To get a better understanding of why we are where we are today, weâre told to take a look back at history. The same could be said of the digital marketing and search engine Industries, so today weâre taking a look at Google Update Florida. Released in 2004 (seems like an eternity when it comes to the internet, doesnât it?) But, given what we know about what Google update Florida probably was, we have a pretty good idea of how it affects SEO today.
What is Update Florida?
Update Florida occurred in November 2003 before the Christmas shopping season and before Pubcon in Orlando. Experts immediately preceded as a Winx were calculated at Google. Many non-spam websites lost rankings because they were labeled as false positives.The changing rankings continued well into 2004 as Matt Cutts actively look for examples of false positives.
By the time February rolls around, rankings began to stabilize because Google had eventually sorted through the false positives. While we donât know how much in-house testing Google have done prior to the release of update Florida, thereâs good reason to believe that little testing was done to show how it would affect innocent sites.
At the time, many theories were circulating around what Google was doing. Many black hat SEOs (those using frowned upon tactics in an attempt to manipulate their place in the search results) were speculating that Google was using OCR to identify the buy button on various eCommerce sites in order to weed them out of informational searches. Now, looking back, many SEOs agree that it was simply a link analysis algorithm. It shook up the search engine world simply because few people knew much about how link analysis worked.
It served as perhaps first the major disruption in the search engine results and the overall algorithm. Though Google never disclosed what update Florida actually was, we believe it to be far more than a simple devaluation for irrelevant links. it seems to be more of a statistical analysis.
A Quick Primer on Statistical Analysis
Statistical analysis is the process of planning out the characteristics of a web page or website on a graph. You tally up statistics on things such as the average amount of outbound links for web page, the percentages of outbound links that contain keyword anchor text and so on. The statistical properties of links were of interest to Google as early as 2001 as they began to notice certain properties being didnât indicate the presence of spam.
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What Does This Mean for Link Analysis Today?
The principle of link analysis has changed how we discuss as CEO. It is what began using natural anchor text in linking patterns. The industry still worries about looking natural, because too many keywords in your anchor text can signal to Google that you are a spam website, which of course will negatively affect your rankings. Though we arenât seeing as many research papers on link analysis as we did in the early 2000s, there is definitely an emphasis on machine learning in the areas of understanding concepts, content, and identifying user intent. Link analysis is a major part of this process.
Take for instance each stage of your sales funnel and the content you create for it. At the top of the funnel when your building awareness content, youâre going to link to a lot of information on material. At the bottom of the funnel when youâre trying to convert someone to a sales, youâll link to more transactional material. As such, your anchor text should indicate this to provide the best possible user experience.
Whether Update Florida was actually link analysis or not, we know that it likely remains a part of Googleâs core algorithm because itâs an easy way to catch and remove obvious spam. The changes we see as a result of Update Florida continue to influence how we approach SEO today.
While weâve undergone several major search engine updates since then, including penguin and Panda that continue to reshape the entire industry, SEOs today have a greater understanding of what Google expects from their highest ranking website. This allows us to ensure we present you with a quality product that keeps both your customers and Google happy.
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