Last week I talked about Google exact match domain update which was launched on 28th September 2012 and surprisingly at the same time, Google also rolled out a major Google Panda update. According to SEL, this major panda update happened on 27th September 2012 and almost 2.4% search engine queries for English language is impacted with this update. This is the 20th iteration of Panda update and changing the name convention for Panda updates, it’s call as Google Panda 20.
What’s new in Google Panda 20th Update?
Unlike all previous algo update, which was just a data refresh, this 20th Panda update includes more signals and it’s an algo update and not just a data refresh. Usually in a data refresh, very few percentage of search queries are affected but this time, it was a major algo update and affects 2.4% search queries. That means, more ranking signals added or removed in this update.
One major issues with this update Webmasters are facing is, distinguish between EMD and Panda update. Since, the time difference is hardly 24-48 hours and Webmasters who are using exact match domains to get SEO advantage, it’s hard to determine if they are affected by Panda or Exact match domain penalty.
Though, one thing which is very common about both the Algo change is: Both are targeted to penalize low quality content and improve the ranking of high quality content and domains. So, if your blog traffic went down between 27th-29th September, you need to work on your Blog SEO, quality of articles and work on over all Social media optimization and branding of your blog.
Though, I really hate the latest update as I could see too many results from same domain and it’s decreasing the over all Google search quality. I hope it’s just related to few of my queries but if you are also seeing the same results as me, do let me know via comments. One thing which is certain after Panda, Penguin, EMD and other algo updates is Google values high quality Blog with quality content. More over, niche targeted blogs are easier to rank for small tail and Long tail Keywords.
If you suspect that you have been hit by Google Panda 20th, you can use Google penalty checker tool to find which algo update affected your blog. You can check out a timeline of Google algo updates here.
If you are not affected by EMD and affected by Panda algo update, I recommend you to check out following 5 articles, which will help you to understand how SEO works after Post panda and penguin world and how you can stay ahead of crowd:
- How to recover from Google Panda Updates
- How to write content that Everyone will love : Post Panda World
- 5 Proven ways of Google Panda optimization
- Google Panda WordPress Plugins
- Post Panda/Penguin SEO strategy for Bloggers
Road to Panda recovery is going to be time-consuming but with few tweaks you can easily see the traffic difference in matter of a week. If you have never done SEO optimization of your WordPress blog, you can take advantage of my Personal Blog coaching or WordPress SEO service to make your WordPress blog more search engine friendly.
Last week of September 2012 and first week of October was full of algo change and updates. Google also rolled out another Penguin update on 6th October, which affected 0.3% search engine queries.
Weather report: Penguin data refresh coming today. 0.3% of English queries noticeably affected. Details: http://t.co/Esbi2ilX
— Matt Cutts (@mattcutts) October 5, 2012
Last night, Matt Cutts tweeted about an update on Google page layout algo, which is another major update after a while and impacts 0.7% of Search engine queries:
Minor weather report: Update of http://t.co/kcDiRUjc launching today. ~0.7% of English queries noticeably affected.
— Matt Cutts (@mattcutts) October 9, 2012
With all these updates, there is one thing clear that Google is looking for sites which not only offer high quality content but also offers good user experience. For example, too many ads above the fold is considered as bad UI and similarly if your Web page takes ages to load, your search engine ranking will be affected. In short, When you are setting up your WordPress blog or working on SEO optimization of your Blog, concentrate on ON page, Off page and also on improving the user experience on your Blog.
- Must read: How I increased CTR from Google Search?
Once your site is affected by any such algo update, recovery takes time and you should be working double time till your site is out of penalty. I hope, ShoutMeLoud readers blog are not affected and you are following the Google guidelines for creating a quality and valuable blog. Along with all updates, Google released a list of 65 search engine changes that they made in August-September 2012 and you can read about it here.
Do let me know if you see any traffic difference or change after Panda 20th update? Is your blog affected? What steps are you taking to recover your Blog from Google Penalty?