Google algorithm update Jagger
Google algorithm update 'Jagger'
This week we discuss the latest Google update, how it
might affect your site, and how you can recover if your site lost
its position as a result of this update.
The Jagger update started over a month ago and lasted 3 weeks. The
update included updating the PageRank of all spidered pages, updating
the number of backlinks and most importantly, changing the way Google
ranked web sites for any search query. The key features and effects
of this update are highlighted below:
How do we know Google is updating its algorithm?
Most algorithm updates, whether on
Google, Yahoo!, MSN or any other search engine, are characterised
by sudden, drastic and often frequent changes on the search results
pages for any search query. During the Jagger update, the folks at
Google were kind enough to warn us a few days into the update that
we were witnessing an update!
What has happened as a result of the Google Jagger update?
Underneath the superficial changes in search results, the Jagger
update has had a serious effect on the way companies use search
engine optimisation to influence ranks. Numerous search engine
optimisation experts have theorized on these effects. The most commonly
agreed upon conclusions are:
- Search engine optimisation has become more difficult than ever!
- Older sites are given more recognition
- Authority sites (e.g. BBC, NHS) are given more recognition
- Government and Educational institutions are considered more important
- Links from authority sites, government and educational institutions
- Older, longer-term inbound links are given more importance
- Outbound links to authority sites are considered good
- Relevance of links is very important
- Sites with more pages containing useful information rank better
- Up-to-date content is valued more
How does Google now value reciprocal links?
There are two aspects to consider for reciprocal
links. First, Google considers artificial link building with the
aim of influencing rank to be a form of spam, and so if it detects
unnatural linking patterns, such as links obtained from link farms
or link exchanges between irrelevant sites, it will penalize both
the sites for this. Second, inbound links are increasingly weighed
in importance according to the relevance of the page and the site
where the link originates from to the page it is linking to. So, a
link from a gambling site to a site about corrective surgery will
be considered almost useless. The only type of reciprocal link building
that is encouraged is between related companies in an industry e.g.
between theatres and ticket agents or between two ticket agents
How do age of site and age of links influence ranking?
Google does not want spam domains
to rank high on a results page, make a quick buck out of their top
position and then disappear. As a result it imposes ageing delays
on domains and now even on links. Sites which have been around for
a while will rank higher. What this means from a search engine optimisation
point of view is that it will take longer to see results of direct
optimisation and it will also take longer to see the results of any
link development work. Search engine optimisation work on new sites
can take as much as 9 months to start yielding results for competitive
Relevance... of everything!
Google's success was based on the relevance of the web sites it found
for any user query. Therefore it should come as no surprise that their
current algorithm goes a few steps further in rewarding relevance
... of everything - of inbound and outbound links to and from a site,
titles and headings to actual page content, page content to the rest
of the site and so on.
Recovering from Jagger
If your site has been affected, go through the list of features of
the Jagger update, and check if your site might have been struck due
to any one of those changes in the search engine ranking algorithm.
Re-optimise your site for the search engines by removing any offending
content and links and immerse yourself in obtaining more relevant
If you need any further help or guidance please contact
Other articles to read:
- Google Analytics for
- Link development & Spam
About the Author: Farhad Divecha
Before founding AccuraCast, Farhad worked for and provided consulting services to a number of large and medium sized enterprises in the UK and USA including 3Com, Proctor & Gamble and Household (HFC, HSBC). He has over 7 years of experience marketing products and services online and offline.