April SEO Update: Panda Fades and Penguin Looms

google-panda-fades-penguin-loomsIn the past month, Google has made some considerable changes to their local business dashboard.  Most of the changes have been good, like much better interaction between your business place and other Google products, such as Adwords, Google+, and Offers.  Other than that the big news is what’s just around the corner…and what’s not.

Facebook made an announcement about the future of their search engine.  Google has also made some announcements about some big plans for Panda and Penguin.

So, what’s going to happen?

I’ll tell you all about it in this month’s SEO update video.

Video Transcript:

Hello! I’m Kurt Steinbrueck, Director of Marketing Services for Ourchurch.com. I’m here with this month’s SEO update for April.

facebook-graph-search-300Facebook:
We’re going to start with the new kid on the block this month.  That would be Facebook, which launched their graph search just a couple of months ago. There are really no changes in the way that they do their search engine. However, they did announce that they are not planning to launch any kind of an external search engine, something to be outside of Facebook in order to compete with Google, Bing, and things like that. They’re not planning to do that.

I don’t know, how much do you trust that kind of a statement? I’m sure they saw an opportunity that they will change their minds on that pretty quickly. Also, they’ve got a billion users. Do they really need an external site?

They are going to go a lot of searches if they do search engines right just from the Facebook members. So there’s still going to be a lot of search going on and it’s still going to affect Google. It’s still going to affect Bing to some extent. Of course Bing is in the different kind of situation because they are actually supplementing the Facebook search results. So, how this is going to affect them…they may actually benefit if Facebook does things well.

google-panda-fading-300Panda Fades into the…Algorithm:
In Google news, Google did do another Panda update. Again, like most of these monthly updates, it’s not a huge effect in the search rankings. However, this is probably going to be the last time that we talk about Google Panda updates because Google hasn’t announced that they are planning to integrate Panda directly into their main algorithm. You’re not going to see these monthly refreshes where there  is the shifting of rankings and everything. It is just going to happen all the time. Just over the course of time, they are going to constantly be updating for the quality of pages. So, we probably you won’t hear about this Panda updates anymore but we will hear about Penguin updates.

In fact, Google has said that they are planning a major Penguin update in the near future but they didn’t say when. They did say that this is probably going to be one of the most talked about updates this entire year. This is going to be a big update!
penguins-300Penguin Update is Looming:
If you’re not familiar with Penguin, Penguin was an update that Google did over a year ago that dealt with links. So, they were looking for things like paid links, link scams, and link blog networks; various things that might be suspicious that the people are trying to game the system and improve their rankings that way. They are looking for either spammy links or links that violate their guidelines and then they either discount these links or they penalize sites and they have done to a lot of sites.

So, we’ll be watching what goes on. They really didn’t give much information about what they’ll be doing. It seems to me that since this is going to be a huge update, that it is going to be a little more than just a refresh of what they did before. So, it’s probably going to have some new twist to it and we will just keep an eye on what they do.

In the meantime, just make sure that the link building practices are good, that they’re within the guidelines –Google’s guidelines. I know you have link building services with OurChurch.Com just know that we abide by those guidelines. So, we‘re on the up, and up with the link building.

Winner at the Delta County Fair, Colorado  (LOC)

Google Looks Into Business Quality:
Some other Google updates in the local arena… Google has announced that they may start considering the quality of a business in rankings. This is not just about getting links and are people commenting about you; but are you doing a good job in your business? Are people coming away satisfied? I’m not exactly sure how they’re going to figure that out. They’re probably going to look for several or different signals. They may include Zagat ratings in there or reviews or social signals, are people talking about your business. Are they talking about it in a positive way? Things like that will probably affect how they view your company.

Now, they haven’t started this yet. This is something they said they may do in the near future or the next year or so. We’ll keep an eye on that as well to see what signals they are going to look at. Some people have even thought that how accessible your support is on your website will have an effect on this. We will keep you an eye on that and let you know what happens when it does.

Google Places Auto UpdatesGoogle Places Update:
Google also updated their Places for Businesses dashboard. There’s going to be some visual changes there. It’s a little sleeker looking.  It looks a little more in line with what Google’s style is right now. But functionally they have changed categories. You no longer can have custom categories. You have to pick the categories that they preset. This is not a terrible thing but there have been some businesses or organizations out there who couldn’t find the good match or they couldn’t find a good category for what they do. So, it’s like frustrating for them. But you just have to pick the best choices that you have.

Some other changes…they have widgets for AdWords and Google Offers. So, a little better integration with those. They also have better integration of Google+. I’m a little surprised that they didn’t completely shift over the Google+ yet, but they are moving in that direction. We’ll probably see that a bit more, but there is a better interaction between Places and Google+ side of things.

And lastly, they’re doing a little better with their jobs with businesses that have service areas. So, these are businesses that they may or may not have a brick and mortar location, but people don’t have to come to them to receive the services that they offer. For example, this might be a pool contractor who builds pools for houses. You don’t have to go to them to get their services. They serve probably several different cities in the area. So, Google is getting a little better now in their local business places as to how they handle those service area type businesses.

Those are the big changes that happened this month and we‘ll keep an eye out for any changes that are coming for the next month. Watch out for next update!

In the meantime, remember that we live in the internet age, so it’s important to stay strong in the search engines to achieve your mission online.

God bless!

Tell us what you think:

  • Are you concerned by Google’s announcement of a major Penguin update?
  • Have you tried Google’s new local business dashboard?  What do you think of it?

5 Responses to “April SEO Update: Panda Fades and Penguin Looms”

  1. Hummingbird is the latest one and Panda and Penguin have become sort of irrelevant. I like the latest update, though. In Hummingbird, the results are no longer directly coupled to individual keywords, but rather to the sequence of the queries, which is more relevant and helpful.

    Larry Fenton from white label advertising

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