When Google CEO Eric Schmidt spoke that the United States Senate hearings back in September, he was asked if the company’s methods could be a bit more transparent. The CEO of the search engine titan replied “There is a limit to the amount of transparency – it is proprietary and if it was more open it would be heavily gamed”. He did however then state that “we can do a better job describing our changes”. Perhaps the most recent evidence of the “better job” came last week as Matt Cutts stated “Weather report: expect some Panda-related flux in the next few weeks, but will have less impact than previous updates”. This statement is of course referring to the Panda update that was first launched in early spring of 2011.
The Panda update is on every search marketer’s mind and for good reason. The Panda (which is updated on an almost monthly basis) is an algorithm change that acts to weed out poor sites that lack sufficient (and valuable) information. It strikes websites that are considered “spammy” including linkfarms, content farms, and the like.
The enhanced transparency has its advantages and disadvantages with the Panda update. First of all, search marketers know exactly what they’re doing when optimizing a site using “black-hat” SEO tactics. Black-hat SEO includes using unethical and unscrupulous tactics to improve a website’s visibility. Ever heard of steroids in baseball? As Cutt’s recent tweet stated, “expect some panda-related flux in the next few weeks”, the black-hat SEO firms know they better change their methods so they don’t get affected.
The advantages, however, mostly steer to combat the arguments that were presented at the U.S. Senate hearings that suggested Google controls everything on their search engine, and thus prohibits fair competition amongst firms. The Senate feels as though increased transparency and communication may rid the company of any unfair competitive edge they have with what gets published on their search engine and why.
As of now the exact changes have not been released however there is a margin of error that affects reputable websites including Forbes, TheTodayShow.com, and PR Newswire as of recent.
More updates to come as we find out!
As Google continues to update their search algorithms, it seems as though they are updated every-day. Actually, they are! Matt Cutts announced that they “change the algorithms all time time”. The most recent and talked about changes include the infamous Panda Update, and then there was Panda 2.0, Panda 3.0, and so on.
We give a whole heck of a lot of credit to Google for taking the necessary steps to improve the search industry, and continue to weed-out the unethical and unscrupulous firms that cheat the systems and populate the search results with poor quality and useless webpages (including linkfarms, and faulty domains).
Announced by SEOmoz, they have created a platform that indicates every single Google algorithm update – going 8 years back. This is useful to those that wish to know the type of algorithm changes have taken place over the past, however it is impossible to study in order to predict the next change. This is due to the face that there are changes almost every day, as indicated by Cutts.
Google continues to commit to only delivering high-quality search results. Typical fashion of a local clothing store only selling the highest quality clothing and not letting poorer designers enter.
Since the SEO industry is virtually unregulated, it makes sense that the industry leader (Google holds 66% market share in online search) is the primary player taking steps toward only populating original, quality content. Fortunately, there are genuine, Ethical SEO firms that practice white-hat SEO.
At the beginning of last week, we at WebiMax started seeing another wave of movements in search engine rankings that suggested to us Panda 2.2 update was live. Unannounced at first, Google now confirmed today that this was in fact the case. Although we’ve all known that the update would be arriving shortly, no one knew exactly when it would happen.
The interesting part of Panda 2.2 is that Google did not officially release a news release or report on their blog the exact paramaters of the update. Not much is being said, in fact, their almost making it sound as though this update is just one of the many that are made each year. The only piece of the puzzle they revealed is that they are trying to address the issue of “:Scraper sites”, websites that basically republish others content and make profits that way.
At WebiMax, we welcome the changes, and we have actually signed more clients because of Panda. It’s making people run from their SEO firms that use black-hat optimization and flock to the ethical SEO firms out there.