It’s no secret that Google is always changing and improving it’s algorithm, in order to ensure that people find exactly what they are looking for when they search. This goes some way in explaining why Google is the most popular search engine, and continues to be for many, many years. Google’s most recent updates kicked in just last week, with Panda 4.0 and Payday Loan 2.0 being announced and causing waves in the world of SEO.
The Effects of the Panda 4.0 and Loan 2.0 Updates
Panda 4.0 is set to affect approximately 7.5% of search queries that are made in English, while Payday Loan 2.0 will affect around 0.2% of all English searches. So what does all of this mean? Basically, that Google is tightening its algorithm, letting less and less low quality content slip through the cracks and manage to place itself in search results. This means that SEO agencies and strategists that are using link building and content marketing techniques need to take a look at their methods and ensure that they meet Google’s requirements.
Relevant, Engaging and High Quality Content
A major requirement is to have high quality, unique and relevant content. Without this, you may as well give up now and call it a day. Google knows that its users are looking for top-notch results, and it endeavours to provide them with just that. Of course, with 500-600 odd algorithm tweaks and changes a year, you know when a statement is released that the updates are of high importance, and not just a simple refresh.
Whilst set to help small businesses, websites such as eBay have taken a massive hit as a result of these updates. Reportedly stripped of 80% of its best search engine results, eBay has seen a large decrease in website traffic due to it’s ad strategy. eBay was inserting any word that people looked up into their ads and claiming to sell it, which led to much confusion when people would look up things that simply can’t be sold.
Big Gains Versus Big Losses
Google’s new updates either mean big gains or big losses for many businesses, and it is just a matter of time before these become apparent. In the meantime, you may want to ensure that the content you are posting on your company website is of the highest quality, as are the backlinks to your profile. Using black hat SEO techniques or undertaking questionable strategies such as paying for links or creating link farms are a big no-no, and this has never been more evident.
The fact that these updates were released back-to-back may make it all the more confusing for webmasters and SEOs to analyse the changes and which update they were brought on by, as well as how they can control such widespread impacts.
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