The Three Latest Google Updates: Hummingbird, Penguin 2.1 and Mugshots

The Three Latest Google Updates: Hummingbird, Penguin 2.1 and Mugshots

The last few weeks have led to many changes with Google’s algorithm. The changes have rearranged much of the search results. Some webmasters are happy with the results, and others have seen rank plummet. If you have a significant change in Google search engine rank, you could be a part of the changes made during Google’s Hummingbird, Penguin and Mugshot algorithm changes.

What is Google Hummingbird?

Google Hummingbird is probably the most innocuous of all three changes. While some people attribute change in rank with Hummingbird, the fact is that this change was mostly an infrastructure change. Every once in a while, development companies overhaul code. Google is no different, and Hummingbird was a restructure and rewrite of the search engine’s code. Although Google does not divulge specifics about its algorithm or code, it’s safe to say that a restructure means they implemented some newer technology and upgraded the code for speed. Google implemented Hummingbird a month before the change was announced, and the company announced that they did not expect it to change much of the search results.

Penguin 2.1: Fighting Spam

Penguin isn’t a new algorithm change, but Google continues to refine the system and runs updates several times a year. Google recently announced its release of Penguin 2.1, which was supposed to affect about one percent of searches.

Penguin’s biggest target is link spammers. Google indicates in its guidelines that links created to manipulate PageRank (and ultimately search engine rank) are against company terms. Building links and spam have been abused, and Google took action in early 2012. The result is many of the link builders and spammers have lost rank due to Penguin. Penguin 2.1 is even more sensitive, and many webmasters who contributed to forum and blog spam have been caught it the algorithm’s demotion.

To avoid Penguin’s grasp, avoid any link building, especially link building that focuses on primary anchor text. If you have an issue with Penguin 2.1, your search traffic will reflect it in a decline around October 4, 2013. The only way to fix the issue is to remove spam links that could be interpreted as unnatural.

Mugshot Site Changes

For years, people have dealt with the mugshot sites displaying personal information. The problem increasingly became worse as more mugshot sites continued to pop up and scrape other sites with personal images. The problem was that potential employers sometimes search for a person’s information in Google. Even if the offense is minor, the mugshot sites showed up for a query on the person’s name.

Google decided to take action against these sites and devalue them in the search engine’s result pages. The result is that people who made minor errors in their life will no longer have those mistakes haunt them during future career endeavors.

These changes have shifted much of the search engine results. If you rely on Google for income and traffic, read Google’s guidelines and make sure you follow them to avoid being hit with any negative effects from major algorithm changes.

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