If you have been following what’s been happening in the search engine world recently, you will know that Google has been rolling out many updates to tackle webspam and sites that do not have a useful purpose on the web, but are merely intended to harvest traffic and ad revenues.
From Summer 2012 till now
The update named “Penguin 2.0” was released in May 2013 and the next one “Panda” has been rolling out a new variant almost each month. In addition to Google’s targets, most of these updates have hit many other sites in a negative way, which means they have lost rankings, lost traffic and in turn revenue from that traffic.
Panda – July 2013
This month’s Panda Update is slightly different with Google saying that they want to make it “Softer” and “Finely Targeted” – less drastic! What it means is some webmasters who have seen sites previously hit by Google updates may see recovery in the rankings. Some of our customers have started seeing positive growth, rankings returning and traffic improving again.
Matt Cutts, Google’s head of search spam, said 5 minutes and 3 seconds into the video that Google is adding additional signals to look at other aspects of a site – they call them quality metrics – that may lessen the impact of the Panda algorithm for those sites that are in the grey area previously classed as spam but are actually legitimate businesses.
Of course, it being Google this comes with a caveat! Here is the transcript:
“We are looking at Panda and seeing if we can find some additional signals, and we think we’ve got some to help refine things for sites that are kind of in the border zone, the gray area a little bit, and so if we can soften the affect a little bit, for those sites, that we believe have got some additional signals of quality, that will help sites that were previously affected – to some degree.”
What recovery may look like:
This is not all you can expect as many more updates are due. Knowledge of these will help you keep your sites protected from them. A safe strategy is to make sure that you are working, optimising, amending the sites for your users and customers, and not for search engines only.
Build a good user friendly site, get unique and interesting content by using blogs, improve interaction with your prospective clients by using social media, retain customers using email marketing. All this will result in a good site with real people interacting, linking to it and helping to boost its search engine rankings organically – which is sure to keep you on the right side of Google.
You can find more information about the Panda updates here.
You can watch what Matt Cutts said about this update here.