We posted a while back on Google’s February 2011 algorithm update. Known as “˜Panda,’ the update rolled out in the US in February, followed by the UK and the rest of the English speaking world just a couple of nights ago. This April 2011 rollout has given Google 2 months to incorporate some feedback as well and essentially tweak the algorithm further.
Google rolls out hundreds of algorithm updates in a year but only ever announces the biggest. Panda had already affected rankings and search visibility on 12% of websites in the USA and a similar impact was anticipated in the UK.
Any major update, no matter how prepared you know you are for it, leads to bated breath. So yesterday, we spent some time running in depth checks on a lot of our clients and were thrilled to find a host of improvements across many. We haven’t been stung by Panda and it has, in fact, been a great thing for us.
Well, we discussed a bit of this in a bit of detail in our previous post on the topic, but to sum it up it’s essentially about content. It’s a clichÃ©d and overused statement and but the old “content is King,” adage is one that Google really wants to make us believe with this change. The algorithm punishes not only duplicate content, but just generally low quality (perhaps even “˜unoriginal’) content.
I’ll be honest. My relationship with Google is love-hate at times. There are things the search giant does that really get my goat (like Google Instant, which slows my browser down and is impossible to turn off in Firefox). But I love Panda. Undoubtedly, that’s the work geek within me appreciating a bit of recognition for webmasters I know put a lot of time and/or money into creating unique quality and keeping their site fresh. But in addition to that, as a search engine user (and not just a SEO) I want to see high quality sites delivered. I don’t want to have to sift through twenty rubbish results before finding something decent irrespective of what I’m searching. Now, this update by no means eradicates spam. But what it does do is rewards high quality content thus incentivising people to create more organic, natural and thought out content – essentially to start catering to their human audience in their content and not to over-focus on the search bots!
Yes, we love it. But in any update there are winners and losers and some big name websites have featured on the lists. This post on Searchmetrics is a great summary detailing those hardest hit and those who benefited the most in the update.
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About the Author
Stacey joined us in 2009 as a junior copywriter; now she's a recognised figure on the global speaking circuit, having wowed audiences in the UK, Europe and US - including at MozCon 2014. She leads our search team and works with clients to deliver high-level campaign strategies.Visit Stacey's Page
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