// News

The Latest Google Panda Update – What Does It Mean?

Website owners around the world will be nervously analysing their site’s search engine rankings as the effects of Google’s latest Panda update begin to make an impact. The Panda 3.3 update took place throughout February and the beginning of March 2012.

Below I have listed a brief explanation of what happened and how a website owner can tweak their strategy to account for these changes and ensure they don’t suffer an unexpected drop to their search engine result page ranking.

Google’s image search algorithm received some minor alterations with the result that more relevant images would show in their recently expanded Universal Image Search. Plainly speaking, this means that image anchor text, descriptions and filenames should be tweaked to be more descriptive about the specific page’s content.

Accurate detection of ‘official’ website pages. Google hopes this adjustment will improve the detection of official web pages whether that is government, charity or simply a corporate main page. In plain English, make sure your website contains authoritative URL’s so that Google finds your official or main page. Many pages that were once misidentified as official (i.e. sites that targeted brand names or trademarks) will no longer be considered to be.

Improvement to the local search results. This amendment nicknamed ‘venice’ will deliver much better location targeted results. In short, if you are located in Birmingham, you’ll not have to worry so much about Wolverhampton-related results; the Panda update will detect results from a user’s location more reliably.

The ‘primary’ Panda update helped to make recent changes and updates to websites and blogs more sensitive; you should notice changes made to your website take effect much sooner. Ensure that your site’s content is fresher than your competitors’, this way your content will win through against others.

Google’s link analysis has been changed. The Panda update has done away with the old method that Google used to evaluate links to and from your website. Simplified, this means that you should make every link incoming to your site or outgoing completely relevant to the content it is linked to, thus maintaining a high relevancy score.

And finally…

… Google has tweaked their Turkish weather search feature, nicknamed ‘hava’ this update will let you know what the weather is like in Turkey should you fancy a trip to Istanbul.

In conclusion

The major updates to Panda 3.3 that could help or hinder your SERP rankings are listed above. Most of the other updates centre on user interface tweaks and other non-search specific features.

As usual, to avoid experiencing problems with the latest Google Panda update, make sure that you have good, relevant copy on your website and that you are linking to other quality sites.

If you always consider your visitors’ user experience when you are creating content for your site then you will be singing from the same song sheet as Google and won’t go too far wrong with any Panda updates past, present or in the future.

Search Engine Optimisation should be a cornerstone of your online marketing strategy, so if you have any questions or concerns regarding the Google Panda updates and how they might affect your search engine rankings, please do not hesitate to contact us, we will be very happy to help.