Earlier in the month, we blogged about a Google algorithm update that had the SEO jungle drums beating and conspiracy theorists re-writing the future.
A few weeks on (and some analytical data later) and there is a better understanding of what this Google search algorithm update entails. So here it is in a nutshell:
1. The Panda is here to stay
It has been reported that Google Panda has been added to Google’s core algorithm. If you want to learn more about Panda, take a look at our blog ‘Power To The Panda’.
2. Brand terms
Another update to Google’s core algorithm saw a big shuffle in the way that Google presents search results for brand-related queries. Yoast* reports “The switch seems to have been from news articles to more ‘timeless’ URLs.”
By this, they mean if a website has created a page or blog post relating to a particular brand e.g Cartier even if all on page SEO tasks have been completed and the text is keyword rich, they may find themselves losing their ranking for said keyword. This is because Google has indicated that they will now favour the brand’s site itself.
Early reports suggest that this seems to be mostly affecting news related websites. The thought behind the change is that news sites may optimise an article to include the brand they are reporting on which by pre-update standards’ would be likely to achieve a high ranking. News stories are obviously time sensitive and only newsworthy within a particular window of time, becoming irrelevant to ‘searchers’ quite quickly. Google seems to continue with its mission to be as user friendly as possible, ensuring that searchers get what they are looking for.
They have also seen a “high correlation between the keyword(s) being the first word(s) of the slug (the URL) and the ranking.” This suggests that websites, that sell branded items, with well thought out site structures and optimised categories will see a positive effect on their rankings with this change.
What do you need to do?
This is great news to those who use Google to search, as it means more relevant search results will be produced.
As a business owner, this suggests minimal changes to your ongoing SEO and content strategy unless you sell big brand items or you don’t add unique content regularly to your site. If you sell branded items, keep an eye on your website traffic, then if you see a drop, check your branded keyword terms and tweak your tactics accordingly.