Google’s Top 3 SEO Changes for May 2012

Every month Google announces a great number of changes to their search engine algorithms.

SEO Changes Ahead

Of course, May 2012 is no exception to this rule with changes including, the Knowledge Graph, better search engine results for the mainland of China an updated search app for the iPhone and over 30 other changes.

Instead of going through every single one of these changes with you, how about we trim it down to the top 3 – in order to protect that awesome brain of yours from exploding from SEO information overload?

May’s Top 3 Google Algorithm Changes in 2012

1. Better application of inorganic backlinks signals.

Google speak: “We have algorithms in place designed to detect a variety of link schemes, a common spam technique. This change ensures we’re using those signals appropriately in the rest of our ranking.”

Human translation: “Link schemes” are black hat SEO tactics to increase link popularity to a website or blog from internal and external sources. A common scheme that has been seen in the past is the creation of low quality blogs for the sole purpose of providing a link to a business website in order to increase inbound links to the website – therefore increasing search engine rankings.

2. Better detection of searches looking for fresh content.

Google speak: “This change introduces a brand new classifier to help detect searches that are likely looking for fresh content.”

Human translation: Fresh content, such as articles from updated blogs, account for a great deal of search engine rankings. This is to help Google users find the most recent and updated information on the Internet. Regularly updated content shows that the website owner or blogger is an authority leader in that specific topic or industry. Google always looks to align itself with authority leaders. They are looking for those that “walk the walk” and “talk the talk” continuously.

3. Updates to +Pages in right-hand panel.

Google speak: “We improved our signals for identifying relevant +Pages to show in the right-hand panel.”

Human translation: The right-hand panel in Google search engine results populates with updated information shared through Google+. This allows you to see what your network is recommending, based on the topic you are searching. So, for instance, if we are connected on Google+ and, if I recently shared a post on Google’s Penguin algorithm, if you were searching on that term then there is a good chance that my shared link to that post would show up for you in the right-hand panel.

Of course, these are only some of the 39 Google algorithms for May 2012. Just 2012 along, Google has implemented over 250 algorithmic changes to the search engine. Some you will never see as they are performance based but every one of them have an impact on your business/personal website or blog. Every day the search engines and social media networks are changing. It’s important for you to stay on top of these changes or hire a reputable and ethical professional SEO consultant to help.

Your website or blog is your calling card to the world. Why leave it to chance when there are so many SEO and social media changes happening every day?
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  • Lisa Shaughnessy

    Thanks for sharing this information Shannon – very helpful. Every Monday I post a “round up” of 5 – 10 links to social media articles that I think my audience/customers will find helpful. Does Google treat those posts like a link scheme?

    I don’t just post the links – I always add some comments on why I think the post will be helpful or what information the reader can expect.


    • Shannon Steffen

      Lisa – Unless you abuse linking, Google will actually love you for linking like that. You always want to add some unique content below each of the links and limit the overall number of links on your page to under 100 if possible. This number includes the links in your navigation, sidebars, social sharing and footers so be careful.

  • bloghands

    Awesome idea. I’ve been keeping up with those monthly SEO updates from Google but they typically don’t put it in such general terms it’s hard to say what they are really doing. It’s great to get another SEO experts opinion of what they’re trying to say. I’ll have to check back to see more of your point of view.

    • Shannon Steffen

      There is so much information being sent out from Google alone that it is a full-time job. Once you add in the other search engines and then the search algorithms on social media networks… well, this is why I only do search engine and social media optimization. Lucky for me, I LOVE it!

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