October Google SEO Update

October- Week 1

The month began as any other with a lot of algorithm updates by Google.

Exact Match Domain update

It came as a storm to many when the news came about Google’s new EMD (Exact Match Domain) algorithm. According to Google’s head of web spam Matt Cutts, it would affect 0.6% of English-us related queries to a noticeable degree and is unrelated to Panda or Penguin.

Here, by implementing this algorithm what Google is trying to do is to eliminate low quality information sites those have domain names same as the keyword. Earlier many sites having low quality or irrelevant content used to make it to the first page but after the update it is supposed to change.

It was made clear, that it won’t be affecting websites  that have enough good quality relevant content about the keyword as they would be having enough of material needed by Google to rate it higher.

Panda update #20

Another update to the quality manager algorithm, “PANDA” rolled out on 27th of last month, according to Matt Cutts, the update would be affecting 2.4% of the normal English queries. Since it was an update to the algorithm, the effect was somewhat visible from the same day itself, but it took 3-4 days to complete the process. The web saw large degradation in rankings of some of the websites as the traffic decreased by as large as 80% on a few of them.

It’s not yet clear why Google publicly emphasized on EMD update which affected only 0.6% of the normal queries, despite having a Panda update which had much larger impact. Buzz around is Google tried to overlap the incompetency of EMD update by announcing a larger update. Also, there is a lot of confusion between the website owners about which update harmed them the most.

Penguin update #3

Friday the 5th, saw a small update in Google’s algorithm Penguin which aims at downgrading the rankings of sites which use black hat techniques to increase their page rank and appear on the first page of Google. The update was small and as quoted would affect only 0.3% of the normal english queries and 0.4% of non-english queries.

After a long 5 months wait, it was expected to be a huge update but yet again penguin remained nearly same to what it was when first rolled out in April this year.

Penalties and rankings

Google’s senior webmaster trends analyst, John Mueller revealed some important facts in respect to penalties levied to over-optimized websites. He told that the sites which are facing penalties due to black hat strategies, enforcements may be removed if the sites remove the elements that led to it.

He also added that a lifted penalty doesn’t guarantee old rankings, i.e. after the removal of the it the site will again have to prove through legal and Google’s recognized methods, that it is capable of delivering to the customers what its ranking shows.

This is due to the fact that the old rankings were based on the links and “over-optimization” which don’t meet the guidelines maintained by Google. So the ranking is purely to be dependent on the quality of the links that the website currently has. So the only way to get good rankings remains to use white-hat SEO methods that are Google approved or are in accordance to the Google’s anti-spam algorithms.

This is all from the first week of October, which seemed to be a long one as nearly all of Google’s major algorithms saw changes and updates. Will have to see what the real long-term impact of these changes will be on Search Engine Optimization.

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