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Panda in the wild upsetting the herd

Posted on: 7 October 2011
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Filed under: Business, Content, Google, Music, Search, Web Metrics, Writing for the web

Search engines are a funny thing. They are relied upon by millions of users, yet can upset a marketing campaign or even destroy a business with just the slightest change in code.

The biggest player in this market, and you get no prizes for guessing correctly, is Google. But their recent search algorithm update – codename Panda (no, really) is causing a bit of a stir.

The reason is a simple one.

Google’s algorithm is the tune to which all websites dance but recently the notes have been changing before anyone has mastered the chords.

To this end, sites which rely heavily on search engine optimization (SEO) have suffered if they haven’t kept up to date with the alterations to this most powerful of tools.

According to reports, though, it’s not all bad news.

Sites which use backlinks and links to established websites – such as universities or news outlets are being rewarded by being ‘bumped up‘ the search engine’s ranking system.

On the other hand sites which have been descibed as ‘lazy’  ie. those that simply fill their meta tags with every word under the sun hoping to catch a Google bot’s roaming eye, have been penalised and slowly moved down the rankings list.

As have those that use poor quality sites to link to – those that offer no great authority.

Panda has had three major changes since February 2011 but is tweaked to a lesser extent almost every week.

To keep up with the game the rule is not to wait for Google to change the music but rather learn to write some yourself and keep your pages updated, interesting and linking to similar content.

Google and other search engines will always change the way in which they display search results, it’s up to you to make sure you’re ready for when the music stops.

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