Google’s SEO Update Changes Algorithm

by Carlos R
The article I chose to discuss about this week is about Google’s change in their search engine optimization algorithm and its effects on websites. The refresh to their search engine happened late last year. The article starts off by discussing that the search analytics provider Searchmetrics, spent some time examining effects on the changes. The results that came out of that testing is that there was a bigger presence of more up-to-date websites being displayed higher up in the searches. Websites included many blogs, brands, and news sites. Due to the fact that a good chunk of website saw a gain in their rankings, there were also a lot who dropped in ranks. Searchmetrics used its “SEO Visibility” metric to search using keywords, and then rank the website they were trying to find. They provided a chart within the article that showed the results of their testing, one group being the winners(the ones who are now more visible in searches), and another being the losers(the ones who dropped in rank). From looking at the list, there doesn’t seem to be a specific pattern because there are a lot of random but well-known brands, news, and government websites who were classified as winners. In the losers bracket, there seemed to be less known websites listed.

I enjoyed reading and learning about this extension to their new “Caffeine” update, as Google called it. I found it pretty interesting to see how they keep changing the algorithm to keep an edge on their competition, and rank newer websites first. One point they made in the article that I found really interesting is that Google’s own website,, saw a drop in the rankings. Seems odd, but I guess that means that Google takes its SEO seriously, that or they just overlooked it!

In class, we spent a good amount of time going over SEO and its importance on the internet. The five elements of SEO were: Content, Link Building, Social Mentions, Accessibility, and Usability. The lecture also emphasized how important it is to have your website shown on a search engine. That although you can pay to have it listed in the paid column, you can naturally place yourself at the top if you build your website correctly. This can be accomplished in many different ways. Adding important keywords to title tags for example, will push you up the ranks when people search for your website. Separating HTML from styles sheet also helps the SEO to read the HTML clearly and find what it is looking for without having to browse through the styles. After reading the article, I am pretty confident that Google updated their algorithm to rank websites who do all these things higher.


Perez Sarah. (November 7th, 2011). TechCrunch. In The Winners & Losers Of Google’s Freshness Update Revealed. Retrieved January 15, 2012, from