There has been a lot of upheaval in the world of SEO over the last month or so. Google has continued to roll-out Panda, its search quality update but has also announced an “over-optimization” update that has site owners panicking all over the web. If you have lost search rankings in the last couple of weeks, then now is the time to learn to tell your Pandas from your Penguins.
Penguin is the codename given to the over-optimization update (which many are calling a penalty).
Timeline on Recent Google Algorithm Updates
- March 23rd – Panda Rollout
- April 19th – Panda Rollout (which everyone seems to have missed)
- April 24th – Penguin Update (over-optimization)
If you have lost lots of rankings or think you may be hit by an over-optimization penalty from Google, the place to start is to look at the timing of the drop. Does it coincide with the dates of any of the updates? Because which update it coincides with will give you great clues as to what caused the drop and what you need to fix.
Panda has been rolling out for over a year now so there is plenty of information on the kinds of sites that are getting hit. The over-optimization penalty, which has had everyone in uproar is, according to Google, only affecting 3.1% of sites but you wouldn’t know it by the reaction. Matt Cutts was at pains to re-focus coverage of this update and point out that they are targeting web spam rather than SEO.
Initial indications are that Penguin is hitting sites with poor link profiles. You know those scalable, low quality, easy to get links we’ve been railing against?
We’ll try and post an analysis of the factors being targeted on Monday.