Thursday, April 5, 2012

Google Refines Search Again - 50 Panda Updates

50 Search Updates Added in March 2012

Google are constantly updating their search algorithm and seem to have an ongoing number of projects with various codenames to refine searches in the aim to give the user a better experience with more accurate search results. Most online writers and affiliate marketers now refer to these updates by their original codename of Panda and indeed some of the updates still come under that code name in Google's development teams.
Only recently (in March 2012) Google introduced 50 more changes to its search algorithm. You can see the full text of the changes on their blog but I have picked out a few points that might be worth thinking about in terms of how it can affect those of us who are looking to get more search engine traffic to our articles and websites.

Some Relevant Panda Updates

So I have picked out a few updates that I think are particularly relevant to myself and perhaps to other writers and webmasters from the 50 that Google listed:
  • Improvements to processing for detection of site quality. 
This is quite a general and vague description of what they have done - they have basically refined the search to pull out better quality sites - but the question we have to ask is what constitutes site quality? Is it quantity of content or quality? And if quality how do they actually detect what is quality? Is it in the words that are used on the site? Does this cover links into sites and the authority of those links? Does site quality mean more interaction from viewers, like sites with lots of comments? Recently it was put out there that sites should not have ads in the primary vision of the site when you first go to it - there should be plenty of quality reading material as well as any possible ads that are in place. So should you reduce the number of ads on a page from the maximum of 3? This is something I might be testing on one or two of my sites.
  • More relevant image search results. 
  • Improvements to Image Search relevance. 
It has always been a little known fact that to get more traffic, producing relevant and well SEO'd images on your site can really help. This change seems to enhance this possibility if you have relevant images in the depths of your site then maybe they will get picked up more easily by Google. So another point to work on is to make sure all of your images have relevant names, ALT tags and captions.
  • Improvements to freshness.
  • High-quality sites algorithm data update and freshness improvements.
There was talk in the last few months that a change in the algorithm meant that sites that were kept up to date more often would do better in search results. This seems to be confirmed in this change where 'freshness' is now a key feature in influencing the search. Currently I do make sure all of my sites are updated on a regular basis so I'm hoping that this will impact in better traffic in the future. It seems that there are backend tasks that are updated regularly so you may not see an immediate effect if something you have done is classed as a backend task.
  • Better interpretation and use of anchor text. 
  • Tweaks to handling of anchor text. 
Anchor text as you probably know is the text that is used in a link. Whether these changes mean that anchor text is more or less important is difficult to tell but as long as your anchor text is relevant to your site then surely there should not be any penalty in this?

No comments:

Post a Comment