As hard as it is to assess ANY job candidate’s knowledge, it’s even harder with SEO candidates because there’s so much gray area in the industry. This blog series presents questions you can pose to help you determine a candidate’s level of knowledge.
What factors were impacted in the most recent (significant) Google updates?
Google is always making updates, but there are always a handful that stand out. You’re not looking for a complete history of Google algorithm changes or even the names of them, necessarily. The most important thing is they know how search engines are changing and what things they look for.
Here’s how I would answer:
It’s always good to know when Google changes its algorithm, and there are plenty of sites that will keep you up-to-date. It’s not so important to know when it changes, or what they name the changes, but to know what is changing.
For the most part, if you’ve been engaging in good optimization, your site should be algorithm proof, meaning that it will stand strong through whatever changes are being made. But every once in a while an algorithm adjustment is a significant change in how Google analyzes search results.
Panda and Penguin both had ongoing updates for years and targeted links and content. But those changes were not a departure in philosophy, so if you were already optimizing properly, those changes would not have impacted you. Hummingbird, on the other hand was. And so is Google’s mobile first index. These are changes that will impact almost all sites, or at least the results being displayed and why for any given search.