The Ongoing Updates by Google and What Webmasters Should Do About Them
- Jul 26, 2015
- Supriyo Das
The news of Google bringing two new installments of its Panda and Penguin update is doing the rounds lately. Search Engine Land reported a Panda refresh by Google this week.
As for a new Penguin update, Gary Illyes of Google’s Webmaster Trends Analyst team announced a Penguin update is months away. The update might take some time to arrive, but it will reportedly arrive this year.
The news of the refresh is as recent as the 5 o’clock shadow on your upper lip. Barry Schwartz of Search Engine Land is probably still busy noticing its trends as I am writing this article.
According to Schwartz, the refresh is as slow as a snail, and its complete rollout might take an entire month. A webmaster may not see all the pages of his site are getting affected at once because of the refresh being outrageously slow. Schwartz didn’t give us too many details, except for Google’s admittance that the new update will affect almost 2-3% of all queries in The English language.
Some interesting news here! The Penguin 3.1 will reportedly be working in real time. It will probably check the link data at the time of their inclusion.
Will webmasters be able to figure out the legitimacy of their links in real time too?
We don’t know that yet as Schwartz didn’t help us with this information.
Rolling out such a state-of-the-art update is time-consuming. Perhaps that’s the reason Illyes included the words “months away.” A month back at SMX Advanced 2015, he disclosed Google is currently working on a Penguin update that’ll run nonstop. Penguin is infamous for being slow. Maybe that’s why Google decided to make 3.1 real time.
The new update will reportedly function in an automated way. It will save Google time and effort as refreshing data manually consumes both. Though neither Illyes nor Schwartz ever mentioned it, but I find it quite feasible that updates such as this may pave the streets for AI in the future.
Rewards and Punishment
Here comes what you have been bracing yourself for so long.
How will the updates impact your website?
Bad news in the offing for webmasters who rely on ads. Panda 4.2 may go after them. When Panda 4.0 rolled out, eBay suffered immensely by losing 80% of its organic traffic. The reason, according to experts was the site showcasing scores of ads but being thin in content.
Panda 4.1 made the lives of affiliate marketers miserable. Glenn Gabe of hmtweb correctly said the affiliate marketers were crushed. The majority of affiliate sites only had a small paragraph at the top of their sites, and after that, links to Amazon and similar e-commerce sites in drove. More so, many of those sites were ranking against top keywords, specific to competitive niches.
If you are an affiliate marketer and don’t want to sit in a facepalm mode in the wake of Panda 4.2 rollout, here’s what you need to do:
- Put useful content on the site, so users find it worth visiting.
- Don’t try to rank for competitive keywords. Remember, there’s no shortcut.
- Make sure the page you are linking to also has useful content on it.
Don’t consider them tips or advice, consider them as priorities because they may help you exist after Google introduces Panda 4.2.
I called up a friend while writing this article and asked him whether his adsense sites were affected by Panda 4.1. His reply was negative, the update didn’t hit any of his sites. I was about to ask him how he dodged the update, but he hung up unceremoniously, without giving me the opportunity to ask.
I wondered for some times, and then it suddenly occurred to me that most adsense sites are content based. They are blogs, tutorials or video hosting sites. As Google’s focus is on content marketing lately, and as those sites have volumes of content, the update didn’t hit them.
There’s another thing to consider. Adsense is Google’s product. So sites with Adsense ads are not likely to get hit. Having said that, if you make money from Adsense, follow the Adsense policies by Google along with the webmaster’s guidelines to stay safe.
Not so far-fetched
I hope neither the speculations nor the related advice is far-fetched. It’s always difficult to go on a conjecture ride with information as little as what we have, but the bad news is surviving the oncoming updates won’t leave you with a choice.
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