Google Updates Panda & Changes How it Evaluates Links on Mar. 8, 2012


Winter may be on its way out of Michigan (albeit slowly), but there are more Google Panda updates rolling in. The latest update to Google Panda is just one of several topics TM Copywriter and Social Media Manager Michael L. Hoffman and I discuss in this week’s SEO Web Talk Radio Show.

The newest update to the Google Panda algorithm, Panda 3.3, is similar to the last two updates in that it’s more minor than previous updates. Google referred to this update as a “data refresh” and said this refresh will make “it more accurate and more sensitive to recent changes on the web.” This wasn’t the only thing Google has changed in recent weeks, however. It also changed how the search engine will evaluate links. And while Google did not elaborate too much on how it’s changing its link evaluation, they did offer this tidbit: “We often use characteristics of links to help us figure out the topic of a linked page. We have changed the way in which we evaluate links; in particular, we are turning off a method of link analysis that we used for several years. We often rearchitect or turn off parts of our scoring in order to keep our system maintainable, clean and understandable.”

If you would like more information about Panda and what its updates mean for SEO and search, we have a comprehensive Google Panda update blog post that covers all existing updates to its algorithm. Our SEO team will also continue to update the blog as more updates occur.

The importance of content, especially with Google Panda, cannot be understated anymore. The better your content is, the better chance you have for higher rankings in Google. But, what is good content? One of the best ways to produce content is to use public data sets. As Michael points out in the podcast, data doesn’t mean anything without context.  One of the best ways to create interesting and meaningful content is to take different sets of data and combine them to create a story. Some great resources for public data are USA.gov, American Fact Finder, SearchSystems.net and FedStats.gov. If you do decide to use public data as inspiration for content, you should always let the source know how you’re using the data. Not only is this just good practice, but it could get you a backlink as well.

For more on these topics and what Michael thinks about the “Newt Gallon”, listen to the podcast below! If you have questions or comments regarding this podcast, don’t hesitate to comment below or contact TM today.


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