October 2012 Google Search Updates Roundup

I know what you’re thinking—Google updates its search algorithm more frequently than Holister douses its entire store front with frat-boy scented cologne. But there’s a reason you’re in the SEO business and not the dictionary-writing business—you thrive in a constantly changing industry. So let’s get on board with Google’s most recent updates, because really, what other choice do we have? Bing? Haha. Yeah. You go that way, I’ll go home.

Google Page Layout Algorithm Update

On Oct. 9, Matt Cutts tweeted, “Minor weather report: Update of http://goo.gl/OpIDL launching today. ~0.7% of English queries noticeably affected.”

Google’s most recent search update is a minor update on the search engine’s January 2012 Page Layout algorithm update. This update targets sites that place too many ads “above-the-fold,” requiring searchers to scroll down to see the content they were actually searching. Aimed at creating a better user experience for searchers, the update will negatively impact sites that cram too many ads on the top of the page or simply don’t have a lot of visible content on the page.

TL;DR: Give ‘em what they’re searching for, boys. And at the top of the page, please?

Google Penguin Data Refresh Update

Prior to the Page Layout algorithm update, Cutts tweeted about a Penguin data refresh on Oct. 5: “Weather report: Penguin data refresh coming today. 0.3% of English queries noticeably affected. Details: http://goo.gl/AF5kt .” The Penguin Update refers to Google’s search engine algorithm update designed to penalize sites not adhering to its Webmaster Quality Guidelines. Offending items include “negative SEO” tactics like link purchasing, article spinning, and keyword stuff.

TL;DR: Don’t be shady with your SEO or Google will penalize you. Write good, compelling content and the links will follow!

Google Panda Algorithm Update

This update focuses on eliminating the chance of low-quality exact match domains from ranking well. Cutts tweeted on Sept. 28 about the Panda update: “Minor weather report: small upcoming Google algo change will reduce low-quality “exact-match” domains in search results.” Panda is refreshed frequently, allowing those that it impacts to improve the quality of the page before the next refresh. It also allows non-exact-match domains to fill in the spots that the low-quality exact-match domains filled before.

TL;DR: Having an exact-match domain won’t help you rank well anymore. Focus on improving the quality of your site.

Have your rankings or organic traffic been affected by any of the latest refreshes or algo changes? Comment below!

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Posted in Algorithm Updates, Google Updates


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