Google announced that they changed their algorithm again (a little more than eight months after the major “Panda” update) in a blog post last Thursday (November 3rd, 2011).
The History Behind Google’s Panda
The Panda update was designed to shift the focus of Google’s algorithms to pick up on higher quality content. It effectively eliminated the value of content farms, and left many small business webmasters scrambling to upgrade their content.
Some specific tactics that Panda was designed to deter include keyword stuffing and duplicate content. It was said to affect around 12% of searches.
What This Update is About
According to the post, this update will affect around 35% of searches. It is engineered to encourage time relevance. If you’re searching for an event, the update will push results about future occurrences of the event to the top.
This Google update will affect results about recurring events, one-time events, hot topics, and frequently updated topics. The update also determines how important freshness is to the search. For example, some topics wouldn’t necessarily be benefited by fresh news.
News and event listing sites will be benefited most by this update. Sites in these categories are always posting new content that is relevant, and that will be a major benefit with this newest Google update.
What This Means For You
Small business websites will be the losers here. If you’re one of those business owners that has a static website (sometimes called a brochure site) you could be in for a world of pain. This is especially true if you’re in an industry that has a lot of news and updates.
The Good News
There is hope! If you’re one of the millions of small business owners that will be caught in this trap, there are steps that you can take to improve your search rankings (or at least hold your ground).
The easiest and simplest is to integrate a blog on your website. This update just goes to show the importance of consistent and high-quality articles, even if they are short. With this new update a 400-word weekly post related to your industry might work wonders.
Do you think your website has been affected by the update? Let us know in the comments.