Earlier today at the Search Marketing Expo, Google’s Matt Cutts announced that they have developed an update to the Panda algorithm, version 2.2. He further stated that the update has been officially approved, and they are waiting to send it out, which should happen any day now.
Further tweaking and some “clean-up” work will be included with the update, in addition to improving “scraper” detection. This is when a website re-publishes content to trick the algorithm. (Fresh, new content helps with page rank and SEO).
The exact release date has not been revealed, however Cutts did say that the update is imminent and webmasters should expect it any day now.
Cutts also described how the attack of the Panda operates. The algorithm is run against all of the webpages and domains that Google indexes. This is done to pick up which sites should be caught. This occurs on an “infrequent” basis (about once every two weeks).
Websites that get penalized get sent to the very last page of search results, completely damaging their online visibility. Once this happens, it’s tough to recover. JC Penney’s was penalized for about 3 months when they were hit back in February.
Of course, much like anything else, practicing ethical standards and not cheating the system are the best ways to ensure you’re not affected by the vicious bite of the Panda.
Kenneth C. Wisnefski, founder and CEO of WebiMax, the #1 rated SEO firm in the United States and Australia, has been astounded by the impact of the Google Panda update “our phones have literally been ringing off the hook with businesses seeking assistance with the effects of this algorithm change”.
On February 24, 2011, search engine titan Google, Inc., announced a major change to their search algorithm that would penalize websites that lacked original, quality content. The “Panda Update” (as it was called), originally affected U.S. based domains, and last month, the international update was released, targeting U.K. domains.
Now, almost 3 months since its original release, it raises the question “Does Google ultimately control the fate of your business”?
“What we’ve seen during the past 90 days is a far reaching impact designed to improve the quality of Google’s search”, discusses Wisnefski. “Users of Google were tired of getting search results with fluff filled content about certain topics they wanted to research, the focus on unique and timely content dramatically improves the user experience”, concludes Wisnefski.
Effective “search engine optimization” consists of many techniques, including, link building, on-site optimization and much more. These methods can also be abused, however, falsely satisfying search algorithm to divert traffic to websites including linkfarms. Fortune 500 company’s including J.C. Penney’s, and Overstock.com were affected by the update, because of questionable tactics put in place to circumvent more time consuming methods to achieve higher natural search results. They were ultimately penalized by Google and their search results dropped from prominent Page 1 results to results appearing on Page 10 and beyond.
Recently, Demand Media, Inc. was also affected by the update. With the recent algorithm update, popular sites in their portfolio such as eHow.com saw significant drops in traffic. CEO Richard Rosenblatt defended his company, stating “we really need these kinds of signals to shake things up”.
“We’ve seen the continued evolution of the search industry and the value Google really represents amongst small, and large business alike”, states Wisnefski. “I think people are really starting to see how dramatically search engines can ultimately make or break your bottom line”, concludes Wisnefski.
Since its inception in 2008, WebiMax has established themselves as a global leader in search engine optimization, social media, web design, pay-per-click management, reputation management, and e-commerce solutions. The company announced a major geographic expansion last month, and 2011 revenue projections ($15 million). They have over 150 employees and 12 offices including 8 U.S. based, and 4 International. WebiMax works with their clients more as a strategic partner than an outsourced vendor. Visit (http://www.webimax.com/) for more information.
WebiMax has been closely following the updates and results of Google’s recent Panda International Update.
The following are the Top 100 affected domains located in the United Kingdom.
In February, we reported on Overstock.com who was caught by Google for using questionable search engine optimization (seo) tactics in improving their PageRank. In a report announced by the company today, Google officially lifted their ban on Overstock, a ban that had sent them to no man’s land on their search engine results.
In case people forgot, Overstock was asking academic institutions with “.org” and “.edu” domains to link to them for student and teacher discounts. They did this because typically these domains hold higher credibility than “.com” commercial websites. Google noticed this not long after and threw the yellow flag.
Overstocks said that they would make the necessary corrections and restore their website to original, quality content and get rid of the links that held no integrity. After doing so, the site announced that “the search engine penalty enforced by Google has been fully lifted”.
As our blogs discuss, the importance of SEO Ethics are vital. Google has been cracking down on dishonest “black hat” SEO and has released their “Panda” update to help get rid of these kind of sites. We’re in an era where corporate ethics need to play a larger role.
WebiMax is proud to state that none of our clients have ever been penalized or banned by Google or any other search engine.