Q: I had heard that Google had recently changed their algorithms. Does this mean that what we are learning is up to date with the changes?
Answer. Yes, as the Chinese say we have the unfortunate luck of living in an interesting time. Google has recently made to simultaneous big changes to its algorithm. The first was called Panda Update and really struck at keyword density and webpage content. Google really lashed out at low quality websites that have lots of low quality content, and if you were clobbered by the Google Panda Update you saw your website decline and you may have seen warnings in Google webmaster tools that your content was thin or repetitious.
There is also what is called a manual penalty in Google, in Google added this new twist in that it has really emphasized webmasters and SEO experts ratting out other webmasters and SEO experts through web forms on Google that allow you to complain about a so-called spam website. Now what do you think has resulted? Competitors are using these forms to rat out competitors, and Google is as happy as can be to have the webmaster community do the dirty work of identifying spam he websites. Google has given birth to a whole new tactic: Negative SEO.
It’s as if Google learned a little bet about how Stalin controlled Soviet Russia or today’s North Korean rulers control North Korea. Create a climate of fear and encourage everyone to rat out everyone else. Panda is all about low-quality content and using the community to identify spammy websites.
The second big update is called Penguin. Penguin strikes at inbound links, and is especially oriented towards low quality inbound links. Here there does not seem to be so much of a reliance on the community ratting out other community members, and it is more a true algorithm update. Penguin looks to low quality inbound links and especially the overuse of keywords in links as clues that you have manipulated your results.
The fun thing about search engine optimization is that it is always changing, and Google have as the King has his algorithms, is court jesters, and his secret police. We will discuss panda in Penguin in this class, but for most small business websites fortunately neither of these changes is nearly as big as it is or people who are in the search engine optimization community. Fortunately!
Here are some website to help you keep abreast of Google algorithm changes:
Got a question? Click this link to email Jason or call 888-993-1122. Dr. Jason McDonald is founder and Senior SEO / Social Media Director of the JM Internet Group. He teaches the SEO training classes for the group, and therefore provides most of the SEO tips for this blog. His goal with this blog is to provide an easy 'one-stop shop' for the busy marketer looking for tips, tricks, and secrets on how to get to the top of Google and Bing for free using proven SEO tactics. When not dreaming up SEO tips, Dr. McDonald lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife, two dogs, a cat, four iguanas and twelve children (just kidding). Really you read down to the bio on this guy? Enjoy the blog.
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