As you’ll know if you follow the online news, (or keep up with our articles), Google launched a major update a couple of months ago, now known as the Panda Update. Initially, it was only implemented in the US, but Google assured everybody that it would soon go global, so worldwide, online marketers held their breath in anticipation. Well, yesterday, it went global.
Ok, not global strictly, but it was implemented in all English-speaking countries, so if you’re reading this now, chances are that the new update is affecting your searches on Google. You can find out more about the update in our articles, New Google Update Details and Surviving The Algorithm Change.
Effects Of The Algorithm Update
In the month or so since the update was implemented in the US, we’ve already heard a lot about previously high-ranked sites and pages taking a hit in the search engine results. Especially, (of course), article directories.
There are reports however, that big brand names have been advantaged by the change, perhaps unfairly, but we haven’t been able to confirm that for ourselves yet.
In a recent blog post, Google’s Amit Singhal said, “Based on our testing, we’ve found the algorithm is very accurate at detecting site quality. If you believe your site is high-quality and has been impacted by this change, we encourage you to evaluate the different aspects of your site extensively. Google’s quality guidelines provide helpful information about how to improve your site. As sites change, our algorithmic rankings will update to reflect that. In addition, you’re welcome to post in our Webmaster Help Forums. While we aren’t making any manual exceptions, we will consider this feedback as we continue to refine our algorithms.”
Google’s Guidelines For The Panda Update
Google’s guidelines have the following to say about making sure that your site conforms to their standards:
* No hidden text or links.
* No page or URL cloaking.
* No automated queries.
* Don’t use irrelevant keywords to bring traffic to pages.
* Don’t duplicate content, form your own site, or from others.
* Mal-Ware is obviously right out.
* Avoid portals, doorways and affiliate pages with little or no original content.
At Net Age, we’ve always emphasised the importance of unique, relevant content that’s aimed at informing visitors, so we’re largely in favour of the update. We think that anything that makes search results more relevant is a good thing.
The challenge is making sure that you’re relevant and informative. (I hope you found this article to be both.)