Organic SEO

Google Algorithm Updates Cheat Sheet

Google Algorithm Updates Cheat Sheet
Your ultimate guide to major Google penalties & algo changes.


We recntly came across this guide to dealing with Google updates and thought it might be useful (view complete article). Google rolls out algorithm updates once or twice every month (and that’s just the ones we know about!), but not all of them equally impact the SERPs. Here is a summary of the ‘cheat sheet’ from the article with the most important updates and penalties, how-tos on checking if you were hit by any given one, recovery advice, and prevention tips.

Penguin hazards
Penguin is looking for sites with one or several of the following types of links in their profile:

Links coming from poor quality, “spammy” sites
Links coming from sites created purely for SEO link building (PBNs)
Links coming from topically irrelevant sites
Paid links
Links with overly optimized anchor text

Hummingbird hazards
Hummingbird gives a ranking advantage to pages that provide valuable, original content, putting an end to old-school on-page tactics that bring no value to the user. The following features can get pages down-ranked in SERPs due to Hummingbird.

Exact-match keyword targetings
Keyword stuffing
Poor user experience

Pigeon hazards
The following factors may become ranking disadvantages for local businesses after Pigeon:

Poorly optimized pages
Lack of quality backlinks
Improper setup of a Google My Business page
NAP inconsistency
Lack of a citation in local directories (if relevant)

Mobile-friendly hazards
When evaluating a page’s mobile friendliness, Google looks at the following factors:

Overall mobile friendliness
Viewport configuration
Illegible content
Plugin use