The Google Panda Update 2.2 Is On the Way
Whether you are an affiliate marketer or an online writer, chances are pretty good that you are well aware of Google’s Panda algorithm change that rolled out in various stages between February and March 2011. While the initial algorithm shift may have achieved the desired results in Google’s eyes (reducing the visibility of what Google considers low quality websites) it appeared to have an unwanted side effect in that it allowed scraper sites to outrank legitimate websites. Regular website contributors and website owners were finding that scraper sites were consistently outranking them on any given topic within minutes of their content going live on the internet. In what appears to be Google’s response to this inadvertent side effect, the Google Farmer update 2.2 algorithm update should hopefully put an end to this ranking issue. While it may not put an end to scraping, it is hoped that it will allow website owners and authors of original quality content to at least rank higher than the scraper sites.
During a keynote question and answer period at the recent SMX conference, Google’s Matt Cutts did not give an actual roll out date for the new Panda 2.2 update but did confirm that the algorithm update has already been approved. Other than confirming that the roll out will be “soon” there was no target date given or confirmation as to when the algorithm update will extend beyond English only searches. The Panda algorithm has continued to be “tweaked” by Google, but 2.2 is considered to be the next major incarnation of Google’s attempt to clean up the internet.
One of the major keys to giving readers what Google says they want is to give them original quality content. A regurgitation and rehashing of previously published online content appears to be a no-no in the eyes of the Panda algorithm. Readers do not want the same story or information retold to them in a newly spun way. According to Google they want content that is fresh and delivers something of value. If you can manage to deliver content to your reader that is interesting and sharable with their social network, you have hit the nail on the head. As Google makes another attempt to get social with their +1 Button, the concept of sharable content found via Google’s search is expected to increase in importance. From writers to marketers, asking yourself whether your content delivers something of value and is sharable is going to be increasingly vital as more and more online viewers continue to share content of quality within their social networks. From Twitter to StumbleUpon to Facebook or LinkedIn, one of the keys to having well ranked websites is going to be the extent to which the content on that site is shared socially.
Matt Cutts Confirms No Preferential Treatment
Matt Cutts did confirm that there have been no manual exceptions made to sites that felt that they were inadvertently targeted by the original Panda algorithm. For website owners that saw their sites drop in search results and have made changes to their site and content accordingly, the impending roll out of Panda 2.2 will likely be their first opportunity to see if those efforts were successful or not. While the update itself seems to be targeting scraper sites and forcing them out of the top ranking spots, many site owners and contributors are looking to 2.2 in the hopes that it will also help them to recover some lost ground. Only time will tell if those hopes turn into a reality. After the initial roll out of the original Panda, there was a great deal of internet chatter regarding Google’s stranglehold on the internet. If 2.2 does not get it right and reduce the rankings of the scraper sites, that internet chatter is likely to become deafening.