Panda and Vince – Googles latest updates



And… there was also a caffeine update.  Well, mid October there was an update to Panda – somewhere in there was a Vince update and then caffeine saw an update in early November.  Did you notice a change in the search results?  Do you feel like they’re better or worse?

Panda Gao Gao in San Diego Zoo, USA

Image via Wikipedia

I’ve had several sites that have “fluctuated” through these updates, some better, some worse.  One or two were dramatically worse.

I don’t seem to be alone in seeing some impact and here’s a summary of what the issue is and what to do about it.

Panda is about lowering the importance of sites that are thin in content.  It has been easy to rank sites without much content for some time.  Just throwing a few back links (in many cases also thin on content) and you could do quite well.

 

Another factor in panda is really devaluing cheap and easy to get links through article networks.  They used to carry a bit more power and now, they just aren’t as effective it seems.

 

It looks as though links from authority sites are still good and powerful.  So at this point from my testing if you have a good variety of types of links to your website it will probably be for the better!

Vince seems to have been an update to improve the strength of authority sites (especially brand names).  Now, personally I don’t particularly care for this… is Belk more relevant in a clothing search than your corner boutique?  Yes they’re more well known, but that doesn’t mean more relevant.  For years in brick and mortar there has been a move to big box stores.  Small independent stores are under more and more pressure.  One of the things I liked about the internet was that it helped level the playing field between big and small.  Now it looks like the playing field may be tipping back towards the big players…

The caffeine update – it looks like they’ve turned the dial a bit on the more time relevant searches.  So… in theory presidential election searches will be more likely to reflect the current campaign as opposed to the one in 1960.  It does make sense, but certainly has the potential to affect quite a few topic areas.

Potentially it could affect all subject areas – wouldn’t you rather see the most recent articles on cancer research than one from 1990?  They haven’t seemed to turn the dial that far yet, but I think the potential is there.

Going forward – what do you do?

Build a site with good, relevant, unique content and seek inbound links from a variety of sources.  Keep your nose to the grindstone, build authority sites and just keep publishing.  So, if you’re a small, local business build an offsite blog, social media profiles to post videos, etc.  Also look for links from other local sites and organizations including local directories and even industry directories.

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