Calculating SEO Success

Trying to understand how a search engine shows results based on a keyword search is no easy equation. There are numerous variables the search engines consider when trying to find the best pages to show. Keyword density, meta descriptions, internal links, ALT text and tags, content freshness and length are just a few of those variables. So, how exactly should a company increase its SEO? To better understand all of the algorithm variables, here is a brief overview of Google through the years.

History of Google Algorithm


Google’s Panda was released in 2011 as a way to punish websites with content that was too short or generic.


Penguin was released in 2012 as a way to target businesses that manipulated or used backlinks on their websites.


Hummingbird was released in 2013 to improve the way Google determines the relationship between the keywords we search for and the results we want to find.


Pigeon was released in 2014 to improve the way Google shows search results based on location.

So what’s next?

In 2015, were expecting to see two of the biggest Google algorithm changes. Google will start ranking websites based on the trustworthiness of a page, rather than links. There will also be algorithm changes happening more frequently eventually moving toward a rolling system of continual updates.

Apply the Algorithm

All of Google’s algorithm updates have helped the search engine reflect the real users and provide the most relevant, helpful content. This has made it harder to trick Google into giving your website a good rank based on “keyword stuffing” or outside links, because those websites are now viewed as less credible. So the key to being more credible: create good content. (1)

Luckily, the advancement of the search engine algorithms also means it is easier for businesses to increase their SEO. All of the Google updates aim to make the search engine more “life-like” so the results it presents are what the user is actually looking for. So, instead of writing content for a search engine, write content for a user. And lots of it.

Create interesting, valuable, timely content that will draw readers to your website. The content does not need to be stuffed with keywords and backlinks, just accurate information relevant to your industry. This will also help establish your company as an authority figure with extensive knowledge about your industry.

Already have great, consistent content? Your company is 90% there! However, the content won’t do much good if your website is hard to navigate. Make sure your site is aesthetically pleasing and easy for users to find what they are looking for.

If your company wants to upgrade to a more modern website, it is also important to upgrade to a modern content management system (CMS), like ExpressionEngine.  Most modern content management systems have been created with the ability to streamline the SEO process. They also make it infinitely easier to update text and pictures on a website, which means easier access to updating a website quickly. (2)

Improving SEO is no longer about pleasing the search engine algorithm, it’s about the user. If you can get the attention of your audience, the search engine will notice as well.


Article 1: How Google’s Algorithms Are Making SEO Seriously Simple
Article 2: Why Modern SEO Requires Almost No Technical Expertise