…and, What Does it All Mean For My WebSite?
Google has made several high profile changes to their search algorithm in the last few months. This has sparked a flurry of concerned emails from search engine optimization clients wanting to know how this might impact their online marketing. Here are the major changes and how it will impact you and your website:
Google Places, Local Search Update – This is the change that is most likely to impact you directly. We have written on this topic several times – read more here: Google Places SEO
Google Panda Update – Also called the Farmer Update (Panda, named after someone on the Google team.) This was the most recent update that sent “shock waves” around the Internet. Every media outlet and online resource rang the bell that this “was the big one,” and that entire websites would evaporate overnight. Some did, but none of our clients were ever at any risk. Here is a Q & A regarding this Google change:
- What Google Did: Changed the search formula so that large sites full of random, low quality content do not have the ability to score as highly in the search results.
Why Did Google Do This? Very large sites have an advantage in organic search. When these large sites contain a lot of low quality content you get a condition where shabby content can score highly in search.
What Type of Sites Were Directly Impacted? Sites that got nailed were article directories, content republishing sites commonly called “scrapers,” community content sites, and sites that publish a lot of duplicate and / or random low quality content. This included a number of high profile sites that have a good reputation, but publish duplicate content by design, like the news.
What Type of Sites Were Partially Impacted? Sites that relyed heavily on links from these “directly impacted” sites have seen a drop in their search rankings. It stands to reason that if the site is considered by Google to be “less valuable,” then the links from those sites must have less value also.
Was My Site Impacted? If you are one of our clients, then the answer is No.
How Do You Know? If you are a RightNow Communications client we look at YOUR Analytics over our morning cup of Coffee. Combined we several other tools, we are often the first to know if something is wrong with your site.
How Can I Check For Myself? Log into your Google Analytics account and view the data for 2011. If you see a huge drop in your visitors around February 24 you may have been impacted in some way. If your site received a lot of traffic previously from news and content sources it may not be your site, but your referring traffic.
Questions? Call Us!