Google changes its algorithm like undergarments; it is really not newsworthy most of the time. Some updates, like the famous Panda, though, do cause concern in the SEO world. Google estimated that this most recent change, which went live on April 25, 2012, would affect about 3 percent of sites; ones that Google believes violate their quality guidelines. The update targets webspam – but what exactly is new about that?
It is not a shift in strategy so much as a shift in tools. Google has been targeting webspam, including keyword stuffing, cloaking, and other techniques, for years. But, as many would point out, these “blackhat” techniques can work and unworthy sites can achieve great rankings. Matt Cutts, head of Google’s webspam team, says, “We’ve heard a lot of solid feedback from SEOs who are trying to do the right thing and who don’t want to see webspam techniques rewarded, and we feel the same way.”
If you take a look at SEO and webmaster forums, you will see discontent oozing from your screen. But has it been that bad? It’s hard to tell: Google issued another change that went live on April 19, and they also had an issue with misclassifying several sites as parked domains (or sites that have no content other than ads). It is hard to tell if any drop in rank is due to the new update, the nearly new update, or the parked domain issue. Then again, it could be the normal flux of the Internet that is the cause.
It is unlikely that this new update will affect your site; if it has, a link audit is certainly in order, as is a review of your SEO efforts. This is especially important if you have hired a firm to handle search engine optimisation for you. Ascertain where your rankings are now; expect that they will flux a bit; and see what happens next. In the meantime, what can you do to boost rankings? Quality content, quality content, and more quality content.
Posted by Hitesh Patel, Managing Director at Bullseye Media