SEO News: Panda Update Refresh
Following on from last month’s changes, Google have announced that they’ve updated their Panda algorithm update in a move that will affect ~1.6% of searches. In their typical unclear manner of speaking, the search giant revealed the update via their corporate twitter account on 23.03.12, which tweeted:
“Panda refresh rolling out now. Only ~1.6% of queries noticeably affected. Background on Panda: http://t.co/Z7dDS6qc”
Since the tweet, Google have remained predicable quiet on the details of the update, and I’d be very surprised if we’re given any more information than that 140 characters provides. However, the fact that they link to the original post on Panda, I’d guess that this tweak simply shores up the original aims of the update: namely penalising poor quality content sites and aiming to give people ‘more relevant answers to their queries as quickly as possible’.
No big losers have been identified as yet, but we can expect some to come forward in time. Only by assessing the damage will we be able to formulate some kind of idea of what this update refresh actually consisted of.
In related news, Matt Cutts has readdress the issues of links, and just how important these are for SEO campaigns. In a video released recently, Cutts stated that the reason only a site’s own webmaster can get a comprehensive breakdown of it’s backlinks is because Google does not want to encourage too much emphasis on backlinks as a component of SEO.
The Google guru suggested that many of the links which previous tools such as the now defunct Yahoo site explorer tool provided were not actually recognised by Google in terms of adding value to the site’s rankings. It may be coincidence, but it’s worth looking at these two snippets of news as related.
It may be that Google is experimenting further with the changes to the way they ‘evaluate links’, as previously reported, and by releasing the aforementioned video they hope to reduce the SEO world’s dependence on and fascination with easily manipulated links. Stay tuned for more and let us know in the comments below if you’ve noticed any affect on your rankings.