Google is constantly tweaking their search algorithm and the two most recent Penguin and Panda have become famous in the search world. The short of it is Google figured out how many SEOs were gaming the system and decided enough was enough. The new mantra is build for the user, not the search engine.
The days of content spinning, forum profile and comment links, and paid directories is over. Now it’s all about doing something that people like, who would have thought?
I see the user as the winner here and as someone who has called the Internet my home for more years than I can remember, I like it. Here’s the thing though, now the rules have changed, and they keep changing, for people just getting started in the SEO world it can easily become confusing. Heck, half of the SEO tutorials out there now no longer apply, some techniques will even hurt your rank.
On January 22nd Google rolled-out their latest panda update which makes it their 24th update in the famed Panda series. This update impacts 1.2% of English search results. Google announced this on the 22nd in this tweet:
The link they provided leads to their Webmaster Central Blog, specifically to a post with their advice about building high-quality sites. If you haven’t read this post and you care about ranking well, read it. You can buy all the SEO books you want but honestly, this post written by Google itself has some good nuggets in it.
If you really want to get geeky you can check out Google’s Webmaster Forums, this has every question you’ve ever had about search and then some. As for what’s in this release, it’s a bit more of the same, a turn of the crank and most likely a bit more scrutiny on exact-match domains.
Last but not least it’s important to understand that Google’s scrutiny on exact-match domains does not mean that exact-match domains don’t rank well any more. They can still rank very well. What it does mean is that exact-match domains with useless, poorly-written content often written by writers for $5/article are losing their luster.
The search world has changed, have you?