What is it? Google Algorithmic Udpate
Release Date : 16th November 2003
Impact Level : High
Industry Effected : E-Commerce Websites, Product Affiliates
Why Florida? Like hurricanes are named alphabetically, this update was know to be Florida, by the then naming conventions (back in 2003)
So what exactly happened? This was one of the most significant updates to the Google Algorithm, millions of websites primarily from the e-commerce industry, ranking near the top positions for specific keywords came crashing down after this update, causing a major loss for their businesses.
Some were affected to the extent, that they literally disappeared from the search results.
Why was Florida released?
Google had already put a foot down against spam, through its' previous updates. But webmasters especially e-commerce webmasters had continued to exploit the algorithm by putting in keywords in the external links as anchor texts. This obviously manipulated the Page Rank and genuine websites lost out business and relevancy to "spammed" websites.
Possible Algorithmic Changes.
1. Keyword Differentiation
Identifying which keywords are likely to be over SEO'd and thus creating a filter for the pages which employ those keywords and putting them through stricter checks for spam.
How did Google identify those keywords? Simple, keywords which were most paid for in Google Adwords Keyword Tool.
Google introduces a basic level of LSI here, called stemming. Stemming means if you search for "search", it will match up web pages with "searches", "searched", "searching" etc. Stemming tries to match the keyword with other stem words.
3. PageRank Algorithm
Websites with lower PageRank had started ranking higher than usual, giving speculation the PR Algorithm has itself changed. In order to tackle, link exchange and reciprocal link programs, inbound links were given less importance than before.