The update for Google Penguin was supposed to be released last year but it was eventually postponed.
Over the past week or so, SEOs reported ranking changes in certain niches and there was a lot of speculation on whether it was finally the long-awaited Penguin update.
Google has since confirmed that there was indeed an update, but it was their “Core Algorithm Update.”
However, it is different from the past Core Updates because it has Panda algorithm integrated within it. Google confirmed this when speaking with Jennifer Slegg.
What it means is that Panda algorithm, which was essentially a separate filter when it was first released, used to work after the core algorithm had done its job. But this is no longer the case. Panda algorithm has become one of Google Core Ranking Signals. Panda tells Google about the quality of a site and then core algorithm adjusts rankings accordingly.
Although Panda is now a part of Google Core Ranking Algorithm, Google has confirmed that Panda was not part of the latest update.
Which type of search queries may this have affected?
1. Brand terms and site structure
According to Yoast.com the losing sites that have been affected show that the most impact was on brand terms. Winning sites show off better site structures, URLs and navigations.
2. Publisher/news sites
According to SearchMetrics analysis the losers so far are mainly publisher sites and their ranking losses are mainly for the old pieces of content. Alongside this, some publishing sites have actually won, and they are the ones with most up to date and current content. The quality of the content is absolutely decisive for rankings.
3. User intent vs. content
There are some surprise winners where sites are ranking without any content and these are the sites which perfectly satisfy the user intent. But, with some exceptions, having good unique content is still the key.
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