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They Call It Big Panda

What is the Panda/ Farmer update and how does it affect my company?

Google is constantly making updates to its search algorithms that we barely notice, if we notice at all, but on February 24th, Google announced a major change in their algorithm that we were seeing in Search Engine rankings. We noticed this change quickly, because it affected almost 12% of all queries – causing a flood of news and speculation in the online community.

Effects of Google PandaLovingly called The Big Panda internally and coined “The Farmer” update in the online community, Google’s direct attack on the use of content farms has been both welcomed and blasted by major corporations and small businesses alike. A lot of companies had been using content farms as a way of “gaming” the search engine’s algorithm by posting low quality and unoriginal content all over article submission sites in order to drive content back to spammy, no value advertising sites. In essence, a person using the search engine would be shown a list of “bad” or low value websites above better, more authoritative sites simply because someone was using a black hat tactic. The Big Panda or Farmer update was designed to change all of that and better serve the business community by serving the Google consumer better.

According to Sistrix, a well respected SEO reporting agency, here are the top 20 sites to have suffered losses (sorted by keyword positions lost) after the update:

As you can see, there were some serious losses happening in the rankings.

Here’s the good news! Sites that are properly optimized with original content, that are kept up to date and are running quality SEO were not affected at all or were only marginally affected.

Here’s the long and short of things: Google didn’t change anything about what it DOES like to see. It simply cracked the whip on sites taking advantage of a system designed to reward sites generating fresh content.

Should you change your search engine tactics going forward? If you are currently an SEO Services client of 180fusion, then you have nothing to worry about, but if you aren’t — maybe it’s time you call us for a free consultation with a 180fusion SEO Services strategist.

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