The Google Bourbon Update was carried out by Google during May and June in 2005. The aim was, among other things, to identify spam pages and filter from the index.
In addition, it should bring an improvement in the updating of backlinks and PageRank. Another important point was the detection of duplicate content.
It was also observed that after the update, the search engine concentrated more on the quality of the entire Internet project and less on the individual pages.
Effects of the Bourbon Update in Detail
Let us discuss all the effects which are caused due to the Bourbon Update.
When it comes to search engine optimization, webmasters have had to deal with different implications. Among other things, the importance of high-quality backlinks has increased.
If there are links on a website that refer to a page without any content, this leads to a downgrade in the index. This affects the page that receives the link.
If a highly positioned page receives a lot of links from less reputable pages, Google will evaluate this as a possible purchase of links or link exchange.
Since the Bourbon update, backlinks that refer to spam have resulted in a significantly poorer ranking in search queries.
Networks of Pages
With the Bourbon update, the search engine is also increasingly taking action against webmasters who operate entire networks of pages and use them to specifically refer to a specific website.
After the update, Google was able to differentiate between natural and artificial links much better.
Duplicate content was also an important factor in the Bourbon update. If the same content is on several pages, this is rated negatively by Google.
In this case, the search engine assumes an unfair attempt to improve the ranking. After changing the algorithm, the search engine is now better able to identify such duplicates.
This applies even if the content is not completely identical.
Negative Effects of the Update and Criticism from Webmasters
The update lastingly increased the relevance of the search results but also had negative effects. The Bourbon update led to sometimes strong fluctuations in the Google ranking.
In addition, the changes ensured that even well-known websites were completely removed from the index. The indexing also took a long time, so that all search results were only found again after weeks.
Experts blame a bug that made indexing take significantly longer.
There was also criticism for the evaluation of the duplicate content. Webmasters criticized the unjustified labeling as duplicate content: The copied pages rose in the ranking, while the originals fell behind.
Overall, however, the update resulted in several improvements. This applies in particular to the algorithm used, so that spam could be massively reduced. Consumers benefit from higher-quality search results.
What can Website Operators learn from the Google Bourbon Update?
In general, the measure as part of the Google Bourbon Update conveys the message that you should always provide your pages with high-quality content.
At the same time, avoid “borrowing” the desired content from other homepages. This applies to both the written content and the images on your website.
However, should it ever happen that you make use of the content of other people, this should be marked accordingly. This also protects you from legal consequences.
Anyone who offers links and article spaces for sale on their homepage should also proceed with caution.
If your page consists only of paid links with no added value for the visitor, this can also have negative effects on the ranking.
For professional operators, this is associated with a significant drop in sales in the worst case.