Let's talk

Call us: +44 (0)1603 878240

Googles 40 plus new changes. What does it mean to you?

17:02 on Tue, 28 Feb 2012 | SEO | 4 Comments

The world of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) has been undergoing some major changes recently. Not content with the ‘Search Plus Your World’ changes Google are making in order to plug its social media network Google+ or the big changes to its Privacy Policy, Google are now starting to scrutinise content on your website and how other websites link to you.

According to a recent blogpost, Google has outlined 40 (yes, you read that right) changes to search quality this month. Although many of these changes are small, such as safe images and localised Youtube videos, hidden amongst these changes include two which could have a real impact on how your business appears in search.

These are:

“Panda Update” – which refreshes the Panda system, making it ‘more accurate and more sensitive to recent changes on the web’.

And

“Link evaluation” – which changes the way Google will help figure out the topic of a webpage. Basically it’s turning off a method of link analysis it’s used for over seven years in order to keep its system ‘maintainable, clean and understandable’.

So what does this mean for your website?

It has been a year since Google unleashed Panda. If you’re confused, Panda is essentially Google’s ongoing campaign to lower the rank of ‘low-quality’ sites in its rankings and return better sites. It does this by looking at a number of factors including duplicate content, web pages with poor quality content and how quickly people leave your site (called bounce rate).

What has become clear is that Panda is here to stay and the 3.3 update Google has implemented this month will continue to sift websites’ content. In order to overcome the changes, you need to make sure your site is:

  • Fresh – If you have a news page or a blog, make sure it’s kept up to date.
  • Useful – Don’t copy text from other sites and hope that tweaking a few words here and there will fool Panda. Write for your readers and make your content useful.
  • Free from duplicate content – Make sure anything you’ve written is not hosted elsewhere. You can be sure Panda will pick it up and you could be punished.

In terms of link evaluation, Google’s changes are shrouded in mystery. How precisely does Google evaluate the quality of a link? Will this mean an end to traditional link building? Does this update spell the death knell for online directories and link exchanges?

It would be helpful to know a bit more about the specifics of Google’s link analysis, but these are cards that the internet giant will keep close to its chest. However, in order to keep up with these changes, I would suggest you need to make sure your site is:

  • Linked from reputable sources – A link from a well-respected website to you will convince Google you’re a worthwhile site.
  • Contains natural links – Links from bloggers or sites naturally talking about you, your products or your services will convince Google you’re a site which needs to rank.
  • Has natural anchor text linking to it – Make sure any text linking to you is not over optimised. If you sell bathrooms, text linking to you should not all be ‘bathrooms’ – consider alternatives like ‘showers’ ‘sinks’ ‘toilets’ and ‘taps’.

There is no doubt these new changes by Google demonstrates an ongoing evolution of SEO rankings and the need to do you research and not be afraid to adapt (for example what an SEO agency does well compared with an in-house or non-SEO focussed agency). I’d love to find out precisely what Google changed this month, but then again I guess this would remove some of the fun of working in this ever-changing industry!

Comments & Discussion

(4 Comments)

Post a comment, your email will not be published, nor will it be harvested.

Tom Riondew

Tom Riondew • Years ago

1. google reads that at target output can be present only sites - Brands, it implies also reputation of a site.
2. I think now external references after all while benefit against social networks, while they more objective┬ů

Reply

reeha smith

reeha smith • Years ago

These new changes are quite useful for me because i am gaining much through these changes. especially Google Panda.

Reply

Henry Sim

Henry Sim • Years ago

We need to differentiate between syndicated content versus duplicated content. Many people has a wrong view, understanding of duplicate content. One news article can be syndicated and posted across hundreds of news sites. It's intentional . Likely there is nothing wrong if you so choose to post your article (without spinning ) to many article directories. But note that the search engine will select what it determine as the original piece ( which is what is indexed first),
when returning the search results.

Reply

Ian O'Brien

Ian O'Brien • Years ago

Could this be the reason my google places page has disappeared?

I've lost all of my testimonials in the process.

I can see the listing in my places account but when I follow the link to it I get a message saying: 'this page is currently not supported' or similar.

Please help!
What would cause this and how can it be corrected?

Reply