SEO Ranking

Google Algorithm Updates – What you need to know

Since April 2011 Google has made some significant updates to its search algorithm, unless you work in the SEO industry you’re unlikely to have heard of them. However, if you are in any way involved in online marketing then these must be taken into account for every channel.

Google Panda & Penguin

April 2011 – Google Panda – Targeted websites with poor quality content, spam & duplicated content

April 2012 – Google Penguin – Targeted websites with dubious back-links and over-optimisation

Sept 2013 – Google Hummingbird – To reflect how more and more people are beginning to ask search engines questions like they would ask a human being – “How long should I boil an egg?”

These changes demonstrate the search giants efforts to answer the demands of its users almost before they know what those demands actually are. The affects of these changes are greater than you would imagine or even notice, but they aren’t something any business can ignore.

Well to give you an idea, here are some examples…


Content more effective than keywords!

Before we start, apologies if this is old news but it really is surprising just how many people we speak to who don’t realise the pivotal role content plays today when it comes to ANY form of online marketing.

It goes without saying that audiences will naturally gravitate towards sites that offer the most relevant and up to date content on topics that interest them. This said, in the past websites, who’s business relied heavily on digital foot-fall, side-stepped the need to employ qualitative content by throwing money at SEO trickery or keywords in an attempt to “game” search engines into sending them traffic.

Although there will always be a need for SEO and a place for keywords, the new kid on the block is what it should always have been – what are people really reading / watching / sharing / commenting on – AKA quality content.


In the last 2 years the search engine big boys Google, Yahoo and Bing have called time on such practices stating via a number of algorithm updates that they will now be rewarding quality content and penalising over-optimized (think keyword-heavy pages) in an effort to give people what they want/expect to find.

Why is it taking so long for businesses to realise? Well, it’s quite ironic when you think about it. The answer lies in two other questions.

Q: Who is the CEO going to ask about content vs SEO? His marketing or SEO guy?
A: probably not the marketing guy.

Q: Who is going to advise that Content Marketing is a better investment than SEO and keywords?
A: probably not the SEO guy.

Rather than bore you all by explaining exactly why this is both logical and better for everyone we found you some juicy visual content in the form of this useful info graphic from the guys at


p.s. – and by all means share with anyone that you feel still hasn’t got the message!

Brafton's Infographic: Why Content for SEO?

By Charlie McGhee