What's Important to Know About the Google "Dewey" Algorithm Update


Well, you probably already know about the new Google update. While the last several updates don’t have a distinctive name, this past update which came roaring in during March and April wreaking havoc to all SEO’s deserves a name like a great storm- this one named “Dewey” after a code word used in Matt Cutt’s blog. Following is some of the information I have been able to collect on Dewey, hopefully giving SEO’s information that can be useful for their clients and websites.

Dewey Wreaks Havoc

For most SEO’s and general web surfers Dewey was extremely easy to spot. It only took a few searches to realize that something was off kilter and to many SEO’s totally out of whack. So what were some of the distinct characteristics of the Dewey algorithm when it first reared its head? Here is just a short list of the things noticed by the SEO community:

Older Sites in General Suddenly Disappear

One of the first alarm bells that went off was that many of the quality old sites that we love and nurture suddenly disappeared from the top ranking positions to pages in the tens or twenties of the index. This very unfortunate fact sent many SEO’s into panic mode.

Less Relevancy

Many web surfers and SEO’s noticed that searches were not nearly as relevant as before. For many, it seemed that Google was tipsy, spewing out half baked results for straight forward queries.

New Sites Were Loading Extremely Slow

Nope, it wasn’t your broadband connection. Yahoo and other search engine interfaces were acting fine. Many web surfers noticed however, it was mostly newer websites that were having difficulty loading.

Problems with Cache Data

Many SEO’s realized that cache data was not showing up accurately even though index reports were showing otherwise.

Rebuilding After the Storm

So to recap, the Dewey update has wreaked havoc on both web developers and SEO’s. During the update, traffic dropped precipitously with many businesses seeing drops of more than 75% in traffic and revenue. While the Dewey update has seemed to pass, many SEO’s are still trying to figure out what they should be focusing on and how to get their sites they have diligently developed back up in the SERP’s.

As with all Google updates, once the updates have been implemented, there is a lot of buzz about what Google is now focusing on and rewarding and what details of sites Google is punishing or penalizing. Here are just some of the details that I picked up that can be helpful to all web developers and SEO’s. Keep in mind it will take a few months and lots of research to figure out precisely what works and what doesn’t, but never the less, here are some tips.

Continue with White Hat SEO Strategies

While the chatter online can be deafening at times at what works and what doesn’t, it is crystal clear that white hat SEO strategies will continue to be the best route to developing a website or blog.


It’s too early to tell exactly which types of content are receiving more attention from Google, however keep in mind that high quality, relevant, unduplicated content is the best choice for your site.

Back Links

Forget about paid links and spammy links. If you are paying for advertisements that are bringing real traffic that is one thing, but if you are trying to build page rank using paid links, the clock is definitely ticking. If you choose to use paid links make sure they are embedded in relevant content. It’s amazing how much relevant content can clean up paid links.


Find a way to add as many different types of multi-media as possible. Make sure you optimize any images you place on blogs or websites. For those using WordPress, there are plug-ins available that make this task super quick and easy. Video is another area where you may want to get your feet wet. While not the perfect match for many types of websites, if you can find a way to add video to your site, you will usually also increase your chances of improving in the rankings. By the way, make sure to post your video on YouTube and many other video sites for backlinks and increased traffic.

Ups & Downs

It seems that the top ranking sites are still bouncing around quite a bit- especially for competitive keywords. While we SEO’s can only wonder in the short term how things will settle, there are a few different theories bouncing around. The first is that Google is trying to recalibrate AdSense. Secondly, it is suggested that Google is implementing some of its new search technology that is part of a longer term strategy. However, it might be a year or two before we know exactly which direction Big G takes us. Remember, Google, is in the business of selling ads and not necessarily to help out mom & pop businesses- so don’t expect any sympathy for small e-commerce sites.

In closing, it should be mentioned that the Dewey update jumped the pond to the UK, however, India For SEO’s looking for confirmation of strategies that are working, it looks like it will take a month or so before the data starts coming in. seems to be holding its own.