google:-

Google Page Rank Update 6 DEC 2013

Webmaster should now be checking the whether the Google Page Rank has dropped.

Google to Block Child Porn Sites

The Daily Mail has been campaigning for Google, the leading search engine, to block links to websites promoting child pornography and indecent images and videos; they have finally won this campaign. Google have taken the move to clean up their results, remove imagery and videos that are identified as child abuse/pornography and help those who are searching for these abhorrent things to seek help and advice.

In 2012, two schoolgirls were abused and murdered by men who had an addiction to internet child pornography; Mark Bridger and Stuart Hazell. It was proved in their trials that before they assaulted April Jones and Tia Sharp respectively, they viewed videos and images of child pornography and abuse. What is even more shocking is that they were able to access such material through performing simple keyword searches on Google.

In a move to tackle this issue, Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt has revealed that Google have taken big steps to eradicate these search results and links to inappropriate sites being displayed, as well as encouraging those who are looking for this type of material to get help.

Firstly, they have changed their algorithm so that links to pages promoting child abuse images and associated material do not appear in their search results. This has had an effect upon over 100,000 different search queries made in the English language. There is a plan to roll out these clean-up changes to over 150 languages soon in order for the results to be globally realised.

Removing the links to inappropriate pages will not necessarily deter all paedophiles from searching for child pornography, therefor over 13,000 search queries now come with warnings. They state that child sexual abuse is illegal and point the user in the direction of a help and support system.

The job of detecting images of child sexual abuse must be completed by people rather than computers as there is no way for computers to distinguish between innocent and indecent pictures. Therefore, Google dedicate time and staff to review online images and if they are found to contain abuse, give them a unique digital fingerprint which allows us to identify the image wherever it may be on our system and remove it. Microsoft developed and shared this outstanding piece of technology.

As more and more paedophiles turn to video to record their crimes, YouTube are developing new technology to try and detect these types of video. It is in the testing stage with Google at the moment, but next year should be available to other internet companies and child protection agencies.

Google is the leading search engine and as such, has a very highly skilled workforce. This is being shared with the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) in Britain and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) in the US in the form of secondments of key members of staff.

These steps are a clear indication that the internet is changing and it is being made more difficult for paedophiles and other individuals to access child pornography which is a big step in the right direction.

Penguin 2.1 Update Information

Once again, another Google Algorithm update. The 4th of October saw Matt Cutts roll out the Penguin refresh; Penguin 2.1. After the recent Hummingbird update earlier this month, another algorithm update was completely unexpected, and from the initial search fluctuations, this looks to be one of the most drastic changes yet.

So what exactly is this update targeting?

As per usual, the SEO sphere has been flooded with contradictory information. No one truly knows what the reasons are for some sites dropping and others rising. The SERPs seems to be almost random.

There are reports of highly authoritative and old white hat sites being shunted out of the top 100, whilst sites ranking based purely on webspam continue to prosper. The reverse of this is also true, people are reporting newer sites dropping like flies, whilst older sites remain authorities on the front page of Google.

A quick browse of the numerous threads on SEO and Internet Marketing forums indicates no real clear pattern.

Potential Causes for Rank Drops

Based on gathered information, the list below is an idea of the potential causes from ranking drops.

  • DoFollow / NoFollow link ratios: The ratio of DoFollow and NoFollow links to your site can play a part in how natural your site looks to Google. An extremely high ratio of DoFollow links indicates that links have been specifically built to rank a website. It looks unnatural to have a link profile primarily made of DoFollow, when a large proporation of natural links come from sources that give no SEO value.
  • Mass Links: Essentially, any spikes of mass linking on low quality sites could trigger a slap from Google. For example, mass links from Xrumer or other automated software.
  • Too focused anchor text: A high ratio of links with targeted anchor text is a red flag to Google. It is advised to balance one’s link profile with a variety of keywords / variations.
  • Spun content Web 2.0s: Low quality Web 2.0s with spun, spammy content.
  • Link velocity: Random spikes of mass linking again, look unnatural. It is recommended to consistently ‘drip-feed’ links to mimic

Many of these are fairly typical, and aren’t unique to slaps caused by this recent update – but they’re elements worth looking into again. Maybe Penguin 2.1 has put an extra emphasis on targeting these factors? Who knows.

Currently, the update has not fully completed. And as such, the SERPs are in a chaotic state of flux. SEO’s are advised to sit tight and not do anything too drastic, at least not for the next few weeks whilst the rest of the update rolls out.

Hopefully these confusing fluctuations settle into something more stable and logical.

Google Penguin Update 2.1 Has Been Released

Google has released the lastest of their updates, Penguin 2.1 which was launched on Friday 4th October 2013.

Matt Cutts announced this on Twitter stating that it will effect roughly 1% of searches.

Google Penguin-2.1 Released

This is the biggest update since Penguin 2.0 in May 2013 and has sent everyone in the SEO world into a panic. We are looking into what seems to be the 4th official Penguin update. Our research shows Penguin to have been rolled out 24th April 2012, 5th October 2012, 22nd May 2013 and now this update.

This update comes just weeks after Google released Hummingbird and this update is probably to help with the algorithm change.