This article will point out few of the search updates I find most important and explain what Google says about the newest Panda update.
Google Panda 3.3 Update
“This launch refreshes data in the Panda system, making it more accurate and more sensitive to recent changes on the web.”
So basically, this update sounds very similar to the update that Google launched mid-January, Panda 3.2. This update was described only as a “data refresh” and not related to new or changed ranking signals.
You can check again this infographics to see the full background of the Panda update that Google introduced 1 year ago.
Google has been using for years a certain link evaluation signal. Now it will be getting rid of that, surely causing some discussion:
“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.”
Google is reluctant to give away too many details about ranking signals and the company has indicated that the blog post says everything they want to say.
Local Search Rankings
Google says that traditional algorithmic ranking factors are playing bigger part in improving local search rankings.
“This improvement improves the triggering of Local Universal results by relying more on the ranking of our main search results as a signal.”
Since Google launched its Places Search in late 2010, traditional SEO has played a bigger part in Google’s local search. This seems to be even further enforced.
According to Google’s post local results are being improved because of a “new system to find results from a user’s city more reliably. Now we’re better able to detect when both queries and documents are local to the user.”
More accurate detection of official pages
Google has made an adjustment how they detect official pages by using codename “WRE”. By this adjustment Google wants to make identifications more accurate.
“We’ve made an adjustment to how we detect official pages to make more accurate identifications. The result is that many pages that were previously misidentified as official will no longer be.”
Improvement to Freshness
Google introduced its “Fresh” algorithm change in late 2011. The purpose was to make search results more fresh, more current. Now Google wants to improve this algorithm change:
“We’ve applied new signals which help us surface fresh content in our results even more quickly than before.”
Other Google Updates
I won’t recap all the 40 search updates in this post, but you can find them here. There are some thing pointed out that you should pay attention to, such as:
- “Site:” query update
- International launch of shopping rich snippets
- Updates related to sitelinks and related searches.