Google Panda was unleashed in 2011, causing unrest and havoc to unsuspecting webmasters everywhere. Well, Google Panda the sequel (actually it’s number 25) will appear at websites near you. Matt Cutts announced at SMX last week that the final manual to Panda will take effect soon.
Google continually updates their algorithm, implementing changes that foil practices that diminish the human experience when conducting online searches. The more notorious changes get cool names like Penguin and Panda. Here’s a quick overview:
Attack of the Penguin
In April 2012, Google’s Penguin update hit approximately 3% of all English queries in Google Search. So what was the big fuss about? It targeted negative SEO practices, things like:
- Ratio of exact anchor text in poor quality articles
- Ratio of bad links coming from non-moderated blogs
- Ratio of no real on-site activity by any visitors compared to inbound links
Sites who employed these tactics were penalized in rankings literally overnight. Not so good for the bad guys, but a positive move for those who diligently cultivate websites with quality content and demonstrate thought leadership in their respective industries.
The Google Panda Punch
Primarily, Panda was aimed at attacking websites with low quality content. Here’s how Hubspot recently described the latest events:
“The update this weekend is the last manual update of Google Panda, as Google is planning on making it part of its overall continuous algorithm. What the heck does that mean? It means good news for webmasters, as forthcoming refreshes to the update will be less intense, and by extension less noticeable to marketers. So going forward, Panda updates really won’t rock your world like they might have been the past couple years.”
According to Matt, Google is determined to crack down on link networks — Grey Hat SEO practioners who use tactics like paid links or advertorial links.
Advice to Protect SEO Rankings
As a White Hat SEO expert, I recommend that backlinks should come from related sites (others in your industry or complementary services) and for topics that are relevant to your website’s content. Links from authoritative sources — like industry leaders, governmental and educational sites — pack the most White Hat SEO value. Ethical link building should be part of your overall SEO strategy.
The best advice we can give you is to focus on quality content marketing. Links, authority, and rankings will follow. One thing that Google tells us — if it’s good the human searcher then it’s probably a good SEO strategy.
How can we help?
Having difficulty extracting keyword ranking info from Google Analytics? Need keyword research to step-up your White Hat SEO strategy?
We are the spectrum group, and we offer strategic and tactical consulting so you can monetize your online presence. Call us for a complimentary 30-minute consultation to discuss your website’s user experience and translate that into sales.