Google’s Been Active This Month, Apple Opens Up

panda-penguin-apple300People have been anxiously awaiting Google’s release of their next Penguin update.  This is the update the penalizes websites for links Google doesn’t like.  Google also released the next version of their Panda Update.  Panda is the update that penalizes sites with thin, poor quality content (among other things).  So, what happened with these updates and how does it affect you?  I’ll tell you in this month’s update.

Apple also made news this month by getting into the search game in a bigger way.  If you have a local business, church, or school, you’re going to want to know what Apple is doing and I’ll tell you what you need to do.

So, join me for this month’s SEO update and tell you all about Apple’s move and Google’s updates.

Full Transcript:

Hello, this is Kurt Steinbrueck with, and I’m here with your monthly SEO update, keeping you informed on what’s going on in the search engines.

This month, we have a couple of big things from Google and we have something from Apple. We don’t usually see much from Apple, but we do this time.


Updating to Panda and Penguin
Let’s go ahead and start with Google, because Google, for them, in some ways this was a very big month, and then in other ways not really so much. So what do I mean by that? Well, in the big ways, basically we saw two big algorithm updates, which was they released a new Panda update and they also released a new Penguin update, which normally that would be huge news. But when we see what the effects were of this, it ends up not being quite as exciting as it seemed like it should be.

The first thing we’ll talk about is Panda. Panda, if you remember, is the algorithm that deals with websites that either have too much ads on them or they just have thin content, not much quality content on it, or maybe they’re stealing a lot of content from other places, that kind of thing. Google is trying to decrease the rankings of sites like that so that their results are better quality.

Well, up until now, they’ve done a reasonably good job with it, but there were some sites that were getting knocked down that really shouldn’t have been, and there were other sites who were getting lower rankings, or at least losing out in the rankings, to sites just because they were smaller sites. They still had good quality content, but because they were competing with sites that may have been 2, 3, or even 10 times as large as they are, they weren’t able to rank as well with the way Panda worked.

So Google tweaked some of the things about Panda so that those small and medium size sites were able to move up a bit in the search rankings. So it’s a good thing for them; I think it’s a good thing for quality. Of course, if you were one of those larger sites and you saw some of your rankings go down, it is not a good thing for you, but certainly for the smaller and medium sites, and I really do think for the quality overall. So that was one release that they did, and that affected about 3% to 5% of all searches in the U.S.

And now we also had Penguin, and they did a Penguin release. This was kind of a big deal in the SEO world; everyone was talking about it, everyone was getting excited and nervous as it was coming up. Google, some of their employees, had said some things like, “This is going to be a complete new rewrite. They’re going to change a whole bunch of stuff about the algorithm. It’s going to be a big deal,” so everyone was excited about it.

And then it finally came out, and… eh, it didn’t really do much. It wasn’t a rewrite. It was just the same old algorithm that they used last time, which by the way was over a year ago. So they just kind of clicked and ran that same algorithm. The effects of it were that there were some sites who had been hit before, and they cleaned up their act, so now they’re able to get some of those rankings back. Good for them. There were sites who probably got a little too free with the spammy links, and they’re going to see their rankings go down.

But overall, it only affected about 1% of the searches in the U.S., which means it was about one-fifth as big a deal as the Panda update, and those Panda updates are getting pretty normal. So it was not really a very big deal. Why they did it and why it wasn’t a bigger release after waiting an entire year to do a Penguin update is kind of unclear. I think maybe they’re just finding it a little bit too complicated to get it to work right, and some of their tests just didn’t’ work well, because it really is a complicated thing to deal with.

But I don’t know, for now it’s just this minor refresh and not a huge deal. But we’ll keep watching for it, because if they are trying to do a rewrite, it may come a lot sooner than a year from now like they did last time.


Apple Maps
So that’s it for Google. There’s really nothing for Bing that’s worth talking about, so let’s just talk about Apple here for a second. We don’t really hear about them too much when it comes to search; they don’t have a search engine and all that kind of stuff. But what they do have is a map, and especially if you’re on the iPhone, you use the Apple Maps. Those maps have listings of businesses and local organizations.

Up until now, Apple was satisfied with just getting that information from other companies. Basically, there are companies out there that collect all of that local business, local organization data, and they send it out so that not everyone has to create their own database.

Owners Can Set Up Listings
Well, either because Apple decided there were too many problems with that or because they wanted to start getting more into the local ad industry or something like that, they’ve decided to let business owners actually set up listings. So they have now opened up a new feature where local business owners and organization owners are able to go in and either claim listings, if they have listings there, or to set up new listings.

There’s a lot of iPhone users, so if you are a local organization, make sure that you do that. Go ahead and look up the Apple Maps – I’ll actually put a link here in the blog post – and go set up your listing, or claim your listing if there’s one there. Make sure all your information is right.

And if you’re an client for local SEO, we’ll take care of it for you. Don’t worry about it. We’re going to go ahead – we’re going to be doing that next month, because this just happened a couple of days ago, but we will set that up for you. There is a phone verification that’s required for that, so be looking for an email from me or one of the other OCC staff trying to set up a time for us to do that phone verification with you. But you don’t have to worry about it; we will take care of it.

That’s it for this month. But remember, we live in this internet age, so it’s important that you stay strong in the search engines so that you can achieve your mission online, and we’re here to help you do that. God bless.

Share Your Thoughts:

  • Will you be signing up for Apple’s local listings?
  • Were you affected by Google’s updates?  If so, tell us about it.

17 Responses to “Google’s Been Active This Month, Apple Opens Up”

  1. Google also released second version of Pirate update this month, October has been really hot for search professionals.

    • Yep. This has been big. I didn't mention the Pirate update since I didn't think it would really apply to the people who participate in this blog. I'm curious if it affected you in some way and, if so, how it affected you. Could you share a bit about that?

      • No, It haven't affected me in any way as I do not work on any site that offer pirated content.

        And it was great sharing words with you Kurt.

        • Shobhit, thanks for your reply. I'm glad you weren't hurt in anyway by the Pirate update. As with any of Google's update, being hurt by it isn't the only possibility. So, I thought maybe you might have benefited, perhaps because some competition got hit by it, but I think most of us just weren't affected at all by it. It's good that Google is doing their part to stop piracy, but in the end, updates like that don't affect most of us either way.

  2. The new penguin update has been released. Yes, I heard and read about that. Our traffic started increasing on the 25th (Saturday). We don't normally get high metrics on weekends but we did last week. And then this week, traffic has been spiking. It has been almost a week after the release, so I don't want to relax that much. We'll see what happens next week. The thing is that there's nothing much to worry about if you know you've been optimizing in accordance to Google's standards.

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