The Google Zoo Book Of Algorithm Updates And What They Mean

Quick Foreword

This is not a guide on how to counteract the effects on your ranking results from these updates and implement measures into your company’s constituencies, but merely a reference guide to highlight the significant changes, and to provide SEOs with a blueprint.

Google has major power over corporate companies and people in general who publish/host anything on the web. And because of this, it’s important to under how big G works so your company doesn’t get hit hard and loses big money. Because in this business, we get people coming to us for this very reason because their marketing personal are totally clueless as to what to do.

Fortunately, as a marketing firm, we are here to serve our clients by providing valuable information, that will both help them and save them from big losses…

Let’s take a look at how Google can effect business. This can happen each and every day, practically, when Google updates it’s ranking algorithms

The term algorithm

The term is derived from ancient Greek arithmos meaning number

An algorithm is simply a complex code of instructions programmed to both calculate and solve various problems by a network of supercomputers. Google updates these which directly effects the way users connect and are provided with information on the web. Thus, it also effects your business if your assets online aren’t in compliance with Googles laws.


That is where SEOs come in.

Google has a jungle book of updates, and each one of these algorithmic updates has different rules and meanings, and each one effects your website and web assets’ search results.

Let’s take a look at what they are;


Panda (Implemented in February 24, 2011)


Impacts: duplicate and pasted “low-quality” content. Spam and the stuffing of keywords.

How does it work:

The way Panda works is to introduce assign value to each site that’s relative to quality and it then impacts the site’s ranking. In the beginning before this algorithm gained traction in 2016, (i.e. when it became fully integrated as an algorithm) it was actually a filter.

Now to combat Panda, you need to make sure that your web assets have good quality content, and not ‘wishywashy’ half baked paste and copy bloat. Or else you will be penalized.

But to be absolutely sure that your assets are not effected, we provide SEO auditing for our clients, where we do an analysis.

Panda also greatly effects ecommerce sites, where CEOs and companies have not invested money in them, decided to go the cheap rout, and just bloated products on it, without the time spent on both information and content…

If this is the case, you’re advised to contact us so we can conduct an audit for you.


Penguin (Implemented April 24, 2012)

Impacts: spammed links, black hat back linking and effects texts and paragraphs that contain too much anchor tags.

How does it work:

The Penguin algorithm impacts sites with a suspicious amount of links all over the place, especially from untrusted sources, which you can imagine is weird specially to anyone that’s prospecting a site

Now what makes Penguin lethal to your ranking performance, is that it acts in real time, a dichotomy from the way Panda works…

Mitigation: If your web assets have been slapped by Google’s Penguin, then it is advised that you contact us so we can do an audit for you. Our processes involve doing a thorough analysis on your performance levels, and then determine the source of the problem. From there, we set about mitigating the problem, and rectifying the problem(s).


Hummingbird (Implemented August 22, 2013)

Impacts: Key word abuse, stuffing and poor quality content

How does it work:

Reminiscent of Google’s Panda, but yet totally different. It reads searcher’s queries by determining the intent behind them, and thus pulling results that better match their queries. So you can sort of see that keywords in essence have become obsolete after he birth of Hummingbird, for this algorithm intelligently determines the user’s query by the way he or she has written it, correlating search results with the synonyms of related keywords. So this sort of update really makes things interesting when searching for things.

Mitigation: If your website(s) have been effected by Hummingbird, it means you need a complete overhaul on the wording structure on your pages/content and any other web assets. Therefore it is advised that you speak to one of our SEO consultants to provide you a way forward. It is most likely that you will need an extensive audit being done, to gain insight and then effectively apply different concepts. Contact us today


Pigeon (Implemented July 24, 2014)

Impacts: On-site SEO and Off-site SEO which is of poor quality.

How does it work:

If you’ve ever had an SEO professional do work on your websites and didn’t know what he was doing, than chances are, the work he did is of inferior quality, and thus will result in penalties from Google’s Pigeon. It plays a major role, however in location based SEO and location of the company. Traditional SEO concepts can play a role in this.

Mitigation: Your on-page SEO needs to be audited, if you’ve been hit by Pigeon, and it highly likely that your off-page SEO needs auditing.

Contact us for an SEO audit today


Mobile (Implemented April 21, 2015)

Impacts: Incompatible sites that lack mobile functionality

How does it work:

Old website and slack web developers and designers who did not heed to the warning of the pending mobilegeddon have suddenly been targets like sitting ducks. This algorithm effects all unresponsive sites and down ranks them accordingly.

Mitigation: You need a new website, or at least develop a mobile version of it. For without one, you have no hope in getting any ranking…

Visit our web development page and contact us for a quote.


RankBrain (Implemented October 26, 2015)

Impacts: Search query related relevance and poor content

How does it work:

Well much of this algorithm is still unknown really, but it carries on where Hummingbird left off, it is designed to help Google learn the intent of user’s queries, by calling in the relevant results.

I will update this post later on with more finer details of RankBrain

Mitigation: Your content needs to be optimized in a way that it can be understood properly. This can be achieved by having us do market research for you, so we can ascertain what your competitors are doing, so that, we can optimize your content with a diverse array of concepts which will significantly boost your SEO performance.


Possum (Implemented September 1, 2016)

Impacts: Local competition

How does it work:

The way this algorithm works, is by determining the users location, calling all relevant results based on his or hers search queries which are based in their locations. This means that the ranking factor here is determined on the location of the result, and if that result is closest to the user, it will be ranked higher than results which are based elsewhere. So local competition really plays a huge role here for this update.

Mitigation: First of all, to determine the scenario that you’re most like in as result from Google’s Possum update involves special type of audit. This audit involves checking your ranking performance from a different set of locations, and then we need to target extra keywords as opposed to tradition SEO concepts.


Fred (Implemented March 8, 2017)

Impacts: Affiliate websites and ad based content

How does it work:

In today’s world, there are millions of people each day putting up affiliate related content to make a quick buck off of Amazon, and other big corporate entities that offer affiliate programmes. And because of this, too many times there are violations caused which are not in compliance with Google’s webmasters guidelines, and other search engine polices.

Examples are blogs littered with ads, that offer no real content and value but are stuffed with excessive insignificant and irrelevant keywords for the sole purpose of generating ad revenue. This sort of slap-dash rubbish is getting stamped out.

Mitigation: Get one of our professionals to create content for you. Simple as that. There’s nothing else you can do.

So there you have it, a brief look at what companies and businesses are up against. And that is why it is crucial in investing in the right people for the job, to manage your web assets online, and to ensure that your company is not losing revenue because of ill-practice, or just sheer negligence.

Contact us today so we can help you:

About the Author

Charles Keiser

CEO and Founder of Bizdyne. Charles Keiser started Envision Marketing in 2010 which evolved over the years. During which time the company served a holdings group under contract where it administered several marketing campaigns for many ventures. Adept in the industry, Bizdyne now serves it's loyal clients with Charles Keiser leading a team of marketing professionals and web developers that drive revenue creation for their businesses.