How do I optimise my website for Google News?

We will use this Ask SISTRIX article to take a holistic view at both the questions of how to optimise a website and the content within, so that it will be admitted into Google News and how to achieve a good ranking within the Google News vertical. What is Google […]

What is the difference between SEO, Ads and Universal Search?

To better explain the differences between the three categories SEO, Ads and Universal Search, we best take a look at one of Google’s search result pages. Overview of a Google search engine result page (SERP) The typical search result page, also called search engine result page or “SERP” for short, […]

How do I recognise an Algorithmic Penalty?

An algorithmic penalty is the sanctioning of a website by one of Google’s algorithms. With this kind of penalty there was no manual processing by a Google employee. Due to this, an algorithmic penalty can not be lifted by a Google employee during a manual review. Submitting a reconsideration request […]

How long does a Google Penalty last?

As there are different types of Google Penalties there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. Though we can generally differentiate between the two types of penalties. The algorithmic penalty A website may be penalised due to an algorithmic filter, such as the Google Panda Update or the Google Penguin […]

What kinds of Google Penalties are there and what are the differences?

A Penalty is a measure by Google to punish websites that are in violation of their Webmaster Guidelines. A penalty can have different levels of severity in which it affects a website. You can differentiate between punishments on a keyword-, URL- or directory level as well as a sidewide (affecting […]

What is a Reconsideration Request?

A Reconsideration Request is a request for another manual review of a website that has been punished by a manual penalty. If a domain is affected by an algorithmic penalty, sending a Reconsideration Request will have no effect. Depending on the scale and severity of the violation against the Google […]

What do I have to pay attention to in a Reconsideration Request?

If you want to submit a Reconsideration Request because of a manual penalty by Google, you should take a number of things into consideration. When submitting a request for another website review, you should be able to put forward a detailed report of what you did. This report should contain […]

Google Penalties

A penalty is the sanctioning of a website by Google. The reason for punishing a website is because of a non-compliance with the Google Webmaster Guidelines. Google penalties come in two flavours, manual- as well as algorithmic-penalties. What kinds of a Google Penalty are there and what are the differences? […]

Does Google punish websites that are not mobile friendly?

No. A website which is not optimised for mobile devices does not receive minus points by Google and will also catch no penalty. It is wrong to speak of a Google Penalty in the context of the Mobile Friendly Update. No penalty for un-optimised pages Google has made it clear […]

HTTPS Ranking Factor Update

In August 2014, Google started considering HTTPS to be a ranking factor. If a website exclusively uses the HTTPS-protocol it may gain a slight boost to their Google rating. This means that HTTPS is only a weak ranking factor. What is HTTPS? HTTPS is, just like the HTTP protocol, a […]

Google Vince Update

What is the Google Vince Update? The codename “Vince” describes a comprehensive and permanent change (Update) to Google’s ranking algorithm. The algorithm change was announced in 2009 and soon after deployed worldwide. The influence on the German search market, for example, started to be visible in December 2009. The namesake […]

Google Venice Update

What is the Google Venice Update? On February 27th 2012, Google announced an algorithm change with the codename “Venice”, which increased the frequency in which Google Places-Integrations are shown in the organic search results. Improvements to ranking for local search results. [launch codename “Venice”] This improvement improves the triggering of […]

What are the consequences of the Penguin Update 2.0?

What is the Google Penguin Update 2.0? The Google Penguin Update 2.0 is a new and improved generation of the algorithm change “Google Penguin Update” that was first introduced for all languages on April 24th, 2012. The Penguin Update 2.0 is not the third Data-Refresh of the algorithm change “Penguin”, […]

What is the Google Payday Loan Update 2.0?

The Google Payday Loan Update 2.0 is a new and improved generation of the “Google Payday Loan Update” which was first introduced to the US-American search market on June 11th 2013 and then rolled out worldwide over the course of the following month or two. The Payday Loan Update 2.0 […]

Google Payday Loan Update

What is the Google Payday Loan Update? The Codename “Payday Loan” combines extensive and permanent changes (Update) to Google’s ranking algorithm. This algorithm change was first deployed on the US-American search market on June 11th 2013 and was rolled-out to the rest of the world over the following two months. […]

Why is the Panda Update also referred to as the Farmer Update?

In January 2011, Google promised to do something against so-called “Content Farms” in a timely manner. At the time, these websites managed to get good rankings with their inferior quality content, which in turn displaced websites that might be much more useful to the user from the top positions. “Content […]

Google Panda Update

What is the Google Panda Update? The codename “Panda” refers to a large and permanent change (Update) to Google’s ranking algorithm. To be more specific – the Panda Update is a filter that is regularly applied to the entire Google index, in order to lower the visibility of low quality […]

How can I recognize a valid SSL certificate?

Every modern web browser shows the use of encrypted HTTPS connections in the address bar and indicates if the website’s SSL certificate is not valid. Pay attention to the address bar of your web browser The following screenshot shows the Internet Explorer while accessing two different banking websites: Requesting the […]

What is the difference between an Update and a Data Refresh?

Google continuously works on improving their algorithms. When an algorithm improvement takes place, it is called an “Update”. The Panda Update or Penguin Update are two updates to the ranking algorithm. Google’s Updates Are Car Parts, Data Refreshes Are Gas– Matt Cutts, Distinguished Engineer   Each Google’s Algorithm Update deals […]

Overview of Google Panda Iterations (Data Refreshes)

An update of the data basis of the Panda filter is called a “Data Refresh”. Google irregularily deploys iterations of their Panda Update to their search markets. An iteration is the repeated use of the same process on interim values (data) which were already obtained, as well as gradual or […]

How often does Google carry out Algorithm Updates?

Google constantly tries to maintain and increase the quality of their search index. In order to accomplish this goal, Google launches algorithm updates every now and then, on all search markets, worldwide. These so-called Google Updates can have a varying degree of influence on the particular ranking of a website. […]

What is the Google Everflux?

Everflux stands for a permanent fluctuation and means that Google’s Ranking Algorithm undergoes a continuous updating cycle. One characteristic of the Google Everflux is, for example, a constant, slight change of ranking positions in the SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages). Aside from the bigger updates to the ranking algorithm, Google’s […]

What is the Google Panda Update 4.0?

The Google Panda Update 4.0 is a new and improved generation of the algorithm change “Google Panda Update“, which was first deployed to the US-American search market on February 23, 2011 before being rolled out worldwide for all English-language search requests on April 11, 2011. The Panda Update 4.0 was […]

How can Above the Fold advertisement have a negative effect on the user experience?

This depends on the display resolution and the resulting relationship between immediately visible content and advertisements. Many websites (and/or their ad formats) are still not optimised for different “lower” display resolutions, as well as being shown on tablets, or even (sub-) notebooks. The default display resolution of a common 15.4″ […]

What does Google consider to be high quality content?

Google’s Panda Filter Algorithm goes through the Google-Index and looks for bad or low quality content and punishes websites where such content is found. In order to identify this bad or low quality content, the Panda Filter looks for a number of signals. Google already runs this quality evaluation during […]

What does Query Deserves Freshness (QDF) mean?

What is QDF? “Query Deserves Freshness”, in short QDF, is a ranking algorithm by Google. It essentially means: “Search requests that deserve up-do-date search results”. By using QDF Google is trying to identify the topics and search requests where the user has a desire for new and current content, to […]

Why is the Penguin Update also referred to as the Webspam Update?

This case is similar to the Panda Update, which was also known as the Farmer Update. When Google announced the “Penguin Update” they officially called it an algorithm-change which was supposed to stem the tides of webspam. In the next few days, we’re launching an important algorithm change targeted at […]

Are there multiple Penguin Updates?

Yes. There is a Google Algorithm-Change with the codename “Penguin” or “Webspam” (called the Penguin Update or Webspam Update), which has been deployed at different times in different search markets and recieved multiple data refreshes. On 05/22/2013 Google deployed the Penguin Update 2.0 worldwide, which consituted an independent algorithm change […]

Why does the Panda Update have the version number 2.4 in Germany?

Google will update the databasis for their algorithm updates from time to time, which is the reason why updates or a data-refreshes get version numbers. Please see our article, “What is the difference between an update and a data-refresh?” for additional information. The algorithm update “Panda” (Panda Update) was first […]

Is it a penalty if a website is affected by the Panda Update?

Yes, it is indeed an algorithmic penalty. If a website is affected by the Panda Update it is oftentimes referred to as a “Site-Wide Penalty” (which means all pages on the website are penalised). When a sufficient amount of URLs, or segments of a website are marked as “low quality” […]

Google Page Layout Algorithm Update (Ads Above the Fold)

The Page Layout Algorithm Update (Ads Above the Fold) is a change to Google’s ranking algorithm that was rolled out worldwide on June 19, 2012. This algorithm change only affects 1% of all worldwide search requests and is supposed to further enhance the quality of the search results. Google now […]

Why is the Vince Update also referred to as the Brand Update?

The Vince Update gives a bonus to brand websites when it comes to search results for traffic-rich keywords. It is irrefutable that there is a lasting positive effect in favor of established brands due to the “Vince” algorithm update. Due to the fact that brands and brand domains are such […]

How does Google consider freshness and what does it mean for the rankings?

When we look at how Google determines the “freshness” of content, they look at the following types: Topicality of a subject matter New (freshly published) content Topicality of a subject matter The “up-to-dateness” of a piece of content is related to trends and news: With the help of Google Trends […]

Google Penguin Update

What is the Google Penguin Update? Behind the codename “Penguin” hides a decisive update to Google’s ranking-algorithm. The goal of the Penguin Update is to further reduce webspam in the search results, this time in a more radical way. This is the reason why the Penguin Update is also known […]

Google Core Algorithm Update (Phantom Update)

Google deployed a core algorithm update at the start of May, 2015. The searchengine from Mountain View chose not to reveal which ranking factors were changed, which is why this update is being called a Phantom Update. During the week from 05/04/2015 into 05/11/2015, many domains worldwide saw surprising losses […]

Google Hummingbird Update

What is the Google Hummingbird Update? The code name “Hummingbird” stands for a new generation of Google’s search algorithm, which already influences more than 90% of all worldwide search requests. On the 15th anniversary of Google’s search, they announced on September 26 2013 that a comprehensive update for their search […]

Google Freshness Update

What is the Google Freshness Update? The Google Freshness Update is a comprehensive and permanent update of Google’s ranking algorithm which causes the given search request to be answered with more current and newer search results, depending on the search request. The algorithm update was deployed in early November of […]

Google Expanded Sitelinks Update

On August 16, 2011, Google introduced the Expanded Sitelinks Update to a worldwide audience. This update exclusively targets brand queries – searches for brand names – and changes the way the first page of these search results is set up. During the introduction of the Expanded Sitelinks, up to twelve […]

Google Exact-Match Domain (EMD) Update

The Exact-Match Domain (EMD) Update is a change in Google’s ranking algorithm launched on 27th September, 2012. The algorithm update caused “exact-match” domains with low quality content to fall behind in the search results. According to Google, 0.6% of English search requests are affected by this update. What is an […]

Future Google Panda Updates have been integrated in the Panda Everflux

Since March 2013, iterations of the Google Panda Update will not be identified as such anymore. Instead of deploying bigger or smaller updates, Google has now baked Panda into their regular algorithm-changes and index-updates. You are more likely in the future to see Panda deployed gradually as we rebuild the […]

Can my website be punished by the Google Penguin Update? Do I have an unnatural link profile?

The two algorithm changes Google Penguin Update and Google Penguin Update 2.0 have the purpose of identifying webspam in the search results and, in turn, will inflict a penalty for violations of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. In practice, the Google Penguin algorithm will look for unnatural linkprofiles of websites. If a […]

Overview of Google Penguin Update iterations (data-refreshes)

Anytime there is an update to the data base on which the Penguin Update runs, it is called a “data refresh”. Google rolls out new iterations of their Penguin Updates at different times to the different search-markets. An iteration is the continued usage of the same process on already obtained […]

Are there multiple Panda updates?

No. There is a Google algorithm update with the code name “Panda”, called Panda Update, which was rolled out worldwide at different times for various search markets. There have been multiple “data refreshes” for the Panda Update. Google’s Updates Are Car Parts, Data Refreshes Are Gas– Matt Cutts, Distinguished Engineer […]

Are there multiple Page Layout algorithm updates?

No. There is a Google algorithm update under the name “Page Layout Algorithm Update (Ads Above The Fold)“, which is active for all search markets worldwide and for which there have been multiple data refreshes. Example of a Visibility history for a domain in the USA search market, with an […]

Google Caffeine Update

What is the Google Caffeine Update? Google introduced a new system, codenamed “Caffeine”, for handling the indexation of web content in June 2010. This newly created search index is called Caffeine. Caffeine provides 50 percent fresher results for web searches than our last index, and it’s the largest collection of […]

Google updates and algorithm changes

The goal of every Google algorithm change, also called Google Update, is to (further) increase the quality of the search results for the user. Google uses more than 200 ranking factors to determine the quality and relevancy of every URL. Google’s ranking algorithms help get the most relevant information from […]

Is there a duplicate content penalty?

No. There are different kinds of a Google penalties, but a so-called duplicate content penalty does not exist. Internal duplicate content can have an effect on how a website appears in the search results, but it does not lead to a penalty. Google has a part in their Webmaster Guidelines […]

Google May Day Update

What is the Google May Day update? The code name “May Day” stands for a comprehensive and permanent update to Google’s ranking algorithm. The algorithm update went live worldwide over the time frame of April 28th to May 3rd, 2010, which is the reason why it is called “May Day”. […]

Loss of Visibility due to Google’s Expanded Sitelinks update?

If you look at the event-pins for the Visibility Index of a random domain in the SISTRIX Toolbox, you will notice that the Expanded Sitelinks update might have led to a drastic Visibility loss: This “loss” of Visibility is primarily due to a change in Google’s SERP layout. While up […]

Mobile-friendly ranking factor update

On April 21st 2015, the mobile-friendliness of a website became another ranking factor on Google. “Mobile-friendly” looks at the usability of a website on a smartphone. The algorithm update therefore only affects mobile search requests, in all languages worldwide. Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness […]