A Look Back on Google Algorithms and their Impact on SEO

Published on February 26, 2014

Do you remember how Google search was back in the late 90s?

If you don't, it isn't really that surprising. Google has come a long way since then, especially in terms of its search algorithms.

In the beginning, getting your website to rank highly in a Google search comprised of a simple two steps:

  1. Saturate your pages with as many keywords and trigger phrases as possible
  2. Accumulate inbound links - The more, the better.

As you probably already know, the Google search algorithm has evolved quite a long way from its primitive beginning.  Keywords and links are no longer the full name of the game - value, on the other hand is.  "Hacking the system" (i.e. keyword saturated content that has little to no actual value to readers) has been effectively avoided as Google's algorithm has improved.

Google has endeavored over the years to find new, more effective ways to deliver high-value, high-quality search engine results. Starting in 2003 with "Boston", Google users started seeing these algorithm changes labeled with names. In recent memory, you may recollect mention of "Panda", "Penguin", and most recently, with "Hummingbird".  Google has recently endeavored to have their searches pull up high-quality content that effectively serves as an answer to a question.


What are the subtleties of the Google algorithm shifts over the years?  Hubspot and Moz recently teamed up to offer a pretty neat infographic on the subject that we thought you might enjoy:

All in all, Google's algorithms have traversed a winding path with the constant effort to make their searches yield content that web users will actually find useful. 

Where do small businesses fare in this grand scheme?

Ultimately, it is important to release consistent, frequent content that is both informative and high quality.  This thinking alone is a great driving force which will help enable your effectiveness on social media websites, and boost your SEO on all search engines, including Google.

How is your company fairing with SEO? Want to have better search engine ranking in Hummingbird, but unsure where to start? Don't hesitate to send us an email or give us a call!