Friday, May 18, 2012

Exploring Google Updates - Part I

On a mission to explore Google's mystery updates, here is my first post of a complete series planned. (starting with January'11, will cover a snapshot - highlights for the earlier ones soon)

Author or Content Authority update (Jan'11)

This Google update was intended to attribute the 'real' author of a document and penalize the copycats or scrapers. This algo change has approximately affected 2% of the search query volume.

Farmer Update - Further known as Panda 1.0 (Started Feb'11)

This major update which caused many sites to go dark in terms of traffic and indexing in Google SERP aimed at removing 'low quality' sites. The Name 'Panda' was given after Google Engineer Navneet Panda.
Similar to what Farmer does to remove the weeds from his farm, Google Panda update removes spammy and low quality sites from his index ( with a penality). First human testers were employed to see and analyze patterns for 'high quality' sites - those who are useful and filter out those who are of 'low quality' where they won't be interested to come back again.
Basis the pattern, unique content and relevancy a search algo update was made to 'tag' sites and sections as high value or low value. Rest is how to treat this was an easy task :)
Panda is also known as a 'Freshness' update giving more importance to unique and consistently updated content. Tailormade for Bloggers!

Panda 2.0 (Apr'11)
Unlike the previous update (Panda 1.0), this update was targeted toward 'thin affiliate sites'. Thin affiliate sites are those who use templates and the feed content /links going to the respective product owner site (ofcourse with an affilate id). Many good sites with original content also got affected as the content to link ratio was more on the affiliate side. With Google's Panda 2.0 update, thin affiliate sites die a slow death over time.

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