Google’s Recent Quality Algorithm Updates

Excerpts from my latest article at Practical Ecommerce: “SEO: 2 Months of Algorithm Updates.”

If your organic search metrics have been fluctuating more than usual recently, you’re in good company. Google rolled out four notable algorithm updates in the two months between May 21 and July 15, including a Panda update and the much-anticipated Penguin 2.0 update.

Each of the updates shares a focus on improving the quality of search results by detecting and removing factors that give some sites unfair advantage over others in the rankings. This summer’s updates focus on low-quality link signals, content quality and domain advantages. In each case, Google’s intent is to combat the low-quality or spammy search results that can gum up its search results and lead to poor searcher experience. The updates discussed include:

  • Penguin 2.0: Next Generation Link Spam Weapon
  • Payday Loan Algorithm: Spammy Queries
  • Partial Match Domain Update
  • Panda Detuning

Keeping track of Google’s algorithm updates and deciphering which may have had an impact on your site can be very challenging. The Panguin Tool is one of the easiest ways to look for correlations between your Google Analytics and the Panda, Penguin, and other Google updates. Just log in with your Google Analytics account and Panguin Tool shows your organic search visits overlaid with a timeline of algorithm updates. Moz also offers a handy list of algorithmic events with links to relevant articles describing each. Read more at “SEO: 2 Months of Algorithm Updates.”

Read my articles in full at Practical eCommerce » Jill Kocher

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Originally posted on Web PieRat.

Panguin Spies Your Panda and Penguin SEO Trouble Spots

Excerpts from my latest article at NBC 5 Chicago’s Inc. Well blog: “How to Use Panguin to Find SEO Issues.”

Google’s algorithm updates can have a big impact on organic search traffic and sales. Now that the search giant has ramped up its algorithm tweaks to occurring an average of one to two per day, it can be difficult keeping track of them all. The recently introduced Panguin Tool simplifies this process.

Named for this year’s largest Google algorithm updates, Panda and Penguin, the Panguin Tool overlays a timeline of Google’s algorithm updates on your Google Analytics data. Panguin requires integration with your Google Analytics account to run, and unfortunately doesn’t yet work with other analytics programs….

Read the article in full at Inc. Well »

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Originally posted on Web PieRat.

Google’s 2012 Algorithm Updates: Where’s Google Going?

Excerpts from my latest article at Practical eCommerce: “Understanding Google’s Algorithm Updates.”

Google’s war on webspam, low-quality sites that use manipulative SEO strategies to win rankings and traffic, has reached an all-time high with the search giant churning out an average of one to two updates a day. But Google makes updates to its algorithms for many more reasons than fighting webspam. Understanding these algorithm updates and how they impact your place in Google’s search results is important to defining your SEO strategy.

Read the full article for details on each of these algorithm updates in 2012:

  • Quality Algorithm Updates: Penguin, Panda, EMD, Top Heavy
  • Information Design Algorithm Updates: 7 Results, Knowledge Graph, Knowledge Graph Carousel
  • Personalization Algorithm Updates: Search Plus Your World, Venice

The common themes in all of these algorithm updates boil down to surfacing higher quality contents that are more likely to answer individual searchers’ questions. Google is in the business of answering questions, knowing that if it’s more successful than other engines the searchers will continue to prefer Google. The more searchers Google can boast, the more data it can collect to serve those searchers ever more effectively, and the more money it makes selling advertising across all of its free products.

That sounds cynical, but it’s the reality. If your site isn’t optimized for search, according to Google’s definition, Google will just skip over it and offer searchers the sites that are optimized. Understanding the algorithm updates Google spends its time and money creating can help you understand Google’s definition of “optimized” and craft a strategy that merges SEO, customer experience and business needs into a compelling site that wins rankings and attracts customers.

Read the article in full at Practical eCommerce »

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Originally posted on Web PieRat.

Google Algorithm Weather Reports Via MozCast

Excerpts from my latest article at Practical eCommerce: “SEO Ranking Forecast: 74 and Sunny.”

One of the hardest aspects of search engine optimization is determining whether changes in your site’s organic search results are based on changes to your own site or external influences like algorithm changes. SEOmoz created MozCast weather report to help answer this question, and today’s addition of “Top-View Metrics” makes the tool even more useful.

The foundation of MozCast is a meteorological metaphor displayed on the home page that represents the relative change in Google’s algorithms each and every day. The stormier the icon and the higher the temperature, the more Google’s algorithms changed compared to the previous day. For example, “sunny and 57” means very little change but “thunderstorms and 101” means big changes.

The magic starts with a set of 1,000 keywords. The MozCast tool grabs Google’s top 10 rankings for each keyword and compares the changes across all 1,000 keywords to get a holistic high-level view that is then translated into the weather metaphor.

Read the article in full at Practical eCommerce »

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Originally posted on Web PieRat.