Thursday, June 5, 2014

Google's Unusual Names for Usual SEO Principles

Apple names its desktop OS versions after predator cats (e.g. Leopard, Lion, Jaguar). Android names its updates after desserts (e.g. Jelly Bean, Ice Cream Sandwich, KitKat). Some brands stick to a pattern to make keeping track of their products easier. Google is no different, but you may wonder if it has a naming convention at all.

Contrary to popular belief, Google doesn't name their updates after animals (even Panda isn't named after an actual animal). Some of their updates allude to the date of the new product’s (i.e., algorithm’s) debut; others to the people behind them. For example, Google rolled out their Florida update in 2003, which still remains as one of their most important updates.

Florida's job was to crack down on unethical SEO tactics such as keyword spamming and bad backlinks. Think of it as an earlier version of Panda. It made its debut during the Webmaster World Conference in Orlando. Some netizens believe the name alluded to the vulnerability of its namesake state to hurricanes, as Google’s Florida swept bad SEO practices "like a hurricane."

Fast forward eight years later: Panda was introduced in 2011 and quickly hit 12 percent of active websites. It was named after one of the team members that developed the update: Navneet Panda. He introduced Machine Learning Algorithm theories into the Panda update to make Google smarter and, in some occasions, almost human.

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