|Latest Google Algo Updates; April 2012|
|Written by David Harry|
|Monday, 07 May 2012 17:13|
Given the madness that has gripped the SEO world over the last few months I felt it was time I started publishing some highlights and insights into the monthly Google blog posts on search quality updates. Up until now I have generally just posted them over on the SEO Training Dojo forums.
So let's give it a go shall we?
What can we learn from the latest updates?
After the recent SQ update announcement, a lot of chatter we've seen tries to (as usual) make the connection between major updates, such as the recent Penguin one, and these weather reports. This isn't generally the case though. For the most part there really isn't anything one could relate beyond this one;
We do know this was a target. Was it really part of the Penguin or just another secondary update? We'll never know. I personally believe that all of these are outside of the officially named Penguin algo updates.
I am not going to be getting into all of the 52 stated changes; only the ones that seem highly relevant. As always, this is just a personal perspective, we can never know truly what ol Googly is up to. M'kay? Let's roll!
I have seen a few folks intimate that this was Penguin related. I personally am leery of that stance and more inclined to believe that this is a low end change.
Local is one of the more active areas over the last 6 months of search quality updates, and this month was no different. Here's the interesting ones;
I felt this one was interesting because it addresses locality on the page level. The other telling aspect is that it seems to be related to UGC sites, social being the one that comes to mind readily.
This one's interesting and something we'll have to see how it plays out in the wash. We see a lot of strange listings in localized SERPs that miss the mark. Ultimately though, I would suggest ensuring that you have a strong directory or sub-domain structure to your website to ensure that if they do ultimately get it right, you're in a position to capitalize from it.
Quite interesting given some of the other changes in local searches over the last few months. It speaks not only to query classification, but in how the results are coming back. A site can be given a location categorization instead of just a page (ie; ranking a home page over a contact page for example).
Nothing massive here, but again reinforces the ongoing attention to local that we've seen a lot of this year with the stated search quality changes. The other aspect I like is that it's a bit of a cross over with the auto-complete system and query classification, which we've seen a fair bit of in this round of updates.
This is an area we've seen a lot of over the various search quality updates this year. In fact, local and freshness are the predominant elements. Obviously this one speaks to more temporally sensitive query spaces such as news and the like.
This falls under the 'not enough information' department, but worth having here to establish the pattern of interest in fresh results (anyone remember the 'real time' search?).
Freshness, often known in SEO circles as 'Query deserves freshness', is when a web page gets a boost because it's new and potentially more relevant. In this case it seems a bit of a combination of the Panda-like updates (addressing low quality pages) and the QDF. Potentially one could circumvent the Panda (which runs on given time frames) by posting frequently. This seems to try and address that issue.
This one seems to be a long standing issue. The term 'domain crowding' (also called 'host crowding') is when “Google will show up to two results from each hostname/subdomain of a domain name. ”. Something that (Google's) Matt Cutts had talked about back in 2007 (some stuff on SEL as well). Most commonly seen when various directories or sub-domains appear in the search results. Those benefiting from this will certainly want to be watching their query spaces.
This one is more about infrastructure, but worth noting. For a few years now Google often creates it's own TITLE for a listing, instead of the one in the code. This simply reinforces this and also notes the 2011 'need for speed' which saw Google seeking to streamline performance.
Again with the TITLE elements. This one seems to be looking at possibly shortening longer ones? Changing them to be more concise? Hard to say but certainly if you're CTR is dropping because of Google changing yours, you might split test some to get them to show your through being more concise with them.
I almost didn't include this one as it really doesn't say anything. If I had to take a guess, it would be that the reliance on said terms usage (or over use) is in play. That related terms to the core concept become more valued. Again, hard to say. More on query classification here.
Again, this is about query classification and this time it looking at what is known as reformatting of a query. And of course an element of personalization. This one isn't new, but it seems they're likely using the query data more in a session.
Also not likely a big deal to many, but I am including it for historical record.
I do like the bits about choosing site links more based on authority of the pages within a site. I also like the naming of 'megasitelinks' because I never know what to call them (as opposed to the smaller in-line sitelinks).
There were a whack of spelling type changes, but those really aren't a huge deal, so I left them out. This one though was fun because of the recent video of the meeting to deal with this one;
Again, none of these on their own is big news. Resist the urge to treat it as such. What's more important is to keep watching the weather reports and look at the updates in aggregate. That's where the gold is. Stay abreast of the ongoing evolution. And of course be sure to tune in each month as we'll be looking to add more context to these over time.
|Last Updated on Monday, 07 May 2012 17:23|
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