Chuck Norris Has a Zoo full of Google Pandas
December 22, 2011 | Posted by Liz Welsh
by Liz Welsh
Marketing Manager, JB Knowledge Technologies, Inc.
Throughout 2011, Google implemented a number of bold updates, referred to collectively as the Panda Updates, to its Page Rank algorithm that have caused much debate among marketers, designers, and developers. Some websites have seen numbers soar, some have seen concerning drops, but all have had to take a good look at their SEO strategy.
Google’s Page Rank algorithmdetermines the results someone gets every time they ask the search engine one of life’s essential questions, i.e. ˜What is a Twihard?‘ As any service provider should, Google is constantly working to improve their solution and make this algorithm produce more and more useful results to the web searcher every time. As Google has discussed in many an interview, the challenge lies in determining an objective formula that produces seemingly subjective results. Inevitably, the formula isn’t perfect, so it’s important for website managers and marketers to know how and where their site (and their competitors’) are plugged into the equation and what comes out on the other side of the ˜Search’ button”. Let’s take a look at the 2011 updates to Page Rank and why your SEO strategy needs to adjust accordingly.
What questions is Google hoping these updates will better address in their search results?
According to one Google engineer, the Panda updates are all about improving quality of results, based on security and reliability of content:
- Do you consider this site to be authoritative?
- Would it be okay if this was in a magazine?
- How do you recognize a shallow-content site?
- How do you then define low quality content?
- Does this site have excessive ads?
- Would you be comfortable giving this site your credit card?
- Would you be comfortable giving medicine prescribed by this site to your kids?
What major changes were implemented to address these questions?
- The quality of inbound links, instead of just the quantity, is now being taking into greater consideration. Relevancy and reliability of referring sites are now as important as the site they are referring to, so knowing where links to your website are listed is extremely important.
- A crack down on content farms means any site with more text in ads than in actual content or any site where original content went to die and be reproduced in mass quantities was redefined as low quality’and swept off to the less frequented Goooooooogle results pages.
- Social posts now find their way into search results to provide real-time feedback from individuals across the social cyber space and Google+ launched its first major offensive in Facebook territory. And the Google+ updates keep on coming…
- Google added expanded site links to the first listed result, allowing for direct navigation to internal site pages, getting searchers to their desired content more quickly. (Google SmartBidNet’and see how the first result is displayed.)
- In pushing the Google+platform and attempting to avoid the security protests Facebookcontinues to face, Google began encrypting search queries by users logged into their Google accounts. Meaning, if someone who is logged into Google searches What kind of bear is best? and that brings them to your Black Bear fan page, you will not be able to tell what keywords got them to your site.
- And most recently, Google’s Page Rank algorithm has been updated to favor most recently posted and updated sites. In an effort to give fresher, more recent results, searches for: recent events or hot topics (i.e. Kim Jong dead not Il’ jokes), regularly recurring events (i.e. A Kardashian wedding), and frequent updates (Best Kanye West tweets) no longer need the additional most recent or 2011 text. The most recently generated content is automatically returned first by Google.
What questions should companies be asking themselves when developing SEO strategies for 2012?
- How are and what is the quality of other sites promoting our site, content, and links?
- How will we manage any and all social media chatter about our brand? How will we drive it?
- How and how often can we update our website and provide the most relevant content?
- How can we compensate for any further search encryption and still monitor our site traffic?
- How can we stay up to date on any future changes to search engine algorithms?
- What does the future of Google+ look like in our industry?
It’ll be interesting to see how the 2011 updates affect 2012 SEO strategies and projections for companies across industries and the globe. Â How has your company been affected by the 2011 Page Rank updates already? How has your SEO been adapted to accommodate the changes? Leave us a comment.