Terms such as ‘Google Algorithms’ may induce fear for some. But ISFX Media explain and summarise what Google’s search engines are all about, and how this impacts websites and their rankings. Website owners must understand the basic Google Algorithms to see how this affects your online marketing methods and Page Rank.

Even when discussing amongst industry professionals, there seems to be confusion due to the frequent updates and changes. Terms like Page Rank, Penguin and Hummingbird have popped up, only adding to the perplexity and misunderstandings.

We explain some search engine terminology below:


Page Rank (PR)
Page Ranking is the primary function of Google; it is the thing which sets it apart from competitors and makes it more effective than any of the other search engines in existence. Google examines both the number and quality of backlinks, i.e. websites linking directly to a certain website. Google then ranks sites in order of relevance and popularity, usually ending up with sites with the highest calibre backlinks topping the search results for a particular set of keywords. PR numbers are never totally accurate as the information and status is updated constantly, yet the Page Ranks displayed on the Google toolbar and via other ranking tools are updated only infrequently. It is still, however, a really good indication of the quality of a website. One must also consider other factors impacting PR, like domain age and webpage authority, which most people still believe to increase PR today.


Penguin was introduced as a quality control measure fro Page Rank, helping to prevent certain individuals cheating the Google ranking system. Penguin looks at backlinks to websites; granting high ranks to websites with genuine and quality backlinks, and penalising those websites who buy backlinks or create backlinks for the sole purpose of boosting their Page Rank.

Penguin targets websites with lots of links (thousands), and very little, poorly-written content. It also seeks backlinks from poor quality sites with a low Page Rank and very little authority and history. Perhaps most crucially, Penguin hunts for backlinks having very little or no relevance to the website which it’s linked to.


Since 2011, Panda’s updates have plagued website owners. The most recent up-coming update should benefit small-medium size businesses who make a priority, the quality of content on their website. Google rankings should now appear to be populated with a more diverse range websites of different size. This means that fresh and unique high quality content is rewarded with higher rankings because of the latest Google Panda update.

Of course, there is also the possibility that some websites may face a decrease in rankings as a result of the update, which is indeed the case with all Google updates.


Hummingbird is Google’s most recent algorithm development, making longer and more descriptive searches better in terms of effectiveness and accuracy. Hummingbird concentrates on written content within websites, making onsite SEO and quality and unique content more important than ever.


It is 100% certain that Google will continue to update and beef up it’s algorithm with more sophisticated decision-making formulae to determine webpage rankings. Regardless of the nature of upcoming updates, it seems that rewarding high-quality, original and popular content is likely a trend set to continue. The best thing website owners can do to optimise their ranking is frequently publish unique and high-quality content. You will do no harm, and you will probably be in line for a ranking increase upon the next Google update, which are expected to commence in late 2014 or early 2015.

Don’t try to boost your Page Rank; rather try to steer organic high quality traffic to your website via advertising and social media. Building backlinks with other high quality websites increases the authority of your website, which is something Google really like to see regardless of updates and changes.
Contact us now to begin optimising your online presence.