Google was at work even as most Americans has their eyes on news related to the presidential election yesterday. The company announced on its Twitter account that Panda 21 had rolled out, impacting about 1.1 percent of search queries. This is the first update since Google launched Panda 20 on September 27.
Panda 21 impacted more queries than most updates in 2012, but Panda 20 was the most substantial, affecting 2.4 percent of searches. In general, the year has been a busy one for Google, as the company has made adjustments to most of its search algorithms.
For business owners, changes to Google search results can be troubling. Will search traffic disappear? It’s important to remember that a commitment to certain web marketing practices can help SMB sites navigate the dynamic searchscape without being overly impacted by recent search updates.
Panda focuses on removing low-quality sites from premium spots in search results. Targeting sites with shallow content posted solely to boost search appeal no longer gives companies the results they want. While seeing the results of SEO and content marketing strategies takes some time, it safeguards websites against the type of traffic losses they experience with low-quality articles and blogs.
Earlier this year, Google rolled out a second algorithm, Penguin, that also focused on low-quality content, but took a different approach. Penguin targeted sites engaging in webspam, such as keyword stuffing or paid links. Both of these practices focus solely on tricking search crawlers into boosting ranking when it’s not merited. With Panda and Penguin, Google has effectively looked to close loopholes in search ensuring only top-notch content sees No.1 ranking.
As Panda, Penguin and other algorithms are updated, business owners should monitor their organic traffic to ensure their content is keeping them on track. In the event that a site gets hit, Contentlead highlighted some of the ways a company can pinpoint causes of traffic losses and fix their sites accordingly. If content was unoriginal or irrelevant to a target audience, traffic losses may correlate with a Panda release. Meanwhile, sites that bought links in the past or stuffed keywords into low-quality could get hit by Penguin. Assessing the reasons for traffic problems is the first step to improving a site’s SEO.