Monthly Archives: January 2012

Google Panda Algorithm 3.2 Update Confirmed : Google Algorithm Update

By Barry Schwartz at Search Engine Land

Google has confirmed reports of a Panda update with us. Thye company told us they have done a data refresh of the Google Panda algorithm about a week ago, and added that there were no additional signals or algorithm changes. This was only a data refresh.

I saw reports over the past week or so of webmasters commenting about their rankings. Most were complaining that they lost rankings, but some said sites that were originally hit by Panda regained their traffic levels pre-Panda. This would explain the data refresh, where Google ran the algorithm and updated the sites that should or should not have been touched by Panda.

Google Panda 3.2

SEO Outsourcing: When to Listen to or Question Your SEO Provider

By Kristi Hines at Search Engine Watch


When you hear something that’s too good to be true, it probably is. This is especially true with some link building or SEO companies that will promise you the world, and leave you with a possible penalty. And when you hear something that might require some work, you might think your SEO is full of it.

For those of you looking to outsource your SEO efforts, here’s a quick list of times you should listen to or question your SEO consultant or online marketing agency.

LISTEN When They Say You Need More Link Worthy Content

It may sound like an upsell at first, but having quality content on your website is extremely important when it comes to link building. Unless you want to have someone pay for your links (that’s right, I just said paid link building), you will need something other than product or service sales pages on your site that is worthy of a link.

Quality content doesn’t have to be something as fancy as infographics or videos (although those are the best). It can be as simple as informative blog posts. Give other webmasters something interesting to link to, and you’ll start getting more quality links.

Better page titles in search results : Google Webmaster Central Blog Guidelines

By Pierre Far at Google Webmaster Central Blog

Page titles are an important part of our search results: they’re the first line of each result and they’re the actual links our searchers click to reach websites. Our advice to webmasters has always been to write unique, descriptive page titles (and meta descriptions for the snippets) to describe to searchers what the page is about.

We use many signals to decide which title to show to users, primarily the <title> tag if the webmaster specified one. But for some pages, a single title might not be the best one to show for all queries, and so we have algorithms that generate alternative titles to make it easier for our users to recognize relevant pages. Our testing has shown that these alternative titles are generally more relevant to the query and can substantially improve the clickthrough rate to the result, helping both our searchers and webmasters. About half of the time, this is the reason we show an alternative title.

Other times, alternative titles are displayed for pages that have no title or a non-descriptive title specified by the webmaster in the HTML. For example, a title using simply the word “Home” is not really indicative of what the page is about. Another common issue we see is when a webmaster uses the same title on almost all of a website’s pages, sometimes exactly duplicating it and sometimes using only minor variations. Lastly, we also try to replace unnecessarily long or hard-to-read titles with more concise and descriptive alternatives.

Google Page Layout Algorithm Improvement : Google Algorithm Update

By Matt Cutts at Google Webmaster Central Blog

In our ongoing effort to help you find more high-quality websites in search results, today we’re launching an algorithmic change that looks at the layout of a webpage and the amount of content you see on the page once you click on a result.

As we’ve mentioned previously, we’ve heard complaints from users that if they click on a result and it’s difficult to find the actual content, they aren’t happy with the experience. Rather than scrolling down the page past a slew of ads, users want to see content right away. So sites that don’t have much content “above-the-fold” can be affected by this change. If you click on a website and the part of the website you see first either doesn’t have a lot of visible content above-the-fold or dedicates a large fraction of the site’s initial screen real estate to ads, that’s not a very good user experience. Such sites may not rank as highly going forward.

We understand that placing ads above-the-fold is quite common for many websites; these ads often perform well and help publishers monetize online content. This algorithmic change does not affect sites who place ads above-the-fold to a normal degree, but affects sites that go much further to load the top of the page with ads to an excessive degree or that make it hard to find the actual original content on the page. This new algorithmic improvement tends to impact sites where there is only a small amount of visible content above-the-fold or relevant content is persistently pushed down by large blocks of ads.