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Friday, October 5, 2012

WHAT IT MEANS: GOOGLE'S LATEST SEARCH ENGINE ALGORITHM CHANGES

Google has confirmed to Search Engine Land that on Thursday, September 27th, they released a Panda algorithm update. People who are into Search Engine stuff will quickly know that Panda is Google's Search Engine algorithm. This is Google's 20th Panda update and that is the reason it has been called Panda 20. As per the search engine specialists Panda 20 is a major update that impacts 2.4% of English search queries on the Google Search Engine. The exact impact and the type of queries or websites impacted are yet to monitored. Let's see what it brings up in few days.


Panda updates are mostly run by Google to better the quality of its search results. Only a couple of days before rolling the Panda 20, Google dropped the "Low Quality" exact match domains from search results. What it means is- earlier if people would search "let's go and buy bananas", the domain names similar to that of the search query would appear in the top results despite their content quality. For instance in this ("let's go and buy bananas") example: "www.gobuybananas.com" appeared in top results. So, you see basically those domains were tricking you on to their sites on the basis of your search queries by first fooling the Google Search Engine and then of course you. Google confirmed that new exact-match domain (EMD) algorithm affected 0.6% of English-US queries to a noticeable degree and was unrelated to Panda update.


Another important update on the Google Search Engine is- nowadays you will be noticing Google showing 7 (organic) search results on the first page for many searches, instead of the usual 10. So, where are those 3 more search results? Well, instead of those 3 search results, Google is showing sponsored or ads related to keywords links. For example, search for "making money" which will show you just 7 (organic) search results and 3 sponsored ads related links on the first page of the Google Search Engine. If you do the match it's equal to approximately 30% reduction of organics search results. So again, what does it really means?

Many will feel that- Google is chipping away at organic search results to drive buyers to paid listings, and soon, the SEO (Search Engine Optimization) will become irrelevant, but the reality is showing 10 to 7 organic responses on the home page isn't exactly eating up the organic results. 

Let dig deep- Google still shows the paid searches very distinguishably such as in the form of "ads related to the keyword"(highlighted in a different color), rest all the response (in this case 7 of them) are still organic. People are smart enough or let me say Google is letting people know what are paid results and what are organic results. Till the time Google doesn't confuses a user between the paid vs the organic searches it's fair and square. A Search Engine survey showed that most people ignore ads once they understand the meaning of it...all they look for is organic responses!! Hence, having 7 results out of 10 on the first page isn't that bad when u know now that on the next page u have the next best organic responses.

From a Search Engine Optimization companies' perspective showing 7 organic results is a really dull move by Google. Let's say if you are trying to rank for a certain keyword on the search engine, there are now 30% less chances of landing on the first page, and as per the current trends we know that users rarely click through to page 2 or 3. Hence, the only other way to land on the first page will be is to buy an ad.

Having said that if Google tends to focus more on paid ads and less on organic searches, we will soon monitor the shift in users' behavior, which could be in the form of improvement of click through to page 2 from 1....Things are evolving, and these changes may put businesses in an iffy-giffy frame of mind for at least the limited period of time till the users understand the meaning of what has been brought by the search engine on their screens. Still, the bottom line is- Google or for that matter any search engine company have to align itself to the customer behavior than vice-versa. Hence, it will be wise to have your content or SEO strategy more aligned towards the user behavior than the Search Engine Algorithmic changes, yes there will be always slight alterations, but nothing can stop a business if it has unique original content along with high traffic on the website.  

2 comments:

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Miss Caitlin S. said...

thank you for sharing! I actually juuust encountered this and wondered what it all meant!!

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