Google Algorithm updates are sometimes a cause of worry to the SEO industry. A Google algorithm change refers to an important and sudden change to a Google feature or service that either creates a new rank in top search results or improves the overall user experience. Any such algorithm change is good algorithm change because it makes for a better quality experience for internet users. However, some changes to the algorithm are accompanied by more complicated changes which often confuse clients and professionals, leading to unnecessary algorithm adjustments.
One such confusing update is the Panda update which occurred in the year 2021. The algorithm was primarily designed to reduce spam content from the index and to increase the relevancy of web pages. Google introduced a Panda filter to do this and also introduced two other filters: one for searching on a specific topic and one for searching for new pages. With the introduction of these filters, Google changed the way we used to think about the way in which content is ranked. We were taught that a page could be relevant for a search query in one of two ways – either it contained relevant information which would be a high ranking in its own right, or it was stuffed full of irrelevant information which would be likely to get us filtered out of the first page of results.
These two updates affected SEO quite significantly. As soon as the Panda update was introduced, SEO companies started panicking. The fear was that Google was going to ditch the organic algorithms and shift all the power to their paid advertising verticals. If you are an SEO company, you have no doubt spent a lot of money developing strategies based around the old SEO models and had probably felt some success as well. You therefore want to be the first to benefit from the new, improved algorithms that Google has just introduced.
So, what exactly is the reason why the panda update was so badly affected by the changes? Google has made a few mistakes in their attempts to rank websites. The most important one was to not apply any penalties to sites that were using black hat SEO tactics. This means using techniques like keyword stuffing and using directory listings to gain higher rankings than they need. Google’s logic was that if the website owners knew how to behave in the past, they would never attempt such tactics, but the fact is that many SEO firms are still using this black hat method in their attempts to gain higher rankings.
The second biggest mistake that was made by Google in their attempt to change the way in which Google ranks websites was to introduce two new algorithm updates. The first of these updates, known as “Google Panda” was designed to reduce the amount of spam that was being sent to the top search results pages. This meant that websites which had been getting a lot of negative feedback from users over the years would see their rankings drop. Google also wanted to reduce the amount of link spam that was being sent to the main search engines, so this meant that websites would be penalised if their links had been used by spammers before.
The second major error that was made was their failure to officially confirm the impacts of the two updates on the rankings of different domains. Although the company did state that they would be making official announcements regarding the updates at a later date, nothing concrete has so far happened. It has also been suggested that they are waiting until after the results of the 2021 US election to do this. In the meantime, it appears that Google is holding back, so it is likely that the impact of the updates will be far greater than they first thought. If you want to see how Google will affect your SEO rankings in the future, it is highly recommended that you read our Google Algorithm Update Analysis for UK. This will give you a comprehensive overview of what to expect in the near future.
As we mentioned in our Google Algorithm Update Analysis for UK, there are a number of ways how Google could decide whether or not to update the algorithms and increase or decrease the ranking of websites. Google has traditionally been very protective of its algorithms, as well as the way how they calculate the ranking of a website. Therefore, it is unlikely that they will make any major changes to how they rank websites. The chances of Google suddenly changing their algorithms in an obvious and unexplained way are also unlikely.
Google’s focus has always been about providing quality search results, and they will probably continue to do so. However, it looks like they may have started to lose their way in the sea of popularity, and this could mean that they start to drop the ‘panda update’ into their algorithm updates. In addition, it may also mean that they will reduce the amount of searches that feature images in the top results, because they recently introduced a feature that has made searching for images in the top results for many keywords in a very difficult experience. Therefore, we would suggest that while you should welcome the new changes, don’t expect too much from them at the moment. They will most likely wait until after the holidays to implement their latest algorithm updates, and give everyone some breathing room before the new year begins.