24th Feb 2017
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.
“Panda Update” – which refreshes the Panda system, making it ‘more accurate and more sensitive to recent changes on the web’.
“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:
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:
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!