Exploring Google panda updates 3.1, 3.2 and 3.3

Let’s take a short review of the last blog on Google Panda update 2.3, 2.4 and 2.5 “A look on Google Panda Update 2.3, 2.4 and update 2.5 with tweaks“. Google Panda update 2.3 was a minor update declared in July 2011. This update has incorporated some new signals to differentiate low quality and high-quality websites. Google Panda update 2.4 was released on 12th August 2011 and this update applied for non-English queries except Chinese, Japanese and Korean languages. Panda Update 2.5 was confirmed on 28th September 2011 and followed by more tweaks with minor updates.

Google Panda update 3.1

A Google announced on November 18th, 2011 that one more Panda Update pushed out manually. Initially it was named as Panda Update 3.0 according to a series of updates but later on, Google confirmed that it is just data refresh, not any algorithm update. It would affect less than 1% queries hence later on it was named as Panda Update 3.1. Though it was a minor data refresh, Google didn’t reveal more information on this update. This update can be considered as a warning for site owners. If your website is not a quality website according to Google’s quality guidelines, you will be punished today or tomorrow as Google continues its iteration through indexed websites.

I would like to share shocking news for SEO professionals, happened in the same period of time. This is related to this update and that is the shutdown of Yahoo! Site Explorer. Yahoo! Site Explorer was a useful tool to get into the back-links of the site or a single page. Unfortunately, the company decided to shut down Yahoo! Site Explorer and we lost really one useful tool.

Google Panda update 3.2

Google has promised not to do any algorithmic change during holidays and hence Google didn’t make any major change in algorithm for a long period of time. Finally, on January 18th, 2012 Google confirmed Google Panda Update 3.2 released an official note on 3rd February. There were other 17 changes made during January month.

Here I want to quote one change, which confirmed the Panda Update. “High-quality sites algorithm improvements”. [Launch code names “PPtl and “Stitch, project codename “Panda] In 2011, we launched the Panda algorithm change, targeted at finding more high-quality sites. We improved how Panda interacts with our indexing and ranking systems, making it more integrated into our pipelines. We also released a minor update to refresh the data for Panda.

The other changes were listed in this note to improve the performance of search engines. Major changes among them were implemented to improve the auto-complete function, spelling correction in queries and image search quality. You can find officially released note here athttp://insidesearch.blogspot.in/2012/02/17-search-quality-highlights-january.html

Google Panda 3.3 and other 40 changes those Google made

There was an official note from Google to confirm the next Panda Update 3.3 on February 27, 2012. Again Google said that it is just a data refresh and it sounds like the previous update 3.2. With that release, Google has posted one blog with 40 changes they made in the algorithm. I have listed here some of them are to increase user experience and some of them are a concern to SERPs. We will discuss SERP related changes here in details in the best possible way to get good visibility in Google Search.

  • International launch of shopping rich snippet: Under this project, Google included and display more data for product or service related search results. It includes prices, availability, rating and user reviews, etc. Google crawler finds this information from product or service page itself. If you have a website of such kinds, it is better to include all this information which can help you to rank high on SERPs. You can find more information on Shopping Rich Snippet athttp://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.in/2010/11/rich-snippets-for-shopping-sites.html
  • Improvement to freshness:   According to this update, Google displays fresh content first. The news pages, blog pages, and all regularly updated pages should be optimized according to Google guidelines to get higher ranks for those pages. Regular posting of latest happening will help you to build a reputation in your respective industry.
  • Improvements to ranking for local search results: This statement suggests“optimize your website for local search”. It is quite simple that your local user is always your potential customer and you need to rank higher in local Google search engine. You have to include some strong signals for Google crawler to find your working area.
  • One change states Panda Update 3.3 – Just quoting the same Panda update: “This launch refreshes data in the Panda system, making it more accurate and more sensitive to recent changes on the web.
  • Link Evaluation method updated: How much link juice a website can pass to external links? Google decided to put more weight on relevant links. We have discussed in earlier blogs that link building requires smart work not hard work so build good quality, natural and relevant links.
  • Spam update: Google has strengthened algorithm to grasp spammers. Spam means “all the techniques and activities done to fool the search engine to rank higher considered as spamming. On page activities like keyword stuffing, hidden keywords, lots of hyperlinks, etc considered as spamming. Off page activities like link exchange, link wheel, link bait are also techniques of spamming.

Now there is no space for spammers. Be cautious about your SEO consultant and stop him/her doing these activities. Other than these changes Google made many changes. You can find all changes in brief at Google’s official blog athttp://insidesearch.blogspot.in/2012/02/search-quality-highlights-40-changes.html

At last, I want to quote recent tweet on 24th March 2012 from A Googler“Panda refresh rolling out now. Only ~1.6% of queries noticeably affected. Background on Panda:goo.gl/mTKCHHope you understand this is Panda Update 3.4. Again Google stated that it’s just data refresh, not any algorithm changes.

The sword of Panda is hanging on you all time and can fall at any time. If you want to get the best ROI from your website, you have to be updated, creative, dynamic and aware of the current trends. As a business owner, it is tough to spend enough time for such activities from your routine life. It is a better option to hire a professional SEO expert to manage your website. According to the survey, companies are spending 60% budget for marketing in digital marketing. You can’t beat the cut-throat competition without being present in the internet world. We will be back as a new signal arrives from Google. Till then happy reading and be a smart Webmaster!!!

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