Demystifying Google’s Algorithms in 2013

Joel Farr

February 8, 2013

Google has always been extremely secretive about the algorithms they use to rank the never-ending sea of pages that exist in the digital domain. They give out very little information about how the algorithms work and the changes that are made to them, which take place roughly 200 times a year! Even when they do give out information, it’s usually only to a select group of people in the “SEO in-crowd,” and it’s very hard to track exactly what changed.

If you didn’t already know, Google names their algorithm changes and updates. Many marketers suffered from the update that rolled out in 2011 called Panda. It introduced very big changes and left a lot of companies and SEO gurus scrambling to figure out how to get their page rank back. 2012’s update, Penguin, did the same thing. It’s now officially 2013 and we’re all left wondering what surprises will arise this year? Lucky for you, we did a little research and have some pretty good ideas about what you can expect from the algorithms in 2013.


If you don’t know what microdata is, 2013 is a great year to learn. Basically, microdata is a kind of structured mark up language that is added to your HTML code in order for the search engines to understand a little bit more about your content. I won’t bore you with the details, but is an excellent resource for learning about how this type of markup works and how to apply it to your web pages. This type of structured data is growing rapidly in popularity and is definitely a great way to help boost your page rank for the coming year.

Google Plus & Social Media

Lots of folks still think that Google Plus is nothing more than an underused competitor to Facebook—totally untrue. According to the Director of Relevance Web Marketing, Rumble Romagnoli (yes, his name is Rumble), the folks at Google created Google Plus to improve the search engine, not just to create a Facebook knock-off or to compete. You see, this whole social media revolution that’s happening is affecting everything – especially the algorithms. Social shares are already part of their algorithms, and will only continue to be a huge factor in determining page rank for 2013. If Google created G+ to help with their search engines, it’s probably a good idea for your business to jump on the G+ bandwagon if you haven’t already. And if you don’t have any social assets at all, you’re way behind the train.

Link Earning

Link building is a pretty popular topic in the world of SEO, with the idea that the more websites and trusted sources that are linking to your content, the better. SEO gurus typically engage in popular linking schemes while trying to find and secure backlinks for this very purpose. But Google’s algorithm’s are constantly being updated to weed this kind of behavior out, and will only continue to do so moving forward. Link building will soon become a thing of the past, as you now must earn your links rather than build them. This means that the value of the content you provide to the world must be great enough for others to notice and link to your content by choice —because you’ve earned it, not just manufactured it.